Sri Lanka set competitive target of 139 for India (Second Lead, correcting Intro)

Mirpur (Bangladesh), March 1 (IANS) India produced a strong bowling performance as Sri Lanka posted 138/9 in their Asia Cup Twenty20 cricket match at the Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium here on Tuesday.

Promising all-rounder Hardik Pandya (2/26), off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin (2/26) and young pacer Jasprit Bumrah (2/27) took two wickets each.

Veteran pacer Ashish Nehra (1/22), who bowled an excellent opening spell, also got a wicket.

Chamara Kapugedera (30) was the highest scorer among the Sri Lankan batsmen.

Asked to bat first on a greenish pitch, the Lankan batsmen never really managed to settle down and lost wickets at regular intervals.

Sri Lanka suffered an early setback when opener Dinesh Chandimal was caught behind off Nehra’s bowling while attempting a big hit.

Bumrah piled on the pressure in the next over with a superb delivery which Shehan Jayasuriya edged to Mahendra Singh Dhoni behind the stumps.

Dhoni’s decision to bring Pandya into the attack in place of Nehra brought immediate results as the all-rounder got rid of the dangerous Tillakaratne Dilshan with his very first ball.

Angelo Mathews seemed to be in good touch, hitting Pandya for a couple of boundaries. But the right-hander was undone by poor timimg when he got a thick inside edge onto the stumps.

Kapugedera and Milinda Siriwardana (22) tried to bring the innings back on track with a 43-run partnership.

The duo handled the Indian bowling quite well, producing the occassional boundary as the Lankans tried to come back into the game.

But the partnership came to an end when Siriwardana holed out Suresh Raina at long-on while trying to hit Ashwin out of the ground.

The Lankans plunged into further trouble when Dasun Shanaka was run out off the last ball of the same over.

Thisara Perera (17) and Nuwan Kulasekara (13 not out) then came up with a few bit hits in the closing stages of the innings to take their team to a competitive total.

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