IND v SL, 3rd ODI, Review: Shikhar Dhawan's 12th ODI ton gets India to an incredible series win

IND v SL, 3rd ODI, Review: Shikhar Dhawan’s 12th ODI ton gets India to an incredible series win

With this win, India kept up their record of not losing a bilateral series in the year and won their 8th consecutive ODI series. 

Indian team
Indian team celebrates a wicket. (Photo Source: Twitter)

In the final encounter, the coin flipped on Rohit Sharma’s favour. Chasing has always been India’s strength and keeping that in mind, the skipper asked the opposition to bat first. The ACA-VDCA stadium in Vishakhapatnam offered a hard wicket, with a bit of dry grass to hold it tight. It looked like a good batting surface and the bat wielders would relish this opportunity.

This series was the sixteenth bilateral series for India, since October 2016, and they have just lost one. As the record was at stake, India opted to go for Kuldeep Yadav who has been doing extensively well in the shorter format, with his unique craft which gives him the ability to spin the ball both ways.

Sri Lankan skipper Thisara Perera made one forced change seeing Lahiru Thirimanne’s recent performances. His emission helped Sadeera Samarawickrama to bat in the middle order and make a name for himself.

Tharanga the lone warrior

For Sri Lanka, it was Danushka Gunathilaka and Upal Tharanga who started the proceedings. To score big in a fifty-over encounter, it’s always important to get off to a quick start. However, Danushka Gunathilaka couldn’t capitalize on the start he got and he hit one from Jasprit Bumrah straight to Rohit at mid-off. Gunathilika departed for 13 runs, which was laced with two boundaries.

Losing his partner early, there was more responsibility on Tharanga, now also to anchor the innings. A partnership worth 121 runs between Samarawickrama and Tharanga helped Sri Lanka to a solid position. However, this young team has time and again displayed their vulnerability when put under pressure.

The wrist spinners steered India to a comeback soon enough as they restricted the opposition for 215 runs. The leg break bowler Yuzvendra Chahal and chinaman Kuldeep Yadav picked three wickets each and cost the team less than 90 runs.

Among the seamers, Hardik Pandya accounted for a couple of wickets while Bumrah and Bhuvneshwar Kumar settled with one each.

Shikhar star for India

215 runs wasn’t a scary target for the Indian batting line-up in conditions that assist batting. In walked Rohit Sharma and Shikhar, and as they were setting up a good foundation the right-hander failed to read a wrong un from Sri Lanka’s finger cum wrist spinner and fell prey to the 24-year-old Akila Dananjaya.

Shikhar with Shreyas Iyer then played their shots and didn’t let the bowlers get into their rhythms. With constant counterattack, they managed to put up 135 runs before Iyer was sent back to the pavilion by experienced Thisara Perera. But not before scoring his second half century in 3 ODIs.

Displaying his inexperience Iyer tried to finish things early, and in lieu of that, he looked to step out and play one over bowler’s head. However, Perera saw him coming and shortened his length and Iyer could just reach the fielder at mid-off.

Dhawan who got to his half century then had his eye set on taking the team through and played magnificently to get to his 12th International hundred. He smashed the ball in almost all directions. His 100 runs included 13 boundaries and 2 mighty sixes. The winning hit came from Dinesh Karthik’s bat who lofted a tossed up delivery over covers to take the team over the line with 8 wickets in hand.

With this win, India kept up their record of not losing a bilateral series in the year and won their 8th consecutive ODI series. The star of series for India was Shikhar Dhawan who made 168 runs. For his contribution in this series, Shikhar was awarded the Man of the Series whereas Kuldeep was the Man of the Match for his three wickets.

Brief Scores:

Sri Lanka- 215/10 in 44.2 overs (Upal Tharanga 95, Sadeera Samarawickrama 42)

India- 219/2 in 32.1 overs (Shikhar Dhawan 100, Shreyas Iyer 65)

Man of the Match- Kuldeep Yadav (3 for 42 runs)

Man of the Series- Shikhar Dhawan (168 runs at an average of 84.00)