Suranga Lakmal    AFP
Suranga Lakmal AFP

Suranga Lakmal produced an encore of his spectacular spell from the Kolkata Test. With a tinge of grass resting on the wicket, Dharamsala too was conducive for him. He finished with 4 for 13 in 10 overs, eventually being adjudged Player of the Match.

Lakmal made Rohit Sharma his first victim. Lakmal bowled in the corridor of uncertainty and forced Rohit to poke at it. Lakmal then trapped Dinesh Karthik LBW. The ball held its line before Karthik could judge it. Given his momentum, captain Thisara Perera stretched Lakmal’s spell, and the in-form pacer soon induced an outside edge off the struggling Manish Pandey’s bat.

India were restricted to 28 for 6 when Bhuvneshwar Kumar walked in to join MS Dhoni in resurgence. The duo had lifted India from ruins during the second ODI of the previous series between the sides. But, Lakmal did not let Bhuvi off the hook, dismissing him for a duck. India, however, did not present him his fifth wicket. Dhoni made sure that Lakmal’s maiden five-for remains eluded.

Speaking during the presentation ceremony, Lakmal revealed that he has been working hard for the last two years. “The last two years have been filled with hard work. The coaching staff too has worked on me and I am very happy with my performance today. My fitness and health have been really good over the last few days and that showed in the results today.”