Dhawan’s 51 guides India to 196/6 in second T20I

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Ranchi, Feb 12 (IANS) Star batsman Shikhar Dhawan scored a quick-fire half century to help India post a challenging 196/6 against Sri Lanka in the second T20 International of their three-match series at the Jharkhand International Stadium here on Friday.

In his 25-ball 51, Dhawan struck seven fours and two sixes.

Later in the innings also, Suresh Raina (30 off 19) and Hardik Pandya (27 off 12) hit the Lankan bowlers to all parts to post a good total.

For the visitors, Thisara Perera (3/33) was the pick of the bowlers claiming a hat-trick.

Put in to bat, the home side got off to an explosive start with both openers Rohit Sharma (43) and Dhawan taking the initiative to go all out at the Lankan bowlers.

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With good number of boundaries and sixes, the team scored 70 runs in the powerplay as Dhawan brought up his 50 in just 22 balls.

But on the final ball of the seventh over, Dhawan looking to help the ball over the wicket-keeper’s head off the bowling of Dushmantha Chameera was cramped for room and the ball got to the glove of Dinesh Chandimal who accepted it gleefully. India were 75/1.

Incoming batsman Ajinkya Rahane (25) gave good support to Rohit as the duo scored at a good pace to bring up India’s 100 in the 11th over itself.

But as Rohit was looking to take on the bowlers, the visitors got the second breakthrough with Chameera palming a stunning diving catch off his own bowling to reduce India to 122/2 in 13.1 overs.

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Soon after the dismissal of Rohit, India received a double blow when Rahane looking to pull it too early got the top edge and lobbed straight to Tillakaratne Dilshan at cover point. India were 127/3 in 14.2 overs.

From there on two new batsmen Raina and Pandya took on the bowlers producing boundaries and sixes at regular intervals.

In the 19th over, Perera got rid of Pandya, Raina and Yuvraj Singh in three consecutive balls to clinch a hat-trick and check the run-flow.

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