Shivam Mavi had a fantastic debut with a relentless exhibition of fast bowling in India’s close two-run victory against a motivated Sri Lanka in the opening T20I in Mumbai on Tuesday.
Shivam Mavi had a fantastic debut with a relentless exhibition of fast bowling in India’s close two-run victory against a motivated Sri Lanka in the opening T20I in Mumbai on Tuesday. The Indian hitters struggled against the Sri Lankan spinners before Deepak Hooda (41*) and Axar Patel (31*) led the hosts to 162 for five. The Sri Lankans had the firepower to chase down 163, but Mavi’s strikes at the start and finish of the innings swung the game in the home team’s favour.
The game came down to the final over, with spinner Axar Patel managing to protect 13 runs. Mavi finished with the enviable statistics of four for 22 in four overs. Sri Lanka were all out for 160 in 20 overs, despite battling efforts from skipper Dasun Shanaka (45 off 27) and Chamika Karunaratne (23 not out off 16).
This is India’s lowest defensive total at this stadium. Hardik Pandya chose to bowl the opening over, and the pressure he created aided rookie Mavi at the other end. Hardik bowled with vigour and scarcely gave anything away, surrendering only 12 runs in three overs.
Mavi’s moment to remember came in his first over, when he struck back after being smacked for two fours by Kusal Mendis. Pathum Nissanka, who had already got a life in Hardik’s first over, had no idea about Mavi’s gem of a delivery that slashed back in to break the stumps.
Mavi was smacked for a couple of fours in his second over as well before he had Dhanajaya de Silva caught at mid-on. In the ninth over, Ishan Kishan grabbed a wonderful running backwards catch after Charith Asalanka mistimed a pull off Umran Malik.
Pacer Harshal Patel took his first wicket when a dangerous-looking Mendis found the deep point fielder before dismissing Bhanuka Rajapaksa with a slower ball, leaving Sri Lanka battling at 68 for five in the 11th over. Hardik had to leave the field for a few moments after catching Rajapaksa’s catch.
With a quickfire 40-run stand off 23 balls, Hasaranga and skipper Shanaka kept the game intriguing. Hasaranga put the Indians under pressure by hitting Yuzvendra Chahal for back-to-back sixes over mid-wicket, narrowing the equation to a very manageable 56 runs off 36 balls.
Mavi was summoned back to break the dangerous combination, which he achieved by catching Hasaranga in mid-air. Shanaka single-handedly held Sri Lanka in the game until succumbing to Umran in the 17th over. The game was eventually decided in the last over, with Chamika Karunratne offering a ray of hope for the visitors. Axar was brought in to defend 13 in the last over when Hardik was unable to bowl his fourth over due to a tumble on the field.
Earlier, Hooda and Axar put on an unbroken 68-run partnership off 38 balls for India’s sixth wicket after they were reduced to 94 for five at the high-scoring Wankhede Stadium.