Ind VS SrilankaSPORTS COLUMN 

India beat Srilanka by 6 wickets in 3rd ODI

Opener Rohit Sharma and former captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni hit unbeaten 124 and 67 respectively as India crushed Sri Lanka by six wickets to take unassailable 3-0 lead in five-match series at Pallekele on Sunday.

India vs SL

India romped to the 218-run target riding on knocks of Sharma and Dhoni with more than four overs to spare.

Crowd trouble forced the umpires to stop play for about 35 minutes when India was cruising to a series clinching victory.

India were 210 for four after 44 overs, needing another eight runs to win, when players were sent back into the dressing room, following the rowdy behavior from Sri Lankan supporters, who resorted to throwing bottles into the field of play.

Security forces were called to clear the spectators from some of the sections in the gallery before the match resumed.

The scenes were reminiscent of 1996 World Cup semi finals at the Eden Gardens where India had to forfeit the match against Sri Lanka following crowd trouble.

Rohit Sharma was batting on 122 and M S Dhoni on 61 when play was halted.

On a lighter note, Dhoni was seen taking a power nap on the field as the umpires worked towards resuming the action.

Earlier, pacer Jasprit Bumrah took his maiden five-wicket haul, enabling India to restrict a struggling Sri Lanka to 217/9.

Bumrah was brilliant both upfront and in the death overs to end with figures of five for 27, surpassing his previous best of four for 22.

Sri Lanka, trailing 0-2 in the series, once again put up an ordinary show with the bat, barring a gritty 80 off 105 balls from Lahiru Thirimanne.

His 72-run stand for the third wicket alongside Dinesh Chandimal (36) was the lone bright spot in the innings after stand-in-captain Chamara Kapugedera opted to bat.

The hosts made two changes with Thirimanne and Chandimal coming in place of the injured Danushka Gunathilaka and suspended Upul Tharanga. India, expectedly, didn’t make any changes.

After winning the toss for the first time in the series, Lanka surprisingly sent Chandimal to open with Niroshan Dickwella (13).

The former had only opened twice in his ODI career before, back in 2012 against New Zealand, and he watchfully added 18 runs for the opening wicket.

Dickwella survived an LBW via DRS in the fourth over, but four balls later Bumrah got his man, in the same manner, LBW via DRS again.

Due to Dickwella’s dismissal, Lanka didn’t make a flying start and was reduced to 28 for two in the eighth over, with Kusal Mendis (1) caught at second slip. Rohit Sharma took a great diving catch to his right, plucking his 100th catch in international cricket.

Chandimal and Thirimanne then calmed things down and put on a solid partnership in the middle overs for a change. They didn’t score quickly though, as Lanka only reached 37 for two in the first ten overs.

Later they brought up their 50-stand off 72 balls as Sri Lanka crossed the 100-mark in the 26th over. Chandimal was hit on his right thumb fending a short delivery off Hardik Pandya (1/42) in the 17th over, and that incident partly hampered his ability to shift gears.

Looking for some attacking shots, Chandimal then holed out in the deep off Pandya in the 26th over itself.

India had a poor day in the field with a lot of missed chances and barring Rohit’s attempt, they looked far from a great fielding unit.

Thirimanne used this to his advantage and reached his 17th ODI half-century off 69 balls, inclusive of four fours. In total, he collected five fours and a six.

He put on 38 runs for the fourth wicket with Angelo Mathews (11), as they looked to up the scoring rate against the spinners with Axar Patel (1/35) bowling a tight spell.Kedar Jadhav (1/12) then got the breakthrough, tapping Mathews LBW in the 35th over. The big blow came when five overs later Thirimanne was caught at midwicket off Bumrah off a slower ball.

Kedar Jadhav (1/12) then got the breakthrough, tapping Mathews LBW in the 35th over. The big blow came when five overs later Thirimanne was caught at midwicket off Bumrah off a slower ball.Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka were reduced to 181 for six in the 44th over with Patel bowling Kapugedara (14) as the lower order failed to kick on once again.It was a familiar story with Akila

It was a familiar story with Akila Dananjay (2) and Milinda Siriwardana (29) following him to the pavilion shortly thereafter, both bowled by Bumrah on either side of a short rain break.

–TOI

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