India put in a good all-round bowling display © AFP
India put in a good all-round bowling display © AFP

Sri Lanka’s lower order struck some hearty blows to take Sri Lanka to a defendable but disappointing score of 138 for 9 against India in Match 7 of Asia Cup T20 2016 at Dhaka on Tuesday. Sri Lanka’s woe started early on, when Ashish Nehra and Jasprit Bumrah strangled them early. Sri Lanka’s best batsman on current form, Dinesh Chandimal, was the first wicket to fall. Chandimal tried to take on Nehra but only managed to get a bottom edge through to MS Dhoni. Shehan Jayasuriya, batting at No. 3, was then done in by a gem from Bumrah. The ball swung late and kissed the outside edge as Dhoni took his second catch of the innings.LIVE CRICKET SCORECARD: India vs Sri Lanka, Asia Cup 2016, Match 7 at Dhaka

A mini-recovery ensued, with Tillakaratne Dilshan picking up a couple of boundaries. The introduction of Hardik Pandya brought about his downfall though. Pandya started off with a short ball that Dilshan pulled straight to Ravichandran Ashwin at fine leg. Pandya had taken three international wickets off three balls, spread across two matches. Unfortunately for Pandya, it did not count as a hat-trick. Live Cricket Blog: India vs Sri Lanka, Asia Cup 2016 IND vs SL, 7th T20 Match at Dhaka

Chamara Kapugedara and Angel Mathews then added a useful 26. Mathews took on Pandya, hitting the bowler for two boundaries in an over before Pandya got him to inside edge one back onto the stumps for 18 off 19 balls. Milinda Siriwardana came in next and put on an important 43 with Kapugedara. However, from 100 for 4 Sri Lanka fell to 105 for 7. Siriwardana hit Ashwin to Suresh Raina, Dasun Shanaka was run out off a free hit, and Kapugedara hit Bumrah straight to Pandya in the deep. READ: India vs Sri Lanka, Asia Cup T20 2016, Match 7 at Dhaka, Highlights from 1st innings

The Sri Lankan lower order then came to the fore and gave the bowlers something to defend. Thisara Perera slogged 17 off 6 balls with 2 fours and a six, and Nuwan Kulasekara scored 13 off 9 balls to help Sri Lanka set India a target just short of 140. Had it not been for Sri Lanka’s lower order contribution India could have been faced with another easy chase. India’s target was merely 139; given how well they have batted in the tournament so far it is not a huge ask.

Earlier at the toss, India made the expected change of bringing Shikhar Dhawan in to replace Ajinkya Rahane. Dhoni won the toss and elected to bowl first. Sri Lanka made no changes to their side despite losing their last match to Bangladesh. Lasith Malinga’s injury continued to keep him out of action, as Angelo Mathews continued to lead Sri Lanka.

Brief scores:

Sri Lanka 138 for 9 in 20 overs (Chamara Kapugedara 30; Jasprit Bumrah 2 for 27, Hardik Pandya 2 for 26) vs India.

Full Scorecard

(Shiamak Unwalla, a reporter with CricketCountry, is an animal lover and comic, film and TV geek. A fast bowler at heart, he loves watching a good, low-scoring game of cricket. His Twitter handle is @ShiamakUnwalla)