MS Dhoni’s calmness again came in way of the Sri Lankans on Sunday. It was his innings of 67 not out that allowed India to clinch the 5 match ODI series 3-0.
Just like the 2nd ODI which was played on Thursday, Dhoni’s master class knock allowed India to win the match comprehensively.
On Thursday, India was reeling at 137 for the loss of 7 wickets when Dhoni steadied the ship by building a much need partnership of 100 not out with Bhuvneshwar Kumar.
Yesterday India dug themselves into deep trouble. India lost wickets at regular Intervals and especially the important wickets of Dhawan, Kohli, KL Rahul and Kedar Jhadav. Rohit Sharma however was going strong at one end. Rohit held the one end that also allowed Dhoni to pace his innings well.
Again like the 2nd ODI, the run rate wasn’t a big issue at all. This is all because of great bowling performance from Jasprit Bumrah, Axar Patel, Yuzvendra Chahal and Kedar Jhadav.
That allowed India to restrict Sri Lanka for only 217 runs in 50 overs.
After Jhadav’s dismissal, Rohit and MS Dhoni’s partnership steeled the show. Rohit Sharma scored his 10th ton as an opener and 12th ton overall.
Rohit’s 124 not out and MS Dhoni’s 67 not out put on an unbeaten 157 runs to give India a crushing win over the Sri Lankans.
This knock of 67 not out from MS Dhoni has equaled the record for most not-outs in ODIs. He has currently jointed it with Chaminda Vaas and ace South African all rounder Shaun Pollack. Dhoni, Vaas, and Pollack are with 72 unbeaten innings in One Day Internationals.
Dhoni also went past another former Indian skipper Mohd Azharuddin’s tally of 9378 runs in ODIs.
Earlier in the day, Sri Lanka’s new captain won the toss and elected to bat first.
Sri Lanka’s new stand in captain Chamara Kapugedara couldn’t prevent Sri Lanka from losing this series.
Their batting woes still continued for the hosts, even though they brought back Lahiru Thriramane and Dinesh Chandimal back into their playing XI.
Unfortunately for Sri Lanka that also didn’t work well. Sri Lanka also went with the new opening combination. This time Dinesh Chandimal opened with their in-form batsman Niroshan Dickwella.
But Niroshan Dickwella couldn’t continue his good form in this ODI; he was the first one to go for in the 3rd over for just 13.
Kusal Mendis continued his poor form, four over later he was dismissed for 1 by Jasprit Bumrah.
Comeback man Liharu Thiramane and test captain Dinesh Chandimal tried to put up some fight. They rebuilt the innings with a small partnership. But it was Jasprit Bumrah’s day he again joins the party by picking up the important wicket of set Dinesh Chandimal. Chandimal was out for 36 runs.
Former captain Angelo Mathews too couldn’t deliver, he departed early after scoring just 11 runs.
Sri Lanka kept losing wickets at regular intervals. Thirumane played well for his 80 runs, it would have been be good if he stayed there till the end but it was Bumrah again who picked a crucial wicket of another set batsman.
Stand in Skipper Charama Kapugethdara also couldn’t do much. Axar Patel picks him up for just 14 runs.
Milinda Siriwardana’s got to 29 runs but couldn’t carry on and it was a same old story of the Sri Lankan lower order.
Bumrah was the pick of the bowlers for India; he picked up his maiden 5 wicket haul in ODIs.
Yuzvendra Chahal, Hardik Pandya, Axar Patel and Kedar Jhadav picked up 1 wicket each.
This brilliant bowling spell allowed India to restrict Sri Lanka for just 217 for 9 in their allotted 50 overs.
India’s chase wasn’t a great one, Dhawan didn’t start off well and Kohli, KL Rahul and Kedar Jhadav failed to score.
It was only the 3rd highest partnership of India against Sri Lanka that allowed them to chase this modest target.
A unbeaten 157 run stand between Rohit Sharma and MS Dhoni is the 3rd highest wicket stand for India against Sri Lanka.
Due to this India won the match by 6 wickets and won the series with still two more matches to go.
These series win against Sri Lanka is their 7th successive bilateral series win.
Jasprit Bumrah was awarded the man of the match for his maiden 5 wicket haul in One Day Internationals.
While India was cursing along nicely, the Sri Lankans fans interrupted the game by throwing a bottle on the players. The Pallekele International Stadium turned into Cuttack where the Indian fans did the same and eventually the play was called off at Cuttack. But here the play was started after a interruption of 30 minutes. In that 30 minutes, many saw Dhoni’s nap on the field. That was the funny moment in the match and social media too contributed to it with some funny captions.
Next Match 4th One Day International Match is on 31st August 2017 at R Premadasa Stadium, Colombo