Shivam Mavi, Deepak Hooda shine in India’s narrow 2-run win in 1st T20I against Sri Lanka in Mumbai

Indian players celebrate their thrilling win over Sri Lanka in the 1st T20I at the Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai

India defeated Sri Lanka to take a crucial 1-0 lead against the Asia Cup 2022 champions at the Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai on Tuesday night, clinching a narrow 2-run win in the first of the three-match series. 

The second game will now be played on Thursday at the Maharashtra Cricket Association (MCA) Ground in Pune, while the Saurashtra Cricket Association (SCA) Ground in Rajkot will host the third and final T20I on Saturday. The two Asian rivals will also be engaged in a three-match ODI series following the T20Is. 

Shivam Mavi took a 4-wicket haul in his T20I debut while the likes of Deepak Hooda and Akshar Patel impressed with the bat as India got the better of the Sri Lankan side in a thrilling finish. After batting first, India posted a competitive total of 162/5 in their 20 overs and in the reply, Sri Lanka were bowled out for 160 with their final two wickets coming on the last two deliveries of the contest.

India were off to a flying start with their opening pair of Ishan Kishan and Shubman Gill adding 27 runs in the first two overs before Sri Lanka drew the first blood. The debutant Shubman Gill was trapped leg before by Maheesh Theekshana for 7, while No 3 Suryakumar Yadav was also dismissed for a similar score by Chamika Karunaratne of India slipped to 38/2 inside the powerplay.

The matters became worse for India in the seventh over of the match when Sanju Samson was removed from the equation by Dhananjaya de Silva, with the right hand batsman calling for just 5 after being sent out to bat at No 4.

India kept losing wickets in regular intervals with their captain Hardik Pandya perishing for a 27-ball 29 including 4 boundaries while opening batsman Ishan Kishan making 37 from 29 balls with 2 sixes and th3ree boundaries. 

At one stage, it looked like India would not cross the 150-run mark but the pair of Deepak Hooda and Akshar Patel did a splendid job with the bat to take them to a competitive total.

Deepak Hooda smacked 4 sixes and a boundary to make 41 not out from 23 balls while Akshar Patel scored 31 not out from 20 balls with 3 boundaries and a six. These two batsmen added 68 runs unbeaten for the 6th wicket to shift the momentum completely in India’s favour. 

Indian began strongly in their defence with Shivam Mavi cleaning up Pathum Nissanka for 1 and removing Dhananjaya de Silva for 8 to strike early, while Harshal Patel got the rid of an on-song Kusal Mendis for 25, studded with 5 boundaries. 

The express pace of Umran Malik was also too hot to handle for the Sri Lankans as the right-arm speedster returned with 4-0-27-2, accounting for the likes of Charith Asalanka (12) and eventually Dasun Shanaka, whose wicket turned the game in India’s favour completely. 

The Sri Lankan captain smacked 3 sixes and as many fours to make 45 off 27, keeping their hopes alive of a late win in the contest. His counterattack brought the equation down to 40 needed in 24 balls, but Umran Malik bowled a delivery at 155 kmph to bamboozle the Sri Lankan captain, who was dismissed off a sharp catch by Yuzvendra Chahal. 

However, still was there still was more fight left in the SriLankan ranks with Chamka Karunaratne smacking a six off Harshal Patel in the penultimate over to bring the equation down to 13 needed from the final over, to be bowled by Akshar Patel since Hardik Pandya had suffered a severe cramp and could not complete his quota of four overs.

Chamika Karunaratne was able to hit the third ball of the last over for a six over midwicket but Sri Lanka still could not manage to score 5 runs off the last three balls, as India completed a narrow but thrilling victory, with both Chamika Karunaratne and Kasun Rajitha being run out.