VIDEO: Sanju Samson falls to freak dismissal, Rahul Chahar takes stunning catch in India vs Sri Lanka 2nd T20I
A depleted Indian team came perilously close to registering back-to-back wins and sealing the T20I series, but a determined Sri Lanka stuck it out to win the second match by four wickets and push the series into a decider Thursday. After being put to bat, India put up 132/5 on the board with Shikhar Dhawan top scoring with 40 and debutant Devdutt Padikkal contributing 29.
In wake of Covid-19 impacting the visitors with nine players in isolation, India had no option to field the 11 players that were available for selection in their original squad of 20. This means that the team had only five specialist batsmen in their Playing XI, two of whom (Padikkal and Nitish Rana) were making their T20I debuts.
As it turned out, barring Dhawan and Padikkal, the others couldn't do much, with Ruturaj Gaikwad, Sanju Samson and Rana failing to get going. But of all four, perhaps Samson's dismissal was the strangest of the lot. The India wicketkeeper batsman, having struggled for 12 balls, fell to a freakish dismissal. Against Sri Lanka spinner Akila Dananjaya, Samson decided to step out; however, the spinner spotted it and pulled back his length, pitching the ball short.
The ball hit Samson's pads as the batsman tried to defend it and rolled onto the stumps. So far down the wicket was Samson that he could have been out stumped too, but Sri Lanka wicketkeeper Minod Bhanuka opted against collecting the ball and let it roll onto the wickets. Samson put the dive back in but it was too late.
VIDEO: Sanju Samson's freak dismissal
But if Samson fell to an odd dismissal, his teammate Rahul Chahar pulled off a sensational catch in the outfield. Sri Lanka had reached only 12 when dangerman Avishka Fernando was removed by Bhuvneshwar Kumar. But it wasn't the India fast bowler's wicket alone. Fernando clipped the ball off his pads and as it looked to clear the boundary on square leg, an alert Chahar – who did not remove his eyes off the ball – positioned himself nicely and took the catch.
VIDEO: Rahul Chahar's stunning catch
Even though he grabbed hold of the ball, his momentum took him over the ropes. Thankfully, the fielder threw the ball back in before stepping on the other side, jumped back into the field and completed the catch.