Sri Lanka denied India of making a clean sweep as they clinched the rain-hit third and final One Day International (ODI) by three wickets on the Duckworth and Lewis scoring method at the R. Premadasa Stadium in Colombo yesterday.
Sri Lanka who came into this game having already conceded the series 0-2 to their opponents produced an improved performance in both batting and bowling departments.
After bowling out India for a modest 225 runs, the Sri Lankan batsmen came out with their best batting performance in the series to reach their target with three wickets and eight overs to spare.
Sri Lanka’s run chase was spearheaded by dashing opener Avishka Fernando and number three Bhanuka Rajapakse who were associated in a match winning second-wicket stand of 109 runs in 17 overs.
Left-hander Rajapakse was the more aggressive as he took on the Indian bowlers and struck a dozen boundaries during an entertaining 65 from 56 deliveries.
However, Fernando carried his bat almost until the end and ensured Sri Lanka would overtake India’s score despite losing Dhananjaya de Silva and Skipper Dasun Shanaka cheaply.
Earlier, some accurate bowling from the spinners helped Sri Lanka to contain their opponents to 225 in 43.1 overs after India had elected to bat first having named five debutants in the side. Akila Dananjaya took up the challenge to open the bowling against the strong Indian batting line-up and ended up with the best figures of three for 44.
The match was halted after 23 overs due to a heavy downpour and India were cruising along at that stage having reached a commanding 147 for three.
However, after the resumption Sri Lanka got their act together well and put the Indian middle order under tremendous pressure through some accurate bowling.
In fact, the visitors lost their last five wickets for the addition of just 46 runs with debutant Praveen Jayawickrama also claiming a three-wicket haul after Shanaka had removed the top scorer Prithvi Shaw for a run-a-ball 49.