Thakur, Pandey star as India beats Sri Lanka in tri-series T20

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Sri Lanka got off to a great start on the back of another fine fifty from Kusal Mendis at the top of the order.

Apart from Thakur, Sundar also bowled a brilliant spell of four overs taking two wickets and conceding only 21 runs. Danushka Gunathilaka (17) gave a blistering start to the innings with his seven-ball knock as Sri Lanka raced to 24 for naught in two overs. I have done this previously for other teams including Mumbai.

India would make heavy weather of the chase with spinner Akila Dananjaya getting Sri Lanka back into the game by removing both India openers in the space of three balls leaving the tourists 22 for 2 after three overs and one ball.

The "knuckle ball" is being used as a variation by a lot of Indian bowlers now including pace spearhead Bhuvneshwar Kumar. "I always knew what the grip was, and then I learned it on my own".

Bangladesh skipper Mahmudullah said Tuesday the underdogs, fresh from upsetting Sri Lanka, plan to hone their "brand" of Twenty20 cricket against India in a key tri-series showdown. When Bangladesh played India last, there was a passage of play where India went without boundaries for 14 balls.

However, later India came to chase 152 runs against Sri Lanka.

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A few players such as Deepak Hooda, Mohammed Siraj, Akshar Patel are yet to play a game in the tournament, which means the goal of sending a second string side has not been served.

India captain Rohit Sharma (R) and his deputy Shikhar Dhawan take part in a training session at the R Premadasa Stadium in Colombo yesterday ahead of today's tri-series fixture against Bangladesh.

Suresh Raina made a creditable contribution of 27 but it was left to another standout performer, Dinesh Karthik (39 not out), to hit the winning run with nine balls to spare.

Though IPL's costliest Indian buy Jaydev Unadkat has been expensive in all the matches, his experience should keep him in the playing XI even though there is Siraj, who is a few clicks quicker compared to the Saurashtra pacer.

Although Shardul Thakur's resume is wafer-thin when it comes to actual worldwide appearances, he has been linked with the national side and has studied the bowling from close quarters, apart from his IPL experience, over the last two years.

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