Pallekele, Aug 7: Virat Kohli, Irfan Pathan and Ashok Dinda were the star performers as India won the one off Twenty20 International against Sri Lanka by 39 runs here on Tuesday night. With this success, India have catapulted to second from seventh in ICC T20I Rankings.
After Kohli had helped India to 155/3 with his highest T20I score of 68, Irfan took three wickets early, including Tillakaratne Dilshan for duck to restrict the hosts to 116 all out in 18 overs. Ashok Dinda too was magnificent with ball, taking his T20I best of 4/19 to guide India to a comfortable win.
The left-hander Irfan had an impressive tour to Sri Lanka. He was originally not picked but came in as a replacement for the injured Vinay Kumar. And he made this opportunity count.
With this, India completed twin series victories. They won the five-match One Day international series 4-1 and now this solitary game 1-0.
India innings report
Virat Kohli registered his highest Twenty20 International score of 68 and Suresh Rania made a quick 34 not out to guide India to 155/3 in 20 overs against Sri Lanka in the one off T20 here on Tuesday.
India were on target to post a bigger score but faltered in the final five overs. They were kept to 35 runs in the last five overs.
Kohli had never scored a half century in his nine previous T20Is. His highest, before this was 31. But today, he carried his One Day International form into the shortest format of the game to boost Indian total after they were sent to bat.
The Indian vice-captain, who won the Man-of-the-series award in the five-match ODI series which concluded on Saturday, was aggressive in approach.
Kohli was dismissed in the 17th over for 68 off 48 balls with 11 fours and one six.
After the early loss of Gautam Gambhir, Kohli and Ajinkya Rahane (21) set India on way for big score.
Sri Lanka debutant Shamida Eranga got Gambhir's wicket in his first over. Eranga, the right-arm medium fast bowler became the first bowler to take a wicket in his first over in all three formats of the game.
Eranga finished with 2/30 in four overs. It is a good debut for the 26-year-old.
Sri Lanka have won the toss and elected to field against India in the one off Twenty20 International at the Pallekele International Cricket Stadium here on Tuesday night.
India have made one change from their previous fifth ODI. Umesh Yadav replaces Zaheer Khan. Sri Lanka made three changes. Mahela Jayawardene returns to lead, in place of Chamara Kapugedera. Sachitra Senanayake and Nuwan Pradeep made way for Rangana Herath and Shaminda Eranga. Eranga, the right-arm medium fast bowler is making his T20 International debut today.
India won the five-match One Day International series 4-1 and are now looking to wrap up the tour with yet another victory over their neighbours. The match is being played on the same pitch which was used for the fifth and final ODI between the two teams here on Saturday. That game was a high scoring one which India won by 20 runs after scoring 294.
This is also a preparation for both teams ahead of the ICC World Twenty20 2012 which starts here on September 18.
India are without Virender Sehwag, who returned home on Sunday night following an injury. He is back at the National Cricket Academy (NCA) in Bangalore. Sehwag had missed the final ODI on Saturday. Zaheer is also at NCA after the completion of the ODI leg of the tour.
India: MS Dhoni (captain and wicketkeeper), Virat Kohli (vice-captain), Gautam Gambhir, Rohit Sharma, Manoj Tiwary, Ajinkya Rahane, Suresh Raina, Ravichandran Ashwin, Irfan Pathan, Umesh Yadav, Ashok Dinda.
Sri Lanka: Mahela Jayawardene (captain), Angelo Mathews (vice-captain), Tillakaratne Dilshan, Dinesh Chandimal (wicketkeeper), Lasith Malinga, Thisara Perera, Jeevan Mendis, Upul Tharanga, Lahiru Thirimanne, Rangana Herath, Shaminda Eranga.
Umpires: Kumar Dharmasena and Tyron Wijewardene (both Sri Lanka)
Third Umpire: Ruchira Palliyaguruge (Sri Lanka)
Match Referee: Chris Broad (England)