India whitewashed Sri Lanka 3-0 in the test series and have now also secured the ODI series after winning 3 out of the 5 match series. The Indians won the 3rd ODI at the Pallekele International Cricket Stadium by 6 wickets and with 29 balls remaining. The remaining two matches will give India an opportunity to experiment as they prepare for the 2019 World Cup.
Sri Lanka went into this game without their captain U Tharanga who was suspended due to Sri Lanka’s slow over rate in the last game. The new captain C Kapugedera put up a brave front before the match telling the media that his team had no problem with their confidence and would look to fight back.
Sri Lanka batted first and was once again in trouble at 2 for 28. Jasprit Bumrah had an excellent game and took his first 5 wicket haul in ODI’s. The Lankans were able to post a modest score of 217 and always knew it was going to be hard to defend. They got off to good start as the Indian’s lost S Dhawan and captain V Kohli with just 19 runs on the board.
R Sharma & MS Dhoni Shine
Their mystery spinner A Dananjaya who took 6 wickets in the last ODI once again troubled the Indian batsman and got KL Rahul and K Jadhav in quick succession to leave India at 4 for 61. R Sharma and MS Dhoni then played sensibly and put together an unbroken partnership to see India home. R Sharma scored another fantastic century and finished not out on 124 while MS Dhoni carried his bat through for the second consecutive game with a well compiled 67 and might have just cemented his spot for the 2019 World Cup with this performance.
The match was marred towards the end as a section in the crowd started throwing empty bottles on the field as they were disappointed with the Sri Lankan team. The players were taken off the field for a little while security forces controlled the crowd. Sharma and Dhoni took just 7 balls to complete the victory.
Sri Lankan Fans Disappointed
Sri Lankan cricket has declined in all formats during the last 24 months and fans in the Island nation are frustrated with the players inability to perform consistently. Sri Lanka have two more games left to redeem themselves and should they manage to win the next two ODI’s, they will automatically qualify for the 2019 World Cup and give fans something to cheer about!