LUCKNOW: Opener Ishan Kishan hit an explosive 89 to set up a thumping 62-run victory for India in the first Twenty20 international against Sri Lanka on Thursday. The left-handed Kishan put on an opening stand of 111 with skipper Rohit Sharma, who hit 44, to guide India to 199 for two after being invited to bat at the start of the three-match series in Lucknow. Rohit surpassed former captain Virat Kohli (3,296) and New Zealand’s Martin Guptill (3,299) to become the world’s leading run-getter in T20 internationals. The swashbuckling opener has amassed 3,307 runs in 123 matches.
Shreyas Iyer smashed 57 off 28 deliveries to add to the Indian total which the bowlers comfortably defended after they kept down Sri Lanka to 137-6 and lead the series 1-0. Kishan, a wicketkeeper-batsman, came out attacking as he hit Chamika Karunaratne for three successive boundaries and went on to record his second T20 half-century in 30 balls. Fast bowler Lahiru Kumara denied Rohit 50 with a delivery that sneaked under the bat and rattled the off stump. Kishan, who survived a dropped catch on 43, kept up the attack and smashed Kumara for six and two boundaries.
But the 23-year-old rising star missed out on a century after he got caught out at mid-wicket off skipper Dasun Shanaka. Iyer took charge in his final assault as he hit five fours and two sixes in an unbeaten 44-run stand with Ravindra Jadeja. Sri Lanka was never in the chase after India’s pace spearhead Bhuvneshwar Kumar removed the openers including Pathum Nissanka for naught on the first ball of the innings.
Returning left-arm spinner Jadeja got senior batsman Dinesh Chandimal stumped for 10 as wickets kept falling for the tourists. Leg-spinner Yuzvendra Chahal sent back Shanaka for three to become India’s top wicket-taker in T20Is as he west past fast bowler Jasprit Bumrah’s 66 scalps. Charith Asalanka scored his third T20 fifty and finished with an unbeaten 53 off 47 balls in an unbeaten partnership of 40 with Dushmantha Chameera, who made 24. The teams now move to Dharamsala for the second and third matches.