As India won the toss and elected to field first, the bowlers responded well with a good performance. Thakur opened the bowling for India along with Jasprit Bumrah for a steady start. It was, however, Thakur’s performance towards the end of the innings that caught the eye. He was bowling the penultimate over of the innings and showed some admirable death bowling skills.
His second ball was a knuckleball that dismissed the Dhananjaya de Silva. The last two balls of the over were also similar slower balls that dismissed Isuru Udana and Lasith Malinga. Unfortunately for Shardul Thakur, he did not have any more balls left to attempt a hattrick of wickets. A video clip of Thakur’s three wickets was obtained from bcci.tv.
Thakur ended the innings as the highest wicket-taker for India in what was a collective bowling performance.
“The pitch is good to bat on. They tried a lot of shots, unfortunately, it didn’t come off for them. It was clever bowling from all the bowlers. They swing their bat hard, if you keep bowling one length they’ll come hard at you. Varying the length is the key,” Thakur told Star Sports during the innings break.
“If I have bowled a couple of good balls, it’s (knuckleball) good variation. This format demands you to bowl 1-2-over spells.”
India went in with five specialist bowlers and all the bowlers contributed well. Kuldeep Yadav and Navdeep Saini finished with two wickets each while Washington Sundar and Jasprit Bumrah chipped in with a wicket each.
At the end, India were set a target of 143 runs after Sri Lanka finished at 142 runs with nine wickets down after their 20 overs.