Sri Lanka ended a drought of six years on Thursday as they beat India in their own den by 16 runs in the second T20 international to level the three-match series 1-1 in Pune. Chasing 207 for victory, India were stopped at 190 for 8 in 20 overs after heroic knocks from Axar Patel and Suryakumar Yadav.
India suffered an early collapse as they lost half their side for 57 runs inside 10 overs. That is when Axar and Surya joined forces to rebuild the innings for the Men in Blue.
The duo played cautiously for the first few overs before launching an all-out attack on the Sri Lankan bowlers. they added 91 runs off 40 balls for the sixth wicket and brought up their half-centuries before Surya fell to Dilshan Madhushanka for 51.
But Axar, who brought up his maiden T20I fifty, continued to take the attack to the cleaners and kept India's hopes alive.
He played a valiant knock of 65 off 31 balls before falling in the final over, thus, ending India's chances of an improbably victory.
Kasun Rajitha grabbed the wickets of Axar and Shivam Mavi (26) in the final over to finish with 2 for 22 while Madhushanka and captain Dasun Shanaka also grabbed a couple of scalps for the Lankans.
This was the first win for Sri Lanka against India in India in 13 T20Is, last one also coming in Pune in 2016.
(To receive our E-paper on WhatsApp daily, please click here. To receive it on Telegram, please click here. We permit sharing of the paper's PDF on WhatsApp and other social media platforms.)