Ashwin Jadeja WTC Final
India's move to pick two spinners, Ravichandran Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja, in the 2021 WTC Final against New Zealand backfired.

Shreyas Iyer smashed an unbeaten 74 off 44 balls as India beat Sri Lanka by seven wickets in the second Twenty20 at Dharamsala on Saturday to take an unassailable 2-0 lead in the three-match series.

Iyer put on 84 runs off 47 balls with Sanju Samson (39) for the third wicket as India finished with 186-3 in 17.1 overs in reply to Sri Lanka’s 183-5 after the hosts won the toss and chose to field.

India lost Rohit Sharma (1) early on in its chase. Lahiru Kumara (2-31) troubled Ishan Kishan (16) with some fiery pace before dismissing him.

India was 44-2 in 5.1 overs when Iyer and Samson came together. Their 50-partnership came off 37 balls.

Iyer reached his second consecutive T20 half-century off 30 balls. He had scored 57 not out off 28 balls in the first game in Lucknow.

Overall, Iyer struck six fours and four sixes. At the other end, Samson hit two fours and three sixes as India took 28 runs off three overs immediately after the halfway stage.

Samson fell against the run of play with Binura Fernando taking a one-handed stunner at slip.

Ravindra Jadeja then came to the crease and didn’t let up the scoring pressure. He put on 58 runs off only 26 balls with Iyer as India coasted to victory.

Jadeja scored 45 not out off only 18 balls, including seven fours and a six as India won with 17 balls to spare.

Earlier, Sri Lanka made a slow start to their innings but Pathum Nissanka and Danuskha Gunathilaka (38) made up the scoring rate as they put on 67 for the first wicket.

Nissanka scored 75 off 53 balls, including 11 fours, his sixth T20 half-century. He anchored the Sri Lankan innings, which suffered a middle-order collapse.

Yuzvendra Chahal (1-27), Ravindra Jadeja (1-37) and Harshal Patel (1-52) took a wicket apiece as Sri Lanka was reduced to 102-4 in 14.4 overs.

Skipper Dasun Shanaka then smacked 47 not out off 19 balls including two fours and five sixes.

The visitors plundered 72 runs off the last four overs but their competitive total didn’t prove enough on the day.

The third and final T20 will also be played in Dharamsala on Sunday. The Himalayan town has witnessed steady rainfall over the past few days.

“Ravindra Jadeja looked positive from ball one. And Shreyas Iyer came when wickets were falling and played a very good knock. Both Iyer and Jadeja were fantastic,” said Rohit Sharma.

“The kind of form Shreyas Iyer is in we couldn’t have asked anything better from him. Sanju Samson is quite talented. And guys like him just need an opportunity to perform and other guys time will also.come,” he added.

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