An imposing line-up and an impeccable record in this port city make India the clear favourites as they seek to clinch another series win against Sri Lanka in the third and final One-day International on Sunday. India have not lost a series at home since the defeat to South Africa in October 2015.
With a thumping 8-wicket win over Sri Lanka in the third and final ODI in Visakhapatnam, India sealed yet another series win to end 2017 without losing a single ODI bilateral series. Shikhar Dhawan was the star of the show as he slammed his 12th hundred in one-day internationals to guide his side to a comfortable victory. Chasing a tricky target of 216, the home team lost their skipper early but a fine 135-run stand between young Shreyas Iyer and the experienced Shikhar Dhawan saw the men in blue romp home comfortably.
Earlier, Rohit Sharma had won the toss and put Sri Lanka into bat. The visitors got off to a fine start, courtesy of a fine 95 by Upul Tharanga and a composed 42 by Sadeera Samarawickrama. However, the introduction of the spin twins – Kuldeep Yadav and Yuzvendra Chahal saw the Islanders lose their momentum mid-way into their innings. The impact of the duo can be gauged from the fact that at one point the Lankans were cruising at 135/1 (in the 22nd over) but were reduced to 197/6 (in the 36th over). Both the spinners varied their pace and bowled slower through the air as batsmen found it difficult to read their variations. Ultimately the Sri Lankan innings folded for a paltry 215 as the Indian bowlers ran through the lower-order.
This was Shikhar Dhawan’s fourth ODI century against the Sri Lankans.
This is also India’s fifth biggest win against Sri Lanka in this format when chasing. India had 107 balls still to play in the match. Also, the last time Sri Lanka won a bilateral ODI series against India was in 1997
However, chasing smaller totals can be quite awkward at times and India had a minor hiccup when they lost skipper Rohit Sharma early for just 7 runs. But from there on Iyer and Dhawan steadied the ship to take India to safety. After a slow start to their partnership, the two batsmen took the attack to the Lankan bowlers. Dhawan, in particular, was severe in his assault when he smashed 17 runs in one over of Asela Gunaratne.
But the inexperience of Iyer came to the forefront when he threw his wicket away while batting on 65. Dinesh Karthik and Dhawan then joined forces to avoid any further damage. As India edged closer towards their target the crowd in Vizag kept chanting for MS Dhoni to come out and wield his willow. However, Dhoni’s services were not required as Karthik hit a boundary in the 33 rd over and take India to victory with more than 16 overs to spare. Under the leadership of Rohit Sharma, India won the series by a margin of 2-1.
source : http://indianexpress.com