Bhuvneshwar Kumar scalps four in big win for India in first T20 against Sri Lanka

Visitors win by 38 runs in Colombo on Sunday

Fast bowler Bhuvneshwar Kumar made the most of a slow wicket in Colombo on Sunday as India prevailed by 38 runs in the first T20.

Bhuvneshwar finished with great figures of 4-22 and helped dismiss the hosts for 126 in 18.3 overs, in reply to a 165-run target.

However, when captain Shikhar Dhawan (46) and Suryakumar Yadav (50) guided India to 164-5 in 20 overs after being put into bat , it seemed like the visitors were 20 runs short.

But things started to happen right from the start of the second innings for India as Bhuvneshwar got the ball to move around. He got opener Avishka Fernando's key wicket for 26 before the pacer returned to finish off the tail.

Fellow seamer Deepak Chahar took two wickets in one over, including that of debutant Charith Asalanka for 44, to derail Sri Lanka's innings.

Spinners Krunal Pandya, Yuzvendra Chahal, debutant Varun Chakravarthy and all-rounder Hardik Pandya took one wicket apiece.

"I thought we were 10-15 runs short but we felt it was still a good total," Dhawan said after the match. "We played quite well after losing a wicket on the first ball [of Prithvi Shaw]. Getting to 50 in the powerplay was good. I think there is just five per cent scope of improvement."

In the end, it was Dhawan and Yadav who set up the win with a 62-run third-wicket stand.

Dhawan, who added 51 for the second wicket with Sanju Samson (27), missed out on his fifty after being caught in the deep. Yadav reached his second T20 fifty in his fourth match but got out soon to leg-spinner Wanindu Hasaranga.

Meanwhile, there was a close call before the start of play after a ground staff member at the R Premadasa Stadium tested positive for Covid-19. As a precaution, reporters and photographers were not allowed inside the venue.

Updated: July 25th 2021, 6:56 PM