At the Wankhede Stadium, here on Tuesday, India defeated Sri Lanka by two runs in the gripping opening T20I and took a 1-0 lead in the three-match series. Young medium pacer Shivam Mavi earned 4-22 on his debut as India defended a modest total of 162 runs. India beat Sri Lanka in a last-ball thriller to start off 2023 with a victory, helped by strong bowling from Mavi, Harshal Patel, and Umran Malik. India wanted to take early wickets to put Sri Lanka under strain with only a modest 162 to defend, and they succeeded in doing so, eventually bowling them out for 160 in 20 overs.
Surprised to see Axar bowling the final over? Here’s Captain @hardikpandya7 revealing the reason behind the move. #INDvSL #TeamIndia @mastercardindia pic.twitter.com/dewHMr93Yi— BCCI (@BCCI) January 3, 2023
Shivam Mavi claimed two wickets in his first spell in his debut match, Harshal Patel bagged another two and Umran Malik took one as India sent back five Sri Lankan batters for 68 runs. Sri Lanka skipper Shanaka and Wanindu Hasaranga added 40 runs for the sixth wicket but just when they were looking like taking the match away, Mavi broke their partnership by sending back Hasaranga.
Hardik Pandya claimed a fine catch, coming back to the field after going out for treatment struck by a bout of cramps while taking a catch to send back Bhanuka Rajapaksa, as Sri Lanka slumped to 108/6 in the 15th over.
But Shanaka was still the dangerman and he struck some lusty blows to take Sri Lanka to 34 needed off 20 balls, hitting Harshal Patel for a six and a four in the 16th over. He meted out the same treatment to Umran Mailk in the next over but the young pacer had the last laugh when he had the Sri Lankan captain caught in the deep by Chahal in the same over to sink the last nail in the Sri Lankan coffin.
However, there was one final twist remaining in the match as Chamika Karunaratne blasted a couple of sixes to take Sri Lanka to the final over needing 13 runs. Axar Patel bowled a wide and was carted for a six by Karunaratne before Kasun Rajitha was run out off the fifth ball, going for a second run.
Sri Lanka needed four runs off the final delivery but Karunaratne could not hit him out and Dilshan Madushanka was run out, attempting a second run as India won by three runs. Mavi had made it possible for India as he completed his four-fer when he sent back Maheesh Theekshana for one, caught by Suryakumar Yadav at long-off with a length ball outside off.
Mavi provided India with the breakthrough in his first over by claiming his first T20I wicket on debut. The young bowler showed great character as he struck after being hit for back-to-back boundaries by Kusal Mendis in his first over. Mavi came back strongly in his second over and sent back Nissanka, sending one through the game to rattle the stumps.
Dhananjaya de Silva was his second victim when he got the batter to spoon a catch to Sanju Samson with a slower one.
Earlier, Deepak Hooda and Axar Patel came together to raise a quick-fire half-century partnership in fine rearguard action as India managed to reach 162/5 in 20 overs after being put into bat by Sri Lanka skipper Dasun Shanaka, who won the throw.
Hooda hammered 41 not out off 23 deliveries, hitting one boundary and four sixes while Patel struck 31 not out off 20 balls (three fours and one six) as India recovered from a precarious 94/5 in the 15th over to post a decent total.
Brief Scores: India – 162/5 in 20 overs (Deepak Hooda 41 not out, Axar Patel 31 not out, Ishan Kishan 37, Hardik Pandya 29; Chamika Karunaratne 1-22, Maheesh Theekshana 1-29) defeated Sri Lanka 160 all out 20 overs (Dasun Shanka 45, Chamika Karunaratne 23 not out; Shivam Mavi 4-22, Harshal Patel 2-41, Umran Malik 2-27) by two runs