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4.6 overs (1 Run) Single to end the over and this is a good over for India, 14 from it! Asitha Fernando bowls it full and on the pads. Suryakumar Yadav flicks it to deep backward square leg for a single.
4.5 overs (1 Run) Nice timing again! Bowls it very full on off. Sharma flicks it towards mid-wicket. The fielder there misfields a bit and a single is taken.
4.4 overs (2 Runs) Drifts on the pads. Rohit Sharma clips it to deep backward square leg for a couple.
4.3 overs (4 Runs) FOUR! Sheer timing this time! Tad shorter and around off. Rohit Sharma rides the bounce and punches it off the middle of his bat through cover-point for a boundary.
4.2 overs (6 Runs) SIX! Rohit Sharma is not backing away! That’s a brave shot! Rohit Sharma dances down the track and Asitha Fernando bangs it short, on middle. Rohit Sharma still goes for the pull shot and clears the fence at square leg for a maximum.
4.1 overs (0 Run) Starts off with a full delivery on off. It is over 140 clicks and Rohit Sharma drives it without much timing to mid on.
Asitha Fernando comes into the attack.
3.6 overs (1 Run) Oh, a thick outside edge but short of the fielder at short third man. Chamika Karunaratne bowls it just short of good length and outside off. Sharma tries to punch it away. However, the ball catches the outside edge and the ball goes off the bounce to the fielder at short third man. A single taken.
3.5 overs (1 Run) Drags his length back a bit, around off. Suryakumar Yadav opens the face of his blade and guides it to third man for a single.
3.4 overs (0 Run) Bowls it full on middle at 132 kph. Suryakumar Yadav drives it firmly to mid off.
3.3 overs (1 Run) Back of a length, outside off. Rohit Sharma punches it off the outside half of his blade to deep backward point for a single.
3.2 overs (4 Runs) FOUR! That’s a big statement from Rohit Sharma! This shows that India are not going to go into their shell here. This delivery is on the shorter side, on off. Rohit Sharma stays deep in his crease and pulls it to deep mid-wicket for a boundary.
3.1 overs (0 Run) On a length, on middle. Bit of extra bounce and Rohit Sharma defends it towards the leg side.
Chamika Karunaratne comes into the attack.
2.6 overs (0 Run) Dot to end another successful over! On the shorter side, around off. Suryakumar Yadav with a solid block from his crease.
2.5 overs (2 Runs) Goes fuller on middle. Suryakumar Yadav flicks it to deep backward square leg for a couple.
2.4 overs (0 Run) OUT! KNOCKED HIM OVER! Virat Kohli departs! Dilshan Madushanka strikes and he is pumped up and so are other Lankan players, this is just brilliant from the youngster. He bowls a fullish delivery that swings into middle. Virat Kohli goes for the big heave across the line but misses. The ball shatters the stumps and this is a big blow to India. Have to say, this was a bad shot from the former Indian skipper.
Suryakumar Yadav walks in next.
2.4 overs (1 Run) WIDE! Dilshan Madushanka goes for a yorker but misses his radar. He bowls it down the leg side and Kohli misses his flick shot. The Sri Lankan players are bit interested as they think that there might be some bat involved but makes a very late call and the time is up till then. The umpire calls it wide.
2.3 overs (0 Run) The ball just holds a bit off the surface. On the shorter side, around off. Kohli tries to punch it off the back foot but mistimes it to mid off.
2.2 overs (0 Run) Dot ball! Lands it on a length, on off. Kohli blocks it from his crease. Lankan bowlers have been superb so far.
2.1 overs (1 Run) Back of a length and around off. Sharma punches it to deep backward point for a single.
1.6 overs (0 Run) Bowls it fuller and around off at 100 kph. Kohli drives it to mid off. A successful first over from Maheesh Theekshana comes to an end.
Virat Kohli is the new batter.
1.5 overs (0 Run) OUT! LBW! Maheesh Theekshana strikes and this is a big wicket of KL Rahul! India lose an early wicket and Sri Lankan fans in the ground are delighted. Maheesh Theekshana fires this on middle and Rahul tries to flick it by coming down the track again. He misses and gets hit on his boot. Maheesh Theekshana makes a loud appeal and the umpire raises his finger much to the disappointment of Indian fans. However, KL Rahul reviews it. The replays roll in and the UltraEdge shows no bat involved here. The Ball Tracking rolls and it shows umpire’s call on wicket’s hitting. So, the original decision stays and KL Rahul has to take the long walk back to the pavilion.
1.4 overs (4 Runs) FOUR! Finally an aggressive shot from the Indian batter and it is the first boundary of the game. A fuller delivery on middle. Rahul skips down the track and makes some room as well. He lifts it over the in-field towards the extra-cover region for a boundary.
1.3 overs (1 Run) Just a single again! This is pushed quicker again on middle. Sharma flicks it to deep mid-wicket for a single.
1.2 overs (1 Run) Bowls it flatter and quicker on middle at 99 kph. Rahul punches it to long on for a single.
1.1 overs (1 Run) Starts off with a fuller delivery on middle. Rohit Sharma clips it to deep mid-wicket for a single.
0.6 over (0 Run) Tidy start from Dilshan Madushanka! Serves it on a length, around off. Rahul defends it solidly off the front foot.
0.5 over (0 Run) Fraction short and outside off. Rahul looks to cut it but gets no timing in this shot.
0.4 over (0 Run) Hits him on the pad this time! Lands it on a length, on middle. The ball shapes in a bit and Rahul misses it as he tries to work it towards the leg side. The ball hits his back leg and there is a slight appeal from the bowler but nothing serious.
0.4 over (1 Run) Goes fuller but drifts down the leg side. Rahul tries to flick it but misses.
0.3 over (1 Run) Nice timing! Bowls back of a length and outside off. Rohit punches it nicely past the point fielder for a single. The Indian skipper is off the mark as well.
0.2 over (0 Run) Tad shorter and around off. Rohit Sharma blocks it off solidly from his crease.
0.2 over (1 Run) WIDE! Bowls it on a length and it is down the leg side this time. Sharma looks to clip it but misses.
0.1 over (1 Run) Lovely delivery to start the proceedings! Dilshan Madushanka serves it on a good length, on middle. Rahul tries to work it towards the leg side. However, he gets an outside edge and the ball runs towards the third man region. A single is taken and Rahul is off the mark.
Sri Lankan players are seen out in a huddle. KL Rahul and Rohit Sharma as usual stroll out to the crease. Dilshan Madushanka to bowl. Here we go.
We are all ready for the game. The match officials and the players walk in for their respective national anthems. It will be India’s first followed by Sri Lanka’s national anthem.
Ravichandran Ashwin is in for a quick chat. He says that any India-Pakistan game is important from the fan’s perspective and the team’s perspective. Tells that the game against Pakistan was brilliant and both teams played quite well. Mentions that playing for India doesn’t need any motivation and he tries to be upbeat and focus on his process. Says that while playing for India every game is a pressure game and they would like to be at their best in every game possible.
Pitch Report – Ravi Shastri is down for the pitch report. He says that this is the same pitch that was used in the game against Pakistan. Tells that this pitch has less grass than last time and says that the pitch will behave quite well and there might be some help for the spinners. Says that overall it is a very good batting surface.
Rohit Sharma the skipper of India says that they would have bowled first as the pitch slightly gets better in the second innings. Adds that they batted well in the last game but fell short of 10-15 runs and they need to stick to basics and finish well. Further says that those games make them learn a lot. Says that they need to find the right length and bowl towards the longer boundary and the pitch is a bit dry so they have made a tactical change as Ravichandran Ashwin comes in for Ravi Bishnoi.
Dasun Shanaka the skipper of Sri Lanka says they will bowl first. Tells that it is because of the record here and chasing has been a preferred approach here. Tells that their batters have been doing well and they would like to continue the same in this game. Mentions that the coaching staff has done great work with the players and have created a great atmosphere for the players to come in and deliver.
Sri Lanka (Unchanged Playing XI) – Pathum Nissanka, Kusal Mendis (WK), Charith Asalanka, Danushka Gunathilaka, Dasun Shanaka (C), Bhanuka Rajapaksa, Wanindu Hasaranga, Chamika Karunaratne, Maheesh Theekshana, Asitha Fernando, Dilshan Madushanka.
India (Playing XI) – KL Rahul, Rohit Sharma (C), Virat Kohli, Suryakumar Yadav, Rishabh Pant (WK), Hardik Pandya, Deepak Hooda, Ravichandran Ashwin (In for Ravi Bishnoi), Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Arshdeep Singh, Yuzvendra Chahal.
TOSS – Sri Lanka have won the toss and elected to BOWL first.
Dasun Shanaka and his boys have done well in the last two games with the bat as they have chased down big totals with some finesse and style. However, this would be a tougher challenge for the Lankans and they need to be at their best to repeat the same magic here. Their bowlers have been a bit expensive in the competition so far and they need to come up with better execution against a top-class unit like India. The stakes are high and expect a close contest here. Stay tuned for the toss and other updates.