India captain Virat Kohli said the clean sweep of Sri Lanka across formats was a "special" milestone in Indian cricket. Kohli scored 82 off 54 balls and Manish Pandey struck an unbeaten maiden half-century to propel India to a seven-wicket win over Sri Lanka in their only Twenty20 international on Wednesday. The victory gave India a clean sweep of all formats on the tour, after winning the test series 3-0 and one-day international series 5-0. Speaking about the historic 9-0 sweep, Kohli said: "Very special, hasn't been done before." (MATCH SCORECARD)
Asked to bat first, Sri Lanka made 170/7 in their 20 overs. India reached 174/3 after Kohli shared 119 runs for the third wicket with Pandey, who hit a boundary to get the winning runs and his half-century with four deliveries to spare.
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"Evidence of the fact how hungry the players are in Indian cricket, and how the bench strength is coming along so beautifully. Very, very happy as a captain," Kohli said.
Kohli and Pandey came together when India were two wickets down for 42 runs. Rohit Sharma (9) was out first, miscuing a hit for a catch to Thisara Perera after being frustrated by some dot balls from fast bowler Lasith Malinga. Dasun Shanaka brilliantly caught Lokesh Rahul (24) off leg spinner Seekkuge Prasanna.
Sensing an advantage, Sri Lanka's bowlers turned the pressure on Kohli and Pandey with some tight bowling and fielding. However, the two batsmen stood firm before going on to score freely and lead India to victory.
Kohli hit seven boundaries and a six before being out caught in the deep with 10 runs needed for victory. Pandey was unbeaten on 51 in 36 deliveries, including four boundaries and a six.
"I look to back my strengths in T20 cricket, look to play good cricketing shots. It's something I've practiced very hard to mould my game to all formats, because I want to play all games for India," Kohli, who was adjudged the Man of the Match, said.
Kohli also praised Pandey for finishing the match for the team.
"When you're two-down chasing 171, we knew it won't be easy. One good partnership will get us through. Manish was outstanding as well today. That partnership was very crucial. He stayed till the end and finished it off, credit to him," he said.