India sealed Micromax Cup five-match series by winning the third ODI by six wickets against Sri Lanka. Visitors failed to play their natural game and scored mere 242 runs with no wickets hand in 48.2 overs. Indian bowlers Umesh Yadav (4-53) and Akshar Patel (3-40) led the Indian team and restricted Sri Lanka to 242 on a good batting pitch followed by Shikhar Dhawan’s 91 off 79 balls, to finally see India at the winning side at the end of the day.
Earlier in the first innings, only Mahela Jayawardene (118 runs in 124 balls) with three other Sri Lankan batsmen reached two-figure score in their innings. With the help of graceful ton from Jayawardene, Sri Lanka reached to a decent total. Tillakaratne Dilshan also contributed in Sri Lankan total by scoring fifty runs although at a slow rate but provided support to Jayawardene. No other Sri Lankan batsmen reached up to a two-figure mark.
In reply to chase this target, Indian openers Shikhar Dhawan and Ajinkya Rahane (31) provided a solid start to India and made 62 run-stand on the ground. Ambati Rayudu (35) disappointed with his silly run-out, gracefully executed by combination of Angelo Mathews and Kumar Sangakkara’s fielding. Indian skipper Virat Kohli also scored fifty with Shikhar Dhawan and chased the target with six wickets remaining. Virat Kohli also created history as he became the fastest cricketer to get his 6000 ODI run mark, improving legendary West Indian Vivan Richard’s record during his knock. The Left-Handed Batsmen Dhawan also achieved his 2000- run mark in ODIs. He did not manage to get 100 runs under his bat, but he did a good job by scoring a quick 91 runs in 79 balls. India won the match in 44.1 overs by hitting the ball out of the ground for a boundary by Wriddhiman Saha.
Mahela Jayawardene got Man of the Match for his 118-run knock and showed his consistency to score runs for the team. He said, “”I am surprised, and a bit embarrassed to win the man of the match. We need to be consistent in our overall game.”
Indian Skipper Virat Kohli praised his team for a good performance especially with the ball and expressed his feelings in Post-Match ceremony, “That was a brilliant performance, especially with the ball. It was a commendable effort from the bowlers though we were a bowler short. Dhawan batted well. All in all, it was a reliable performance. I was not sure, I knew I had to get 50 but did not know about the number of innings to go past the great man (when enquired about going past Viv Richards). MS Dhoni deserves the time off. When he is back, there will be a partnership between me and him as captain and vice-captain. The support has been fantastic. This is one of my favourite grounds.”
Angelo Mathews, disappointed with his team performance, said in the post-match ceremony, “’I have been losing tosses in the recent past and won games. Unfortunately, when I win tosses, I lose games. It was a real belter. We flopped in our batting again. We cannot keep making mistakes. 240 is nothing for the bowlers to bowl at this pitch. The powerplay went against us. About 3-4 wickets fell in the powerplay. 300 is a must in Indian conditions. We are still trying out our combination. We will keep trying. We will play for our pride and see how it goes.”