Dhawan, spinners seal series for India
Shikhar Dhawan made an unbeaten 100 as India beat Sri Lanka by eight wickets in the third one-day international to clinch the series 2-1 in Visakhapatnam yesterday.
Chasing 216 for victory, the hosts depended on a 135-run second-wicket partnership between Shreyas Iyer, who made 65, and Dhawan to achieve their target in 32.1 overs.
Dhawan completed his 12th ODI hundred in 85 balls before taking India to their eighth consecutive ODI series victory since June 2016.
But it was Kuldeep Yadav and Yuzvendra Chahal who set up the comprehensive win after taking three wickets each to help restrict the visitors to 215 all out in 44.5 overs.
The hosts lost skipper Rohit Sharma early after he was bowled by off-spinner Akila Dananjaya for seven, but it was only a minor blemish in an otherwise comfortable chase.
Iyer, who made 88 in the Mohali ODI, hit 8 fours and a six during his 63-ball knock before falling to skipper Thisara Perera. The batsman mistimed a pull to be caught at mid-on.
Earlier Sri Lanka had got off to a strong start with opener Upul Tharanga making an 82-ball 95 after the visitors were invited to bat first.
Tharanga's 121-ball second-wicket partnership with Sadeera Samarawickrama, who made 42, was the highlight of the innings, that fell apart from a commanding 136-1.
Leg-spinner Chahal got Samarawickrama, who was included in the XI in place of Lahiru Thirimanne, caught at deep cover to end the stubborn stand.
The in-form Tharanga, who registered his 36th ODI fifty, kept up the pressure with an attacking innings as he passed 1,000 runs in 2017.
But Yadav checked Sri Lanka's surge in the 28th over with a twin strike, denying Tharanga a hundred and then sending Niroshan Dickwella (8) trudging back to the pavilion.
Tharanga, who hit 12 fours and three sixes, was beaten by a tossed-up delivery from the left-arm wrist spinner and wicketkeeper Mahendra Singh Dhoni pulled off a sharp stumping.
The decision was referred to the third umpire, who gave it out after TV replays suggested the batsman's toe was on the line rather than behind it when the bails came off.
Chahal soon joined in to take the key wickets of Angelo Mathews, for 17, and skipper Thisara Perera for six, as Sri Lanka slipped to 197-6.
Fast bowlers Hardik Pandya, who struck twice, and Bhuvneshwar Kumar soon wiped out the tail to dim Sri Lanka's hopes of a first-ever series win in India.
The two teams now head into the three Twenty20 internationals starting Wednesday in Cuttack.
R. Sharma b Dananjaya 07
S. Dhawan not out 100
S. Iyer c Lakmal b Perera 65
D. Karthik not out 26
Extras (b4, lb2, w15) 21
Total (2 wickets, 32.1 overs) 219
Fall of wickets: 1-14 (Sharma), 2-149 (Iyer)
Did not bat: M. Pandey, M.S. Dhoni, H. Pandya, B. Kumar, K. Yadav, J. Bumrah, Y. Chahal
Bowling: Lakmal 5-2-20-0 (w1), Dananjaya 7.1-0-53-1 (w6), Mathews 3-0-30-0, Pathirana 4-0-33-0, Pradeep 3-0-10-0, Perera 5-0-25-1, Gunaratne 4-0-30-0 (w8), Gunathilaka 1-0-12-0
D. Gunathilaka c Sharma b Bumrah 13
U. Tharanga st Dhoni b Yadav 95
S. Samrawickrama c Dhawan b Chahal 42
A. Mathews b Chahal 17
N. Dickwella c Iyer b Yadav 08
A. Gunaratne c Dhoni b Kumar 17
T. Perera lbw b Chahal 06
S. Pathirana c Chahal b Pandya 07
A. Dananjaya b Yadav 01
S. Lakmal lbw b Pandya 01
N. Pradeep not out 00
Extras (lb4, w4) 08
Total (all out, 44.5 overs) 215
Fall of wickets: 1-15 (Gunathilaka), 2-136 (Samarawickrama), 3-160 (Tharanga), 4-168 (Dickwella), 5-189 (Mathews), 6-197 (Perera), 7-208 (Pathirana), 8-210 (Dananjaya), 9-211 (Lakmal), 10-215 (Gunaratne)
Bowling: Kumar 6.5-0-35-1, Bumrah 8-1-39-1, Pandya 10-1-49-2 (w1), Yadav 10-0-42-3 (w2) Chahal 10-3-46-3 (w1)
India: R. Sharma (captain), S. Dhawan, S. Iyer, M. Pandey, D. Karthik, M.S. Dhoni (wicketkeeper), H. Pandya, B. Kumar, Kuldeep Yadav, J. Bumrah,
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