India bagged the T20 series against Sri Lanka without much trouble. They won the third T20I at Pune with a whooping 78-run margin. Lasith Malinga won the toss and opted to bat first which was on the cards because of the dew factor.
KL Rahul and Shikhar Dhawan smashed blazing half-centuries and laid the platform for the likes of Shardul Thakur and Manish Pandey to go berserk in the death overs.
Manish, the gun-fielder, saved many certain boundaries and took spectacular catches in the field as well, contributing massively in the emphatic win. Despite losing wickets at regular intervals, India managed to hit boundaries consistently and got to the 200 mark.
Sanju Sampson got an opportunity after a long time and he started his innings brilliantly with a huge six on the very first ball but then quickly got trapped LBW off a brute of a googly from Wanindu Hasaranga who was the rare bright spot in the bowling attack.
Shreyas Iyer played a pivotal role in the victory in Indore but today he got out cheaply by handing an easy caught and bowl opportunity to Lakshan Sandakan.
Virat Kohli arrived and typically steadied the ship with a quickfire 26 which didn't stymied the momentum of the innings. He flicked a Lahiru Kumara's full-length delivery towards square leg and a sharp throw from the deep resulted in his run out but even that untimely wicket didn't halt the onslaught from India's batsmen.
Lasith Malinga got a few balls to swing extravagantly in his opening burst but the ageing warrior couldn't chip in with any wickets and that didn't allow Sri Lanka to get an upper hand in the game. Angelo Mathews rolled his arms after a long hiatus and leaked plenty of runs in three overs.
Lahiru Kumara got the pace going for him but every now and then, strayed in his line which allowed Indian batsmen to accelerate.Sri Lanka chase started in the worst possible manner as too many miscued shots didn't help their cause. India drew first blood in the very first over as Jasprit Bumrah angled a delivery across off and Danushka Gunathilaka went back in the crease, tried to get underneath the pull and Washington Sundar at mid-on gobbled an easy catch.
Shardul Thakur outsmarted Avishka Fernando in the second over of the innings and so both openers were back in the hut inside the powerplay. Sri Lanka were, for the most part, on the backfoot in the chase.They continued to wobble as Oshahda Fernando had an ugly mix-up with Kusal Perera, he was running aimlessly from the non-striker's end while Bumrah was appealing for an LBW in the fourth over of the innings.
It was total chaos for Sri Lanka in the middle in the first six overs as Indian bowlers showed their exceptional skills and Sri Lanka were conspicuously under scoreboard pressure.
Navdeep Saini castled Kusal Perera with a brilliant full-length delivery that uprooted the leg stump as versatile Indian bowling continued to wreak havoc on the visitors' batsmen. Thereafter, there was some dogged resistance shown by Angelo Mathews and Dhananjaya de Silva. They went with a counter-attacking approach that worked in their favour for a couple of overs before Mathews holed out to long-on and that left Dhananjaya with a herculean task.
Dasun Shanaka gave an easy caught and bowl opportunity to, the man of the match, Thakur and then the match was only heading one way.
India have started their T20 World Cup preparations on a positive note and they are poised to go from strength to strength while Mickey Arthur's apprentices have got a lot to work to do before the marquee tournament.