India eased their way to a facile seven-wicket victory against Sri Lanka in Indore, after the first T20I in Guwahati was abandoned. Given a meagre 143 runs to chase down, the explosive Indian batting order made easy work of the target and got there with 15 balls to spare.
KL Rahul led the charge in the powerplay, as India ended the field-restriction overs at 54 for no loss. The right-handed opener took the game away early with a brisk 45, before failing to read a googly and losing his stumps. Dhawan followed soon after, compiling a sluggish 32, as the umpire reversed his decision to send him on his way. Kohli and Iyer then motored along and kept the runs coming at a healthy rate, given that the run-rate required at the time was a lowly 6 runs per over. Iyer blitzed a few boundaries before holing out to Lahiru Kumara for 34, but Sri Lanka's hopes were all but demolished by then. Kumara eventually took the finishing blow, as Kohli pulled him for a six over deep square leg to send Indore into delirium as India coasted to victory.
Earlier, the much-anticipated return of Jasprit Bumrah unravelled at Indore, as he bowled the first over before being taken off the attack to give Saini a go with the new ball. The Indian seamers leaked some runs in the initial overs, as Sri Lanka raced to 31 in the first four. It was then, that Kohli introduced Washington Sundar, India's powerplay specialist.
Despite being reverse-swept for four first ball, Sundar got Fernando to chip one to Saini at mid-off to give India an opening. Saini then produced the ball of the night to york Gunathilaka with a 147.5km/h thunderbolt. Kusal Perera threatened with some improvisation, but eventually got outsmarted by the chicanery of Kuldeep Yadav, who picked up two crucial wickets. Bumrah and Saini then dismissed Shanaka and Rajapaksa respectively to make the 19th over easier for Shardul.
Thakur responded with a phenomenal three-wicket over that read: 1.W.1.1.W.W and cleaned up the tail. Hasaranga did manage to cream three boundaries off Bumrah's last three deliveries to lift Sri Lanka to 142, but that proved to be a total well below-par, as India coasted to a clincal win.
Courtesy the abandoned game in Guwahati, Sri Lanka now have to win the third and final T20I in Pune to equalize. India, on the other hand, will go all out for a win after the 1-0 lead they gained in Indore and will try to close the series out with a 2-0 scoreline to boost their confidence further for the World T20, and furthermore, cement their combinations.
Brief Scores: Sri Lanka 142/9 in 20 overs (Kusal Perera 34; Shardul Thakur 3-23, Navdeep Saini 2-18) lost to India 144/3 in 17.3 overs (KL Rahul 45, Shreyas Iyer 34; Wanindu Hasaranga 2-30) by 7 wickets.