1st T20I: India beat Sri Lanka by 2 runs in last-ball thriller

1st T20I: India beat Sri Lanka by 2 runs in last-ball thriller
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Mumbai, Jan 3: Young medium pacer Shivam Mavi claimed 4-22 on debut as India defended a modest total of 162 to beat Sri Lanka by two runs in the thrilling first T20I and take 1-0 lead in the three-match series at the Wankhede Stadium, here on Tuesday.

India started 2023 with victory thanks to some good bowling by Mavi, Harshal Patel and Umran Malik as they prevailed over Sri Lanka in a last-ball thriller.

With a modest 162 to defend, India needed to get early wickets to put Sri Lanka under pressure and they did just that, eventually getting them all out for 160 in 20 overs.

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 to a six and 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 Lanka 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 in to bat by Sri Lanka skipper Dasun Shanaka, who won the toss.

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