By BV Swagath
Sri Lanka prevailed over India by 5 runs in an ICC World T20 Warm-up match at Mirpur. India made heavy weather of chasing a modest target of 154 by losing too many wickets.
Lasith Malinga held his nerve to bowl a fantastic final over to prevent the Indians from scoring 12 runs. Malinga captured four wickets for 30 runs in his 4 overs. Two of his wickets came in the final over as India were bowled out for 148.
India had a poor start pegged back by some neat bowling by Angelo Mathews at the start. Shikhar Dhawan and Rohit Sharma departed early to have India at 19 for 2 in the 5th over. Suresh Raina rectified the situation but couldn’t go the distance. Raina got out for a 31-ball 41 which mainly had pull shots off the pacers.
Virat Kohli who walked in at no.6 played a sweet cameo of 17 from 9 balls before he was bowled off an inside edge by Lasith Malinga. Yuvraj Singh kept the momentum going but he too failed to last till the end. The left-hander was caught behind off Kulasekara for a 28-ball 33.
Skipper MS Dhoni didn’t turn out to bat and towards the end R Ashwin tried to pull off a thrilling victory but only to be outsmarted by Malinga.
Earlier, the Indian bowlers kept Sri Lanka down to 153 for 6. Varun Aaron bowled with fire to take 1 for 18 in 3 overs. R Ashwin was impressive for his 3 for 22 while Amit Mishra looked good with his variations although he went for 38 in his four overs.
The top scorer for SL was Mahela Jayawardene with 30 from 20 balls. It was a last moment cameo from Nuwan Kulasekara (21* from 14 balls) that gave a fine finish for the Lankans.