Avishka spinners help Srilanka to get consolation win in 3rd ODI
A sublime 76 by Avishka Fernando and some superb spin bowling during the Indian innings helped Srilanka to get a 3 wicket win over India in the 3rd ODI and get 10 vital points for the World cup 2023 qualification points table.
India after taking an unassailable series lead made 5 changes in an effort to get more players who are in the bubble, to play a match or two. It was after 1980 in Australia that there were 5 debutants in an ODI for India.
India batted first and scored an unimpressive 225 in just 43.1 overs, well short of a par score. Dushmanta Chameera drew first blood for Srilanka by getting Dhawan (13) caught behind off an outside edge. However, Prithvi Shaw and debutant Sanju Samson got into a fluent 74 run stand with dazzling strokeplay from both ends. India was cantering along at 102/1 around 16 overs when Shaw (49) was trapped lbw by Shanaka. Soon Samson left after a sparkling 46 and that triggered a regular fall of wickets with Manish Pandey (11) unable to impress and Hardik (19) continuing with his lack of runs. However, Surya Kumar Yadav (40) played another confident knock full of sparkling strokes before falling lbw to Dhananjaya.
The Sri Lankan spinners got the stranglehold of the match with brilliant skills. Both Jayawickrama and Akhila Dhananjaya were able to spin the ball, which led to a flurry of Indian wickets in the 2nd half of the innings. The other Indian debutants Rana and Gowtham failed to impress as India ended at 225 in a curtailed 47 overs due to rain interruption. Avishka spinners help Srilanka to get consolation win in 3rd ODI.
Jayawickrama (3/59), Akhila (3/44) and the pacy Chameera (2/55) were the most impressive bowlers for the hosts.
Set 227 to win in 47 overs as per the Duckworth Lewis target, the hosts lost Bhanuka early but Avishka Fernando with his sublime strokeplay had a productive stand with aggressive left-hander Rajapaksha. Together they added 109 runs for the 2nd wicket till Rajapaksa was caught near the boundary off Sakaria, to give India a little ray of hope.
Sakaria making his debut in this match soon had Dhananjaya (2) out cheaply to a surprise bounce. Asalanka(24) who came in next, played a fine cameo and had a 53 run vital stand with Avishka who was looking solid.
However with this Indian team’s never say die attitude. There is always a twist in the tale which the hosts found out soon as debutant Rahul Chahar (3/54) suddenly looked ominous with his consecutive late strikes, removing Avishka (76), Shanaka (0) and Karunaratne (3) in quick succession with the ball gripping the surface and close in field positions. On the other end, Hardik Pandya trapped Asalanka (24) lbw as Srilanka innings suddenly wobbled from a cruise control situation.
However, Ramesh Mendis (15) and Akhila (5) ensured no further dramas. Srilanka finally huffed and puffed to a 3 wicket win with many balls to spare. For a team not winning against high profile sides in recent times, the signs of nerves was evident.
For India, Rahul Chahar (3/54) was the outstanding bowler. But the others were inconsistent and fielding also let the team down with run out misses and easy catches going down.
Avishka Fernando for his match-winning knock was the man of the match and Surya Kumar Yadav for his scores of 31*, 56 and 40 was the man of the series.
After this win, Srilanka will be in a better frame of mind as they approach the T20I series. But they will definitely be underdogs as India with their wealth of young talent coming out of IPL is expected to dominate the T20I series.
Sri Lanka won by 3 wkts (DLS method), Match reduced to 47 overs per side due to rain
IND 225/10 (43.1 Ovs)
Prithvi Shaw. 49(49)
SL 227/7 (39 Ovs)
Avishka Fernando. 76(98)
Rahul Chahar. 3/54
Chetan Sakariya. 2/34