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Sri Lanka v India, 5th ODI, CT Player of the Match: Bhuvneshwar Kumar

Bhuvneshwar returned to the side with his career best figures of 5/42 and was awarded Man of the Match.

Bhuvneshwar Kumar
Indian pacer Bhuvneshwar Kumar. (Photo by ISHARA S. KODIKARA/AFP/Getty Images)

India, as expected, completed a historic whitewash over the listless Sri Lanka in front of their home crowd. The visitors were thoroughly professional once again as they battered the hosts by 6 wickets in the fifth and final ODI of the series. The skipper Virat Kohli got another century like a daily routine coupled with Bhuvneshwar Kumar’s five-wicket haul to lead India to a resounding victory.

Upul Tharanga returned after serving the ban to win the second toss of the series for his side and opted to first. Kusal Mendis was rested for this game as India made the wholesale of changes. Bhuvneshwar, Kedar Jadhav, Ajinkya Rahane and Yuzvendra Chahal came into the side.The match started late by an hour due to constant showers prior to the match.

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Career best figures

Sri Lanka started their innings with another new opening pair as Tharanga returned to his preferred position. But Niroshan Dickwella was dismissed by Bhuvi by a superb inswinging delivery which he chipped straight back to him. Dilshan Munaweera soon followed the suit as the same bowler got better of him.

The opposition skipper was threatening by then with his aggressive knock but Jasprit Bumrah bowled a snorter which he could only edge to Mahendra Singh Dhoni. Then the senior player for Sri Lanka came together and resurrected the innings slowly. Both Angelo Mathews and Lahiru Thirimanne played calculative shots and added 122 runs for the fourth wicket.

Kohli tried all the bowlers to break the partnership but they could only keep the check on the run rate. Bhuvi was brought back for his second spell and he straight away produced a wicket with a length ball which nipped back to cramp Thirimanne which he played on. This proved to be the breaking point of the innings as the hosts once again started to collapse.

Soon Kuldeep snaffled set Mathews and Wanidu Hasaranga got run out due to some poor running. Milinda Siriwardana was the only recognised batsman in the middle by then with little support left for him. Wickets continued to fall around him as Akila Dananjaya was stumped off Chahal and Bumrah cleaned up Malinda Pushpakumara.

The 27-year-old Bhuvneshwar came back to clean up the tail. Siriwardana got out on a full toss in quest of quick runs in the end overs and Malinga too was foxed by Bhuvi with a slower one which he hit directly into the laps of deep midwicket to give the bowler his career best figures. Sri Lanka were once again dismissed for a paltry total of 238. Indian bowlers were clinical once again as they were very much economical in the middle overs which stifled the batting side completely. Bumrah got a couple of wickets as Chahal and Kuldeep Yadav scalped one each.

In reply, the visitors lost Rahane and Rohit Sharma early but the skipper came and made it look ridiculously easy. Virat, along with Manish Pandey first and then with Jadhav, chased the total with utter ease with yet century of his own. He remained unbeaten once again in the successful chase on 110 to script a historic whitewash. He was well supported by Pandey who scored 36 off 53 and Kedar who finally looked comfortable against Akila Dananjaya. He scored a brilliant 63 only to be dismissed with 2 runs left.

Bhuvneshwar Kumar picked up his maiden five-wicket haul of the ODI career. He returned with excellent figures of 9.4-0-42-5. Interestingly, he had gone wicketless for the first 3 One Day Internationals, then sat out of the 4th match and came back in the last to pick up his best figures.

Kohli’ another masterful chase could not overpower Bhuvi’s crafty swing bowling as the latter is the CT player of the match.

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