India vs Sri Lanka: Axar Patel Hits Wanindu Hasaranga For 3 Straight Sixes In 2nd T20I. Watch

Thanks to Axar Patel (65 off 31 balls) and Suryakumar Yadav’s (51 off 36 balls) blistering knocks, India looked like having a great chance to topple Sri Lanka in the second T20I on Thursday. Chasing a 207-run target, India were 57/5 in 9.1 overs when Axar and Suryakumar struck a 91-run stand.

The task became tough once Surya departed in the 16th over, but Axar and Shivam Mavi (26 off 15) shared quick 41 runs to bring down the equation to 21 off the last over. But Axar’s dismissal in the third ball of the final over meant that the fight was over.

Earlier, Suryakumar and Axar tried to up the ante with a sensational 91-run sixth-wicket partnership off just 40 balls to keep India afloat after a forgettable start. Axar was particularly severe on off-spinner Maheesh Theekshana, clobbering the bowler for a four and six over long-on in the 13th over. It was not just Theekshana, Wanindu Hasaranga too had to bear the brunt of Axar’s aggression as the left-hander smacked the bowler for a hat-trick of sixes in the 14th over.

Watch: Axar Patel Hits Wanindu Hasaranga For 3 Straight Sixes in 2nd T20I

Axar brought up his maiden fifty off just 20 balls with a six of Karunaratne over long-off. Surya followed suit, registering another fine fifty with a six off over square-leg off Madhushanaka.

The duo raised hopes of a famous victory but it was not to be as the visitors pulled the strings just in time to level the series.

Earlier, Sri Lanka skipper Dasun Shanaka made a rear-guard unbeaten 56 off 22 balls, while wicket-keeper Kusal Mendis hit a 31-ball 52 to power Sri Lanka to an imposing 206 for 6. Shivam Mavi (4-0-53-0), Arshdeep Singh (2-0-37-0) and Umran Malik (4-0-48-3) were guilty of delivering too many loose balls as Sri Lanka batters made merry.

Chasing the total, India lost openers Ishan Kishan and Shubman Gill in the second over to Kasun Rajitha. If that was not enough debutant Rahul Tripathi sneaked one to Kusal Mendis off Dilshan Madhushanaka in the next over before skipper Hardik Pandya departed an over later as India slumped to 34 for 4 in 4.4 overs. Deepak Hooda was the fifth wicket to fall. After that, Suryakumar and Axar batted valiantly but India could manage only 190/8 in 20 overs.

(With PTI inputs)

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