Shikhar Dhawan roared back to form with a muscular half-century in company of a sublime KL Rahul as India posted a competitive 201 for 6 against Sri Lanka despite a middle-order collapse in the third T20 International in Pune on Friday. Dhawan, who has been under pressure for some time smashed 52 off 36 balls (7×4; 1×6) in his 97-run opening stand with the in-form Rahul (54 off 36 balls, 5×4;1×6). However, the hosts suffered a middle-order collapse with Sri Lankan wrist spinners Wanidu Hasaranga (1-27) and chinaman Lakshan Sandakan (3-35) spun their web around the batsmen on a flat track. But Manish Pandey, playing his first game of the tournament, hit an unbeaten 31 off 18 balls and Shardul Thakur once again revelled as a lower-order pinch-hitter (22 not out off 8 balls; 1×4, 2×6) to ensure that the hosts crossed 200-run mark. Rahul set the tone playing a cut shot off rival skipper Lasith Malinga for his first boundary. Dhawan got an early ‘life’, when Dasun Shanaka dropped one at deep square leg. Rahul, then hit two consecutive boundaries, both drives, off Angelo Mathews as India raced to 22/0. The visitors introduced off-spinner Dhananjaya De Silva in the… Read full this story
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