India vs Sri Lanka 3rd ODI: Dhawan hands India unassailable 3-0 lead

Dhawan hit eight boundaries and a six during his knock of 91

Dhawan hit eight boundaries and a six during his knock of 91

Image courtesy of: ESPNcricinfo

India opener Shikhar Dhawan hammered an entertaining 91 to not only lead his side to a convincing six-wicket win over Sri Lanka in the third ODI in Hyderabad, but also hand them an unassailable 3-0 lead.

Dhawan was well supported by captain Virat Kohli, who made 53, and pace bowler Umesh Yadav, who took four wickets.

However, Sri Lanka’s batting duo of Mahela Jayawardene and Tillakaratne Dilshan both deserve some credit as they scored 118 and 53 respectively.

Sri Lanka captain Angelo Mathews would have been brooding over his decision to bat first as Yadav dismissed Kusal Perera for four runs on the last ball of the first over.

Kumar Sangakkara failed to trouble the scorers as he was caught by Ravichandran Ashwin at first slip off the bowling of Yadav for a golden duck.

Dilshan and Jayawardene stabilised the innings with a 105-run partnership, during which both batsmen brought up their half-centuries, before Dilshan was caught by Ajinkya Rahane at extra cover off the bowling of Ambati Rayudu.

Dilshan’s excellent knock of 53 came off 80 balls and included seven boundaries.

Dilshan made a valiant 53

Dilshan made a valiant 53

Image courtesy of: ESPNcricinfo

Mathews only made 10 runs before he was caught by Kohli at mid-off off the bowling fo Akshar Patel.

Ashan Priyanjan fared no better as he was caught by Yadav at mid-on off the bowling of Patel for two runs.

Chaturanga de Silva also made two runs before he was caught by Dhawan at extra cover off the bowling of Patel.

Thisara Perera mustered one run before he was caught by Stuart Binny, who was the substitute fielder, at extra cover off the bowling of Yadav.

Jayawardene and Seekkuge Prasanna stemmed the bleeding with a 67-run partnership, during which Jayawardene brought up his 17th ODI century and surpassed 12,000 ODI runs, before he was stumped by Wriddhiman Saha off the bowling of Ravichandran Ashwin.

Jayawardene’s superb knock of 118 came off 124 balls and included 12 boundaries and a six.

Even though his innings of 118 went in vain, Jayawardene was named Man of the Match

Even though his innings of 118 went in vain, Jayawardene was named Man of the Match

Image courtesy of: ESPNcricinfo

Prasanna ended up making 29 runs before he was cleaned up by Yadav.

Sri Lanka were bowled out for 242 when Nuwan Kulasekara was caught by Rahane at long-on to give Dhawal Kulkarni his first ODI wicket.

Yadav was the pick of the bowlers with four wickets, while Patel snapped up three and Kulkarni, Rayudu and Ashwin chipped in with one wicket apiece.

Yadav finished with figures of 4-53 off nine overs

Yadav finished with figures of 4-53 off nine overs

Image courtesy of: ESPNcricinfo

Chasing 243 to win, India got off to an excellent start as Rahane and Dhawan amassed a 62-run partnership before Rahane was caught by Jayawardene at slip off the bowling of Perera for 31.

Dhawan and Rayudu kept the runs flowing with a 69-run partnership, during which Dhawan brought up his half-century, before Rayudu was run out by Mathews for 35.

India’s dominance with the bat continued as Dhawan and Kohli put together a 70-run partnership before Dhawan was caught behind off the bowling of Kulasekara.

However, Dhawan should not have been given out as the ball brushed his helmet and missed the bat.

During his fantastic knock of 91, which came off 79 balls and included eight boundaries and a six, Dhawan became the fastest Indian batsman to score 2,000 ODI runs.

Kohli went on to score 53 off 61 deliveries, which included four boundaries and a six, before he was caught by Lahiru Gamage at long-on off the bowling of Dilshan.

During his knock, Kohli achieved an incredible feat as he became the quickest batsman to score 6,000 runs in ODI history.

Kohli became the fastest batsman to score 6,000 ODI runs

Kohli became the fastest batsman to score 6,000 ODI runs

Image courtesy of: ESPNcricinfo

Suresh Raina and Saha mopped up the remaining runs with ease to lead India to a comfortable six-wicket win.

Kulasekara, Perera and Dilshan claimed one wicket each.

Mathews was gutted to have lost again, and said: “We flopped in our batting once again. You cannot keep repeating mistakes. 300 is a must for Indian wickets. 240 is nothing for bowlers to bowl at. About three-four wickets fell in the Powerplay with minimum runs, which went against us. We are trying our combinations, we want to recognise our strengths and weaknesses going into the World Cup.”

Kohli was pleased to have taken a 3-0 lead, and said: “That was a brilliant performance, especially with the ball. Given we were one bowler short, we had to string in six overs from part-timers, to restrict them to 242 was fantastic. I was not sure, I knew I had to get to 50 to get 6000, but I did not know how much faster I was from the great man [Viv Richards]. I am trying to do whatever I can on the field for the boys.”

Even though his side lost, Jayawardene was named Man of the Match, and said: “I am surprised and a bit embarrassed to win the Man of the Match. We need to be consistent in our overall game. The way the Indians are playing, we need 300 to put them under pressure. They are putting us under lot of pressure, picking up early wickets, putting us on the back foot straight away, and we are doing repair work after that.”

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