4-1-8-4. Though surreal in the world of T20 cricket, these were the bowling figures of Ravinchandran Ashwin in the 3rd T20 against Sri Lanka at Visakhapatnam today. The ace spinner ran through the Lankan top order in quick time and straightaway handed his team a clear advantage in the series decider. Ashish Nehra, Jasprit Bumrah, Ravindra Jadeja and Suresh Raina then bowled useful spells to make sure that the visitors could never recover from the blows inflicted by Ashwin in the first six overs. Dasun Shanaka and Thisara Perera were the only two Lankan batsmen who managed to get into double digit scores, before their team was bowled out for a paltry 82 in 18 overs. India were comfortably home in the 14th over, winning the contest handsomely by 9 wickets.
The “Ravichandran Ashwin Show” at Visakhapatnam
Once MS Dhoni won the toss and put the Lankans into bat, it was all about Ravichandran Ashwin expertly weaving a web of spin around the inexperienced batsmen. He foxed opener Dickwella with the 3rd ball of the 1st over and gave his captain an easy stumping to set things in motion for the day. Then he trapped the big fish – Dilshan – leg before wicket three balls later. Sri Lanka’s batting mainstay – Dinesh Chandimal – became Ashwin’s third victim of the day in his very next over. He then put debutant Asela Gunaratne’s misery at the crease to an end in his 3rd over, and registered his fourth wicket of the game, before the visiting team could even get a hang of what was actually going on! When Gunaratne fell, the Sri Lankan scorecard read 20/4 in 4.2 overs! As Harsha Bhogle opined, it was pretty much ‘Game Over’ for the visitors by then. The rest of the bowling performed well enough to give an apt conclusion to the frenzy that was triggered by Ashwin.
India stroll to series win
82 was not even a remotely challenging target for a team that had amassed 196 in 20 overs, just a couple of days ago! Shikhar Dhawan and Ajinkya Rahane made sure that the target was achieved with minimal fuss. Dushmantha Chameera picked the only wicket that fell during the chase, when he trapped Rohit Sharma leg before wicket in the 6th over.
India v Sri Lanka 3rd T20 – Match Details
Man of the Match – Ravichandran Ashwin