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Iyer powers India to Sri Lanka series win

Shreyas Iyer has hammered a match-winning 74 not out off 44 balls as India beat Sri Lanka by seven wickets in the second Twenty20 at Dharamsala to take an unassailable 2-0 lead in the three-match series.

Iyer put on 84 in 47 balls for the third wicket with Sanju Samson (39) as India raced to 3-186 in 17.1 overs on Saturday, easily chasing down Sri Lanka’s decent total of 5-183.

After the hosts had won the toss and chosen to field, India lost Rohit Sharma (1) early on in their chase and Lahiru Kumara (2-31) troubled Ishan Kishan (16) with some fiery pace before dismissing him.

India were 2-44 in 5.1 overs when Iyer and Samson came together to produce a 50-partnership off 37 balls.

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

Overall, Iyer struck six fours and four sixes while 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, putting on 58 off only 26 balls with Iyer as India coasted to victory.

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

Earlier, Sri Lanka had 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.

But the Sri Lankan innings suffered a middle-order collapse.

Yuzvendra Chahal (1-27), Jadeja (1-37) and Harshal Patel (1-52) took a wicket apiece while visiting skipper Dasun Shanaka 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 with the Himalayan town having had steady rainfall over the past few days.

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