Kohli brilliance eases India to another win

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A textbook Virat Kohli innings helped India power to a 7 wicket win in the only T20I completing a clean sweep of Sri Lanka on this tour.

The victory was the ninth out of nine matches on India’s tour of Sri Lanka although at times the hosts put up a fight.

Sri Lanka’s innings got underway as a breathless affair with each batsman in turn swinging for the fences.

It didn’t come off for Upul Tharanga who lashed Bhuvneshwar Kumar to the midwicket boundary but off the very next ball an inswinger castled the Sri Lanka spinner.

Niroshan Dickwella was innovative as always but Dilshan Munaweera was truly inspired and the pair put on 23 in quick time.

Dickwella (17) got cute one too many times though and was cleaned up by a Jasprit Bumrah Yorker while attempting a reverse paddle.

Angelo Mathews (7) is likely to consider himself unlucky to be given out stumped with replays not really conclusively showing his foot wasn’t back in the crease.

Munaweera blasted his way to his first T20I fifty but after hitting 53 off 28 balls the 29th saw him try to hit the cover off the ball and lose his bat with the Yuzvendra Chahal delivery smashing into his stumps.

Ashan Priyanjan held the innings together as wickets tumbled down the other end ad his cleverly played 40 not out gave Sri Lanka a target of 171 to defend as they reached 170/7 with Isuru Udana playing a good little cameo as well.

India’s chase got off to flier until Lasith Malinga rushed Rohit Sharma (9) and had him caught at mid on.

Malinga was much improved and beat Kohli with a beauty early in his innings.

Lokesh Rahul’s departure in the sixth over for 24 proved to be just a bump in the road as Manish Pandey and Kohli took the game by the scruff of the neck.

Kohli reached his 4th consecutive T20I fifty off just 30 balls playing in his 50th Twenty20 international.

The India skipper, who is a paragon of fitness, struggled in the humidity of Colombo but kept running hard to keep the pressure on the home team.

The consummate chaser Kohli passed 1000 runs in T20I chases in the 16th over of the match and soon after moved ahead of Brendon McCullum to become the all-time leading scorer in chases in this format.

The skipper eventually holed out for 82 leaving India needing 10 off nine balls but with Pandey (51*) well set India cruised to victory with four balls to spare.