Kaur, Gayakwad help India complete ODI series sweep with 3-0 win against SL

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India completed a 3-0 whitewash against Sri Lanka by winning the third ODI in Pallekele by 39 runs.

Shafali Verma lost her opening partner Smriti Mandhana relatively early but it did not deter her from playing her natural game. She smashed five boundaries to race away to a 50-ball 49 before being dismissed by Rashmi de Silva.

India then had a massive stutter as they were left reeling at 124/6, with Sri Lanka bowling brilliantly in the middle overs. de Silva, Inoka Ranaweera and Oshadi Ranasinghe, in particular, were highly impressive.

With India in doldrums, the onus was now on skipper Harmanpreet Kaur and all-rounder Pooja Vastrakar to ensure that they reached a competitive total. The pair notched up a brilliant 97-run partnership in only 117 deliveries to keep the scoreboard ticking. Harmanpreet hit an 88-ball 75 while Vastrakar remained unbeaten on 56 as India ended up with a total of 255/9 in their 50 overs.

The valiant effort of the pair would ensure that the Indian bowling unit had a good total to defend in order to complete a 3-0 clean sweep. For the hosts, Ranaweera was the pick of the bowlers with figures of 2/22.

After Vishmi Gunaratne went back for 3, experienced campaigners Chamari Athapaththu and Hasini Perera played crucial knocks to give the hosts a real chance of chasing down the total. The skipper scored 44 off only 41 deliveries, while Perera chipped in with a 57-ball 39. Unfortunately for Sri Lanka, neither of them could convert their great start into a big knock.

After the wickets of Athapaththu and Perera, the remainder of the Lankan batting order fell apart like a pack of cards. They failed to contribute much to the scoreboard, with Rajeshwari Gayakwad proving to be the destroyer-in-chief

The spinner was often unplayable, weaving her magic ending up with outstanding figures of 3/36. Only Nilakshi de Silva put up some sort of resistance, playing a determined knock of 48*. 

The remainder of the Indian bowlers also proved to be a brilliant supporting act as India ended up winning the contest by 39 runs, completing a 3-0 series clean sweep.