Harmanpreet and Pooja star as India wrap up 3-0 sweep


Harmanpreet Kaur and Pooja Vastrakar’s all-round brilliance, and Rajeshwari Gayakwad’s three-wicket haul, helped India beat Sri Lanka by a comprehensive 39 runs in the third ODI to complete a 3-0 whitewash. After rescuing India with the bat with her 16th ODI fifty, Kaur removed a dangerous looking Chamari Athapaththu for 44 to land a colossal blow to the hosts’ chances. Vastrakar, too, put in a vital contribution, making her third ODI fifty after India were in trouble midway through their innings, and chipping in with a couple of wickets late in the chase.

Chasing 256, Sri Lanka lost Vishmi Gunaratne early, but Athapaththu took the attack to India from the outset, dealing in boundaries for the most part. She was particularly severe on Deepti Sharma, whom she hammered for three consecutive fours in the 9th over. When Kaur brought herself on in the 11th over, Athapaththu greeted her with a powerful sweep to the square-leg fence. But just as she was looking to take the game away from India, she miscued one to mid-on, who was bravely kept in the circle by Kaur.

The run-rate slipped considerably after the fall of Athapaththu, as Sri Lanka looked to rebuild. Hasini Perera and Kavisha Dilhari added 36 before Dilhari was drawn out of her crease to be stumped off Gayakwad just before the 100 was up. Soon after the 100 was up, Gayakwad struck again, as she bowled Hasini through the gate for 39. Then, there was another small partnership as Harshitha Samarawickrama and Nilakshi de Silva added 36 before Harleen Deol had Samarawickrama drag one on to her stumps on the sweep. That was the final blow of consequence; though Nilakshi held one end up while making her best ODI score, there was little the tail could do to challenge India’s total.


India: 255/9 (Kaur 75, Vastrakar 56, Verma 49, Ranaweera 2-22, Athapaththu 2-45, Rashmi 2-53)

Sri Lanka: 216 (Nilakshi 48*, Athapaththu 44, Gayakwad 3-36, Meghna 2-32, Vastrakar 2-33)