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Sri Lankan spinners restrict India to 162/5

The spinners stemmed the flow of runs in the middle overs

India Sri Lanka T20 India's Hardik Pandya falls while batting during the first Twenty20 cricket match between India and Sri Lanka in Mumbai, India | AP

India batters found the Sri Lankan spinners hard to put away before Deepak Hooda and Axar Patel took the hosts to 162 for five in the first T20I here on Tuesday.

Hooda (41 not out off 23) and Axar (31 not out off 20) shared an unbeaten 68-run stand off 38 balls for the sixth wicket after India found themselves at a shaky 94 for five at the high-scoring Wankhede Stadium.

Playing his first international innings since the double hundred in Bangladesh, Ishan Kishan (37 off 29) went ballistic in the first over itself that yielded 17 runs.

Searching for some swing, right-arm pacer Kasun Rajitha pitched it up and Kishan was quick to flick it over deep square leg for a massive six. Then a slower ball was hit down the ground for four before Kishan pulled Rajitha for another boundary.

Shubman Gill (7), who made his T20 debut on Tuesday alongside Shivam Mavi, began his innings with a delightful cover driver off Dilshan Madhushanka.

Sri Lanka's Dasun Shanaka introduced spin in the third over via Maheesh Theekshana and he delivered with the wicket of Gill who missed a straighter one from the mystery spinner to be trapped in front of the stumps. Hoping against hope, Gill wasted a review in the process.

India's best T20 batter Suryakumar Yadav (7) too perished cheaply, leaving the hosts at 41 for two in the powerplay. Playing his first game in front of his home crowd, Surya went for his usual scoop shot but mistimed it to be caught at short fine leg by Bhanuka Rajapaksa off Chamika Karunaratne.

Sanum Samson (5) wasted another oppourtunity by mistiming a slog off Dhananjaya de Silva.

The spinners stemmed the flow of runs in the middle overs with India collecting only 26 in overs 10-15 with the loss of Kishan and skipper Hardik Pandya (29 off 27), who could not find his range after starting with a couple of exquisite stokes on the offside.

Coming in at number six, Hooda tried to change the course of the innings with back-to-back sixes over deep midwicket off Theekshana. He targeted the same area against Hasaranga in the next over, depositing him for a maximum.

He had good support from Axar as the duo helped India get to a decent total.


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