IND vs SL 3rd ODI: Dhawan cruises India to 8th straight series win
Visakhapatnam: Shikhar Dhawan scored a brilliant hundred to cruise India to the series winning eight-wicket victory over Sri Lanka in the third and final One Day International at the YS Rajasekhara Reddy stadium here on Sunday.
Dhawan completed his 12th ODI hundred with a sweep shot which went for four runs. He scored 100 runs off just 85 balls and smashed 13 fours and 2 sixes. His inning helped stand-in skipper Rohit Sharma register his first ever series win as captain, and led India to eighth straight ODI series win.
En route to his magnificent hundred, Dhawan also completed 4,000 runs in ODI Cricket. He is the second fastest (95 innings) to achieve the feat for India as only Virat Kohli has notched up the milestone in fewer innings than him (93).
Sharma, who scored a record-setting third career double century in the previous match, went back to the pavilion after hitting a humongous six. He added 7 runs off 14 balls while his team was chasing a modest target of 216 runs.
Shreyas Iyer, who got his maiden half-century in the previous match, crossed the 50-run mark again before getting out at the individual score of 65 runs. He took 63 balls for his knock and also hit 8 fours and a six.
By the time Dinesh Karthik came to the crease, India was almost on the verge of victory, but he kept rotating the crease with Dhawan during his 26-run knock, which came off 31 balls and was laced with 3 boundaries.
Akila Dananjaya and Thisara Perera were the only wicket-takers for the visiting side while all the other bowlers looked almost ineffective in front of an upbeat Indian batting. Perera, who had observed in the first inning that the track was offering a lot of spin, used 8 bowlers today, for almost no results.
Suranga Lakmal, Lanka's most successful bowler in the Test as well as the ODI series, failed to make a mark today as when his team required some early breakthroughs to defend a target as small as 216 runs, he failed to produce any positives. He, however, bowled two maidens in his 5 overs and went for 20 runs but his captain would be expecting some wickets from his most successful bowler of the series.
Earlier, Indian spinners went through a good going Sri Lankan batting to restrict them to a small score of 215 all out after inviting them to bat first. Yuzvendra Chahal and Kuldeep shared 6 wickets together, three each, to break the momentum of the visitors who were looking string at 136/1 in 22.2 overs.
Player of the match: Kuldeep Yadav
Player of the series: Shikhar Dhawan
Sri Lanka, shockingly, lost their last seven wickets for mere 55 runs which eventually led them to 1-2 series defeat.
Except a flamboyant 95-run knock by Upul Tharanga, none of the Lankan batsmen could do much on a turning track in front of a young but determined spin attack. Tharanga took only 82 balls for his inning and laced it with 12 fours and three sixes. He, however, missed a deserving hundred due to some exceptional glove work by MS Dhoni off the bowling of Kuldeep Yadav.
Tharanga also completed 1,000 runs in this year, becoming only the third player across all the countries after Virat Kohli and Rohit Sharma to achieve the feat.
Sadeera Samarawickrama gave a good company to Thranga at the crease as the due stitched together a 121-run partnership for the second wicket, after Danushka Gunathilaka (13 off 12, 2 fours) departed early.
Angelo Mathews also failed to perform this time as he was cleaned up by a ripper from Chahal. He scored 17 runs off 28 balls with the help of 2 boundaries.
Nirosham Dickwella scored 8 runs with two boundaries before finally being caught at the slip off the bowling of Kuldeep Yadav. Asela Gunaratne was the last wicket to fall as he got no support from the tail enders. He added 17 runs off 51 deliveries.
Kuldeep Yadav took three for 42 in his 10 overs while Chahal also managed equal number of wickets for 46 runs. He also bowled three maidens in his 10 overs.
Hardik Pandya took two wickets for 49 runs in 10 overs while Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Jasprit Bumrah managed a wicket each.