India’s tour to Sri Lanka has surfaced another series victory in the Indian bag especially considering the Indian jocks and their adamant consistency in the field, whether be it from their bowling department or batting sensations, Indians are all over the heads in these days. Their 3rd occasional ODI encounter has witnessed a big drama, from Indian toe crusher Jasprit Bumrah to the comeback hundred of newly appointed Vice Captain Rohit Sharma along with the former captain MS Dhoni’s undisputed batting display this ODI encounter would definitely find a place in the historical pages of the Cricketing spectrum.
Going in to bat first, Sri Lankans were initially pushed back by Bumrah’s reigning onslaught but later on Lahiru Thirimanne and Dinesh Chandimal sort of put a soothing balm to their team’s wounds. Bumrah on the other end was not in a mood of showing any mercy to the Lankan side hence continued to torment them right through the death overs and restricted the hosts to 217.
During the chase, Rohit Sharma got India off to a flier but Sri Lanka struck with wickets of Shikhar Dhawan and Virat Kohli early in the chase. Akila Dananjaya, that mystery man, then turned up and added more to his bag to reduce India to 61/4.
However, India was in no mood to give Lanka any hopes in the series and Rohit Sharma and MS Dhoni combined for an unbeaten 149 run stand to take India to within 8 runs of the target. Unprecedented scenes at Pallekele saw the frustrated Lankan fans go berserk and hurl around plastic bottles to interrupt the game. The game was stopped for around 35 minutes before the unbroken pair resumed duties to take India home.
Brief Scores: Sri Lanka 217/9 (Thirimanne 80, Burmah 5/27) lost to India 218/4 (Rohit 124*, Dhoni 67*, Dananjaya 2/38)
Here are the major talking points from the third ODI at Pallekele:
Lahiru Thirimanne makes a point on his comeback:
Playing an ODIs for the first time since January 2016, Lahiru Thirimanne showcased exactly what Sri Lankan was missing in the middle-order during the past few months. He chose to nudge and manipulate the field rather than going overboard with attacking strokes and the move paid off.
Not only did he enact the anchor role to perfection but also revealed so much in it that his partners could bat freely around him. While his 80 had just five fours and one six, it was enriched by smart running between the wickets and excellent placement. He was elected to play in the middle-order with Chandimal opening the innings and the swap seemed to work for the hosts.
Jasprit Bumrah’s maiden Five for:
Jasprit Bumrah’s rise in limited-overs cricket is a story for the fairy tales. From mastering the Yorkers to adding the slower balls and cutters to his repertoire to opening the bowling attack and doing well, Bumrah has been a quick learner. He has adapted quite well to the Indian setup and his multiple roles have served them quite well in recent times.
In the third ODI at Pallekele, Bumrah stamped his presence with the new ball, grabbing the two vital wickets of Niroshan Dickwella and Kusal Mendis. Bumrah owes a part of the Mendis scalp to Rohit Sharma who took an outstanding catch to send the young batsman back. He went on to dismiss the settled Lahiru Thirimanne before cleaning up the stumps a couple more times to complete his maiden five-for in ODIs.
Lokesh Rahul And Kedar Yadav under scrutiny:
For completely different reasons, KL Rahul and Kedar Jadhav are under the scrutiny after some pretty ordinary performances in the middle-order. While Rahul has failed to adapt to his middle-order role, Jadhav has looked lost against Akila Dananjaya’s mysteries.
Expected to replace Yuvraj with aplomb, Rahul has been quite meager with his returns not alone in terms of runs but also with his manner of dismissals. In the third ODI, he hoicked a rank long hop from Dananjaya straight down deep mid-wicket’s throat. With Manish Pandey available as a backup, Rahul’s place is surely under the microscope.
Jadhav, on the other hand, has been wholly confounded by Dananjaya’s variations and appeared completely at sea against the spinner in the last two ODIs. Although he has made up for his pathetic performances with the bat with his part-time bowling, Jadhav needs to prep up in his primary job.
MS Dhoni once again halts the slide after Dananjaya’s strikes:
Only two days back, Akila Dananjaya had spun the web around these Indian batsmen and nearly churned out a victory for the hosts from nowhere. He was at it yet again here at Pallekele, mixing up his off-breaks, googlies, and sliders with utmost care. However, it was one short, to-be-dumped delivery that earned him his first wicket, that of Lokesh Rahul.
In the very next over, he trapped Jadhav in front to nab his second wicket in the game and reduce India to 61/4. But MS Dhoni, who had maneuvered him excellently in the second ODI, unleashed his firefighter self upon Sri Lanka yet again. Alongside Rohit Sharma, the former skipper guided India to a comfortable victory.
Rohit Sharma overcomes his Lanka hoodoo with spectacular hundred:
With Akila Dananjaya weaving his magic yet again, India needed their Hitman to step up and convert his half-century to a hundred. He had failed to do that the last time around but this time there was no stopping Rohit Sharma. The Mumbaikar reached his half-century with three fours in a row off Dushmantha Chameera before he manipulated the Lankan spinners with nimble feet and swift hands.
In the company of MS Dhoni, Rohit Sharma grew in confidence and there was no let off for the Sri Lankan bowlers. He started reading Dananjaya quite well and at one time stepped out to nail him over the fence for a maximum. His first hundred in Sri Lanka came in 118 balls and it all but sealed India’s series win.