Rajendra Prasad Mohapatra

Explosive all-rounder Deepak Hooda (41, 23b, 1x4, 4x6) played a blitzkrieg as India pipped Sri Lanka just by two runs in their first T20I match at the Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai on Tuesday.

Hooda was adjudged the player-of-the-match for his explosive innings which gave the hosts some semblance of respect after Hardik Pandya’s side was struggling at 94 for five at one stage.

However, the match had its tense moments with the Lucknow Super Giants (LSG) all-rounder Hooda losing his cool against on-field umpire in the closing stages of India’s innings. Hooda was found frustrated on the fifth delivery of the 18th over when he left Kasun Rajitha’s delivery alone in hopes of getting a wide called. However, on-field umpire KN Ananthapadmanabhan did not call it a wide as Hooda had moved across his stumps.

Subsequently, Hooda expressed his dissatisfaction over the decision and lost his cool. He was heard abusing the umpire on the pitch. He even got embroiled in an argument with the umpire after nicking a single of the very next delivery.

Top scorer Hooda partnered with Axar Patel (31 n o, 20b, 3x4, 1x6) to help the hosts reach 162/5 in their 20 overs. Their 68-run stand for the sixth wicket proved to be the turning point in the match as India went on to win the closely-fought encounter.

“I was pretty clear in my mind that if we lose early wickets we have to build a partnership. When you are batting lower down the order, you have to be ready for that. A collapse can happen at any time,” said Hooda after the match.