Pallekele, Aug 8: India skipper MS Dhoni pleased with India's performance in the one-off T20, credited the win to the bowlers for restricting Sri Lanka to 116 and register a 39-run victory at Pallekele on Tuesday.
Dhoni relied more on part time spinners and pacers on Tuesday, as none of them disappointed the skipper as Virat Kohli cut the run flow, while Ashok Dinda and Irfan Pathan claimed four and three wickets respectively.
Having won the toss and elected to bowl, Lanka failed to restrict the Indian batting line-up as Virat Kohli played a fine knock to mark his career-best T20 score (68) against Sri Lanka to help India post a challenging 155/3 in 20 overs.
Defending a challenging 155/3 Indian bowlers started off very well as they removed Dilshan (0), Tharanga (5), Mendis (11), Jayawardene (26), Thirimanne (20), Chandimal (7) very early in the innings which gave India an upper hand, as the visitors went on to win the match by 39 runs, their largest win by runs margin against Sri Lanka.
Talking about the team's performance after the match, MS Dhoni credited the win to the bowlers.
"Overall, we were really good. It was a good performance. We thought of a high scoring game but it was slightly different as the ball was swinging till the 20th over. So it was not really easy to slog. We thought we were 10-15 runs short. Especially the way Sri lankan team started, we thought that may be the case but our bowlers came back beautifully," Dhoni said at the post-match presentation ceremony.
Pleased with the team's performance, Dhoni said Virat Kohli and Rohit Sharma's bowling was veryu crucial as part timers did cut down the run flow to put pressure on the opponents.
"They bowled in the right areas. It was important to take wickets and that's what we did. The combination of Virat and Rohit was a big plus point for us. If you are looking to play with four specialist bowlers and a part-timer, they bowled well as a unit. If in four overs, they concede 30-35 runs, it's ok with us. Our strength is having that seventh batsman in the side. Quite happy with the performance," said the skipper.
When asked about the reason for India's dominance over hosts, Dhoni said "The wickets have changed here. When I first came here, the ball used to stop a lot. But now the pitches have been re-laid. I think we mastered our bowling and batting better than them."
With another victory, India have finished the tour of Sri Lanka on a high, after a 4-1 ODI series win, giving Duncan Fletcher and the support staff a reason to smile after two disastrous overseas tours.