Visakhapatnam: Opener Shikhar Dhawan struck a fluent ton after spinners Kuldeep Chawla and Yuzvendra Chahal spun a web around Sri Lanka to guide India to a comfortable 8-wicket win over Sri Lanka pocketing the three-match ODI series 2-1 here at the Dr. YS Rajasekhara Reddy ACA-VDCA Cricket Stadium on Sunday.
Dhawan’s scored an unbeaten knock of 100 of 85 balls and Shreyas Iyer hit his second consecutive half century as India reached the winning target of 216 runs in just 32.1 overs. This is India’s eighth straight ODI series win.
Chasing the target, India lost skipper Rohit Sharma early in the fourth over as he was sent back to the pavilion by Akila Dananjaya. Shreyas and Dhawan then joined to steer the Indian innings as the duo added 145 runs for the second wicket on the board.
Shreyas scored 65 runs off 63 balls, coupled with eight fours and one six before being caught by Suranga Lakmal on the delivery of Thisara Perera. Dhawan continued his good form and provided the Indian innings with a momentum. He along with Dinesh Karthik (26) stitched an unbeaten 70-run partnership to reach the target with almost 18 overs to spare.
Earlier, India won the toss and put Sri Lanka to bat first on a good looking wicket. Upul Tharanga and Sadeera Samarawickrama shared 121-run partnership after the first wicket to keep the Indian bowlers quiet. Tharanga, was particularly harsh on seam bowler Hardik Pandya, who went for 20 runs in his two overs.
Both Tharanga and Samarawickrama played some glorious shots to keep the scoreboard ticking. At one stage, Sri Lanka were 135 for 1 after 22 overs and were looking at a score of 300-320. However, India’s spin twins, Yuzvendra Chahal (3 for 46) and Kuldeep Yadav (3 for 42) pulled things back very quickly. Both of them took three wickets each.
Tharanga’s wicket turned out to be the turning point afterwards. Angelo Mathews, who scored an unbeaten 111 in Mohali on Wednesday, failed to replicate his form today and was done in by a ripper from Chahal. Niroshan Dickwella and captain Thisara Perera were also dismissed cheaply. The spinners and Pandya then quickly mopped up the tail as Sri Lanka lost their way after Tharanga’s dismissal.
Yadav was given the Man of the Match award for his brilliant bowling performance while Dhawan was awarded the Man of the series award.