Clinical Dhawan and Iyer hand India the series after bowlers toppled the Sri Lankan batsmen




A superlative century from Shikhar Dhawan helped India beat Sri Lanka in the third and final ODI by eight wickets with the hosts sealing the series 2-1.

3rd ODI: Shikhar Dhawan century guides India to eighth straight series win

3rd ODI: Shikhar Dhawan century guides India to eighth straight series win

Earlier in the series

Sri Lanka gave India a very good fight in the Test series when they managed to draw two Tests of the three-match series. Coming to the ODI series, they demolished the Indian batting lineup when they had India reeling for 29 for 7. Dhoni took India to a respectable total but not good enough to win the game for the side. India though on the back of a brilliant double century from stand-in captain Rohit Sharma, his third of the career didn’t give Sri Lanka a sniff as they posted a massive 392 on the board. And Sri Lanka, well under pressure they couldn’t do much albeit Mathews hitting a ton, his second, both in a losing cause against the same side.

Coming to the decider, Rohit Sharma won the toss and opted to chase at the Vizag. Sri Lanka had dropped Lahiru Thirimanne for Sadeera Samarwickrama while India swapped Washington Sundar with the Chinaman, Kuldeep Yadav.

Tharanga on fire

Bumrah stuck for India early in the 4th over when he had Gunathilaka who was trying to be aggressive, holed out when he miscued the pull shot. A counterattack from Upul Tharanga had left India reeling when he had a brilliant partnership of 117 runs with Sadeera Samarawickrama. Hardik Pandya became the victim of that punch from Tharanga when smashed 5 consecutive boundaries in his over. His assault continued even after his half-century as he deposited Chahal for a big six and a four.

Spinners bring India back in the game

Chahal though broke the partnership when Samarawickrama failed to read the slower one and went with his shot only to find out Dhawan swallowed the ball easily. Kuldeep Yadav brought India in the game with his twin strike when he got Tharanga and Dickwella in the same over. A smart piece of work behind the wicket from MS Dhoni halted the motors of Tharanga as he was stumped by Dhoni. Dickwella after smacking 2 boundaries off 3 balls tried to play one towards the third man only to be pouched by Iyer in the slip.

The collapse

Chahal and Yadav tightened the grip around the remaining batsmen who were generous enough to give their wickets back easily. Pandya returned to repair his bowling figures and returned with 2 for 49 in his 10 after going for 25 runs in his second over. 160 runs for the loss of 2 wickets soon became 215 for 10.

Iyer and Dhawan show

India’s run chase was dented early when Akila Dananjaya rattled the stumps of skipper through his defense after being hit for a massive six by the last game’s double centurion. Coming at number 3 Iyer along with Dhawan first steadied the ship for India and soon with the counter-attack had the Lankans under pressure. After getting his eyes in, Iyer took the assault to the Lankan bowlers and with a huge six and a single off Pathirana completed his back to back fifty. Akila Dananjaya was the only bowler who had troubled the Indians early on but was taken to cleaners by Dhawan who completed his half-century with a six. Iyer had the opportunity to score his maiden ton but he threw his wicket away trying to score quickly.

Dhawan reaches the three figures

Dhawan along with Dinesh Karthik didn’t allow Sri Lanka any other opportunity. Dhawan with a century in the sight targeted part-timer Gunathilaka in his first over as he deposited him for a six and a four. With two boundaries of Gunaratne’s over Dhawan completed his 12th ODI century and India’s 8th consecutive series win.

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