Kohli fires India to seven-wicket T20 win


A blistering innings (82 from 54 balls) from skipper Virat Kohli led the Men in Blue to a handsome win with seven wickets and four balls to spare over Sri Lanka in the one-off T20 worldwide at R Premadasa Stadium here on Wednesday.

While India bowlers definitely did unbelievable task of restricting the Sri Lankan side to just 207 all-out, part of the credit for the win goes to Skipper Virat Kohli and Rohit Sharma who both hit quickfire centuries - 219 runs for the second wicket off just 168 balls.

Kohli, who received the man of the match award, remained calm in a tricky chase with Pandey for company after India lost their openers for 42 runs in the sixth over. However, the quick run rate ensured that Sri Lanka have some kind of momentum going into the last few overs and some time to build a partnership when wickets were falling down regularly.

Sri Lanka had earlier put up a competitive total of 170 for 7.

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The focus of the lone T20I was whether India would be able to complete a 9-0 thrashing of Sri Lanka across formats.

Having comprehensively won the Test and ODI series 3-0 and 5-0 respectively, the tourists headed to Colombo aiming to sweep the board.

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Chahal was the pick of the bowlers with three wickets, while Kuldeep Yadav snapped up two, and Kumar and Bumrah chipped in with one wicket apiece. Speaking at the post-match presentation ceremony, he said "I am very, very happy as a captain".

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Earlier, lower-order cameos by Ashan Priyanjan (40* off 40) and Isuru Udana (19* off 10) took Sri Lanka to 170/7, after Dilshan Munaweera's brisk 53 followed a middle-order collapse that left the hosts stuttering at 113/6.

Pothas said Sri Lanka have some good players but they need self belief to become world-class players. When India were 2 down, Sri Lanka were right back in the game with scoring rate being brought down and new batsmen at the crease.

Sri Lanka has invited Petronet LNG to set up a liquid gas import terminal in that country, marking a major success for the Narendra Modi government's energy diplomacy and signalling India's emergence as a gas bridge for South Asia. We had a good start.

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