Colombo: India skipper Virat Kohli just doesn’t tire when chasing down totals and on Wednesday once again produced a sensational innings to help India to a 7 wicket win in the only T20I against Sri Lanka at the R. Premadasa Stadium in Colombo.
It was the first time that an Indian cricket team registered an all-win record across formats in an overseas tour. Chasing a competitive total of 171, India lost KL Rahul and Rohit Sharma early but Kohli and Pandey had other ideas as they stitched together a 119-run partnership to take India closer to victory. With four balls to spare Manish Pandey (51*) hit the winning runs as India whitewashed Sri Lanka 9-0 across all-formats in a single series.
Kohli slammed a scintillating 82 off 54 balls, but more importantly, he became the batsman to score maximum runs in run-chases when he reached 73. He overtook none other than Kiwi legend Brendon McCullum who had 1006 runs to his name. In doing so, he became the fastest batsman to score 15000 international runs across formats in 333 innings, improving Hashim Amla’s record of 336 innings.
Kohli also crossed Martin Guptill’s tally of 1806 runs to become the third-highest scorer in T20Is behind Brendon McCullum (2140) and Tilakratne Dilshan (1889).
Earlier, Dilshan Munaweera smashed his maiden half-century while debutant Ashan Priyanjan played a useful hand to guide Sri Lanka to a respectable 170 for seven.
Playing his 10th T20 match, Munaweera scored a quick-fire 53 off 29 balls with the help of five boundaries and as many as four hits over the fence to keep up Sri Lanka’s momentum at the R Premadasa Stadium here. He was ably supported by Priyanjan, who scored a run-a-ball unbeaten 40 during which he hit one boundary and two sixes to take Sri Lanka to the fighting total.
For India, chinaman bowler Kuldeep Yadav confounded the batsmen with his variations, finishing with a superb two for 20. Leg spinner Yuzhvendra Chahal came back strongly after being hit to claim three for 43 while left-arm Axar Patel (0/30) was steady.