Lasith Malinga signs IPL contract for Dasun Shanaka after his great showing in Pune T20I against India
India and Sri Lanka played off a thriller as they locked horns in the second T20I at Maharashtra Cricket Association Stadium in Pune on Thursday. The Islanders managed a 16-point win in a high-scoring game to tie the three-game series at 1–1.
The tourists posted a huge 206/6 on the board after being asked to bat first. The Lankans looked comfortable to record a one-sided victory after taking five wickets from the hosts for just 57 runs midway through the leg.
However, the counterattack of Suryakumar Yadav and Axar Patel derailed Sri Lanka’s hopes of completing the proceedings early when the game was on the line. Both Surya and Axar smashed aggressive half-centuries to form a 91-run rapid-fire partnership for the sixth wicket to bring India back into the game. But the visitors kept their nerve and dispatched the duo to take a series-leveling win.
Lankan skipper Dasun Shanaka led his side from the front with both bat and ball. The 31-year-old came to bat as the tourists had four downs for 110 with just six overs remaining in the innings. Shanaka took the lead from the start and accelerated the run-flow with beautiful hitting. He scored an unbeaten 56 with an overwhelming strike rate of 254.55, complemented by 6 sixes and a pair of fours.
The Negombo-born then came to the final of India’s chase as the hosts needed 21 to win with Axar and Shivam Mavi on the crease. Shanaka, who did not hit a base the entire game, gave up just four runs and took two wickets, including Axar’s, to set up a series decider at Rajkot on Sunday.
Seeing the all-round display of the Sri Lankan skipper drew praise from many fans and pundits, including the legendary cricketer Lasith Malinga. The former islander called Shanaka one of the game’s top finishers and thought the all-rounder would soon be awarded an IPL contract. Notably, in the recently concluded auctions, Shanaka was not picked up by any franchise for the upcoming season of the money-rich league.
“Beautiful display of strength by Dasun Shanaka. Definitely one of the best T20 finishers in the game. Congratulations on scoring the fastest T20I 50 for SL. His recent performances are crying out for an IPL contract, and I’ll be surprised if he doesn’t land one soon! #INDvSL,” Malinga tweeted.
Beautiful display of power by Dasun Shanaka👏 Definitely one of the best T20 finishers in the game.
Congratulations on scoring the fastest T20I 50 for SL🇱🇰
His recent performances are crying out for an IPL contract and I’ll be surprised if he doesn’t land one soon!#INDvSL
— Lasith Malinga (@malinga_ninety9) January 5, 2023
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