Kuldeep Yadav and Yuzvendra Chahal picked 3 wickets each © IANS
Kuldeep Yadav and Yuzvendra Chahal picked 3 wickets each © IANS

Sri Lanka were bowled out for 215 against India in the third ODI at Visakhapatnam. Cruising at 136 for 1 in the 23rd over, the visitors were bowled out in the 45th over. Upul Tharanga and Sadeera Samarawickrama shared a 121-run stand for the second wicket. Sri Lanka, however, lost their last 7 wickets for 55 runs. India’s wrist spinners were the destructors: Yuzvendra Chahal impressed the most with 3 for 46 and he was well supported by Kuldeep Yadav who took 3 for 42. The remaining were shared by the pacers.

Sri Lanka know how to place the foot on the axe — fact well-illustrated in their numbers this year. They have lost 22 of their 27 completed ODIs in 2017. MS Dhoni knows how to bring his side into contests from nowhere. Sri Lanka had everything going their way. There were chances Tharanga was punishing the Indians for and Sadeera was giving him company. They sewed 121 runs from just 112 balls when Sadeera perished to the crafty Chahal. Sri Lanka were still going over six an over.

The dot balls began mounting since, but Tharanga had a trusted partner in Angelo Mathews. A nice little stand of 24 followed. Tharanga slammed a six en route 1,000 ODI runs in 2017. He is the third in the list after Virat Kohli and Rohit Sharma. The sixteenth century was another hit away, but Tharanga’s brilliance collided with Dhoni’s guile.

Dhoni owed Kuldeep one. Kuldeep had Sadeera cover the stumps as the ball struck the pad. Dhoni, otherwise India’s DRS guru, did not think it was out and the side decided against signalling T. Replays showed otherwise. It was three reds, in other words ‘out’. Fourteen overs later, Kuldeep beat Tharanga’s edge with a beautifully tossed-up ball and found Dhoni’s gloves. The Chinaman bowler was busy appealing for the caught-behind while Dhoni channelled his energies into something more productive.

Live Cricket Score, India vs Sri Lanka, 3rd ODI at Visakhapatnam: INDIA WIN SERIES 2-1
Live Cricket Score, India vs Sri Lanka, 3rd ODI at Visakhapatnam: INDIA WIN SERIES 2-1

“The bails were off in a flash,” as Ravi Shastri would have said in the dressing room. Tharanga looked unperturbed. The zoom-in angle showed Tharanga was on the line. He perished 5 short of what could have been his 15th hundred.

Niroshan Dickwella started with 2 boundaries, the second being a deft late cut. Dhoni Rohit employed a slip and Dickwella gave him a catching practice. Mathews fell to a beauty. Earlier in the day Mitchell Starc at Perth had produced a peach of a delivery to send back James Vince. A few called it ‘the ball of this Ashes’, a few ‘the ball of the 21st century.’ Chahal competes though.

Chahal sent down a delivery of flatter trajectory, slightly shorter in length; it drew Mathews in front for a defence, but it imploded after pitching outside leg. It spun to find the middle and off stump. Not many batsmen (Steven Smith does not count) could have done anything about it.

Captain Thisara Perera perished while trying to cut a ball that had cramped him for room. He also used up the only review. Aakash Chopra made a valid point that if your captain bats at No.7 and does not bowl more than 5 overs then it’s a serious concern.

Sri Lanka, from 136 for 1, were 211 for 9. Bhuvneshwar Kumar’s missed run out gave them a breather.

Hardik Pandya equals Kapil Dev

Hardik Pandya had dismissed Tharanga in the first two ODIs. The latter set out to settle a score. The ninth over of the innings saw the Sri Lankan southpaw belt Pandya for five consecutive boundaries.

Pandya came back strong and finished with figures of 10-1-49-2. His first wicket saw him reach the 30-wicket mark in 2017. In doing so, he became the first Indian all-rounder after Kapil Dev to have registered 500-plus runs and taken 30 or more wickets. Kapil achieved this in 1983.

Winning the toss and fielding first, India leaked too many runs in the first Powerplay. Jasprit Bumrah dismissed Danushka Gunaratne for the third time in this series, but Sri Lanka were off to a flyer as the scorecard read 68 for 1 after 10 overs.

The last time India played an ODI here, Amit Mishra’s leg-spin fetched him a five-for. The Indian wrist spinners combined to claim 6 today. Much of Sri Lanka’s fortunes lie on leg-spinner Akila Dananjaya.

Brief scores:

Sri Lanka 215 all out in 44.5 overs (Upul Tharanga 95, Sadeera Samarawickrama 42; Kuldeep Yadav 3 for 42, Yuzvendra Chahal 3 for 46) vs India

Full scorecard