Hosts Sri Lanka take on India in the third and final T20 of the series at the R. Premadasa Stadium in Colombo on Thursday evening.
After failing to chase down the target in the first T20, Sri Lanka made hard work of chasing down the target of 133 runs in the second game. They eventually got home with 2 balls to spare, leveling this 3-match series going into the decider. A calm knock from Dhananjaya de Silva guided them out of trouble and across the line in the final over. All the Sri Lankan bowlers were economical and kept taking wickets at regular intervals, which enabled them to chase a low total. The team management may be tempted to retain the same side for this final game, given their win 24-hours ago.
A hugely depleted India side put up an excellent fight in a low-scoring affair but fell just short of defending the target despite a wonderful collective bowling effort. Following all-rounder Krunal Pandya’s positive Covid-19 result, eight squad players were identified as close contacts and will all be absent once again in this final T20. Captain Shikhar Dhawan led the way with the bat, top scoring in the game, while all five bowlers used by India picked up at least 1 wicket in their attempt to defend a below-par score. An improved batting performance may help in winning them the match and the series here.
With both sides looking for new talents who can perform big when the situation demands, the series results hang in the balance and will go to the better team at the Premadasa Stadium on Thursday.
- Match: Sri Lanka vs. India, 3rd T20
- Venue: R. Premadasa Stadium, Colombo
- Date & Time: Jul. 29, 2021, at 8 PM IST/Local
Probable Playing XI
Avishka Fernando, Minod Bhanuka (WK), Sadeera Samarawickrama, Dhananjaya de Silva, Dasun Shanaka (C), Wanindu Hasaranga, Ramesh Mendis, Chamika Karunaratne, Isuru Udana, Dushmantha Chameera, Akila Dananjaya
Ruturaj Gaikwad, Shikhar Dhawan (C), Devdutt Padikkal, Sanju Samson (WK), Nitish Rana, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Rahul Chahar, Kuldeep Yadav, Chethan Sakariya, Varun Chakravarthy, Arshdeep Singh
Weather and Pitch Report
Colombo is expected to have cloudy weather with no rain interruptions during the match. The temperature will be around 28 degrees during the game.
Premadasa has generally been a good cricket wicket, with the possibility of a competitive game on the cards. Batters are likely to dominate, despite some early help on offer for the bowlers from the surface. The pitch will slow down as the match progresses, bringing the spinners into play in the second innings. The average first-innings score at this venue in the last five T20 matches played has been 151 runs.
With a good chasing record in the last 10 matches and dew playing a part in the second innings, expect either captain to opt to chase upon winning the toss. A score of around 170 runs should be a competitive one here.
Top Fantasy Picks
- Avishka Fernando will be disappointed with not being able to score a big knock, despite looking good in both the previous games. His inning in the second T20 was cut short by an excellent catch for just 11 runs. He has scored 37 runs in two innings at a strike rate of 102.77.
- Dhananjaya de Silva was adjudged the Player of the Match for his sensible 40-run innings after the team was in trouble at the halfway mark. He hit only 1 four and 1 six throughout his innings and rotated the strike well. He will be looking to repeat the same here.
- Dushmantha Chameera has been economical and picked up key wickets in the series so far. He has taken 3 wickets in two matches at an average of 15.67. With young and inexperienced batters in the Indian top-order, he will be looking for more wickets here.
- Shikhar Dhawan was the joint top-scorer in the second T20, scoring 40 runs from 42 balls, including 5 boundaries. He was not able to play and score at his usual style as the Sri Lankan bowlers bowled well to him. Expect him to start the innings in a more aggressive way here.
- Ruturaj Gaikwad was awarded for his consistent run-scoring in the India T20 League. He made 2 half centuries in seven matches this season in addition to the 3 consecutive fifties at the back end of the last season. He scored 21 runs off 18 balls in the last match.
- Rahul Chahar had come into this tour in good form and did not disappoint so far in the two matches played. He was economical in the second T20, picking up the important wicket of Hasaranga in the process. He took 11 wickets for Mumbai in seven matches in the T20 League.
Howzat Dream Team
- Wicketkeeper: S Samson
- Batsmen: A Fernando, S Dhawan, D Shanaka, R Gaikwad
- All-rounders: D de Silva, W Hasaranga
- Bowlers: V Chakravarthy, R Chahar, C Sakariya, D Chameera
- Captain: D de Silva/W Hasaranga
- Vice Captain: S Samson/R Chahar
NOTE: The Howzat dream team above is just a suggestion. You can make your fantasy 11 and play fantasy cricket matches. Also, don’t forget to make any necessary changes to your team once the actual playing 11 is announced by each team (30 minutes before the start of the match) as some players you have selected might not be part of the team suggested.
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