Kohli and India flourish again
Virat Kohli and Irfan Pathan helped India heap further misery on Sri Lanka with a 39-run victory in the one-off Twenty20 international at Pallekele.
The hosts suffered a 4-1 defeat in the preceding one-day international series, which featured two match-winning centuries from Kohli.
Today, the batsman widely regarded as the brightest young star in Indian cricket thumped 68 from 48 deliveries to underpin an imposing total of 155 for three.
Left-arm seamer Irfan then struck in each of his first three overs with the new ball, before fellow paceman Ashok Dinda ran through the tail.
Sri Lanka, for whom Angelo Mathews top-scored with 31, lost their final six wickets for 20 runs to be dismissed for 116, with Dinda striking thrice in the 18th over to finish with 4-19.
India began shakily after being inserted on a dry track.
Gautam Gambhir was dropped at deep midwicket in the opening over by Shaminda Eranga, who quickly made amends by bowling the left-hander.
Kohli took charge thereafter, dominating Sri Lanka’s attack again with an array of attractive strokes.
He shared 74 with Ajinkya Rahane, who contributed 21, before upping the tempo in the company of Suresh Raina.
After Kohli had fallen in the 17th over, caught at deep midwicket off Eranga, Raina finished unbeaten on 34 from 25 deliveries and skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni added 16.
Irfan quickly undermined Sri Lanka’s reply upon the resumption. Tillakaratne Dilshan was bowled for a golden duck by a wonderful inswinger; Upul Tharanga edged to first slip and Mahela Jayawardene departed lbw for 26, having struck four fours in the previous over from Umesh Yadav.
Lahiru Thirimanne and Mathews did their best to repair the situation, but the innings fell apart once the latter was caught behind off Dinda.