India eked out a thrilling two-run win over reigning Asian champions Sri Lanka in the T20I series opener at the Wankhede Stadium on Tuesday.
Man of the match Deepak Hooda, whose 23-ball 41 and unbeaten 68-run sixth wicket partnership in 35 balls with Axar Patel (31 off 20 balls), lifted India to a winning total of 162 for five, said at the post match press conference that the duo targeted Lanka’s mystery spinner Maheesh Theekshana at the right time.
Thrived on loose balls
“It was his [Theekshana’s] last over. There were some loose balls and it was a perfect time [to start the assault]. Axar also felt we could target him. That’s what happened and we executed it well,” said Hooda who struck the bowler for successive sixes.
Hooda with Axar Patel, who hit one six and three fours, boosted India from 100 for five in 15 overs to a challenging what ultimately proved to be a winning score.
Also Read: Ton-up Deepak Hooda reveals going out to bat with ‘warrior’ mentality
Important to be ready
“When you bat at number 6 you need to be ready to rally the team if wickets fall before you,” said Hooda.
Debutant Shivam Mavi then grabbed a sensational 4 for 22 and, with good back-up from the other two pacers, Umran Malik (2-27) and Harshal Patel (2-41), pushed the Lankans against the ropes. Skipper Hardik Pandya, who made 29 and bowled three economical overs, also chipped in as India bowled out Lanka for 160 to snatch a narrow win and take a 1-0 lead in the three-game series. The second match will be held in Pune today.