Thiruvananthapuram: India completed a 3-0 series win by thrashing Sri Lanka by 317 runs, the biggest margin of victory in ODI history, in the third and final match of the series at Greenfield International Stadium on Sunday.
After Virat Kohli dished out another batting masterclass on a placid pitch with his 46th ODI century and Shubman Gill strengthened his chances of being a long-term opener with his second hundred and propel India to a mammoth 390/5 on a slow, flat pitch, Sri Lanka crumbled like a pack of cards.
They were all out for just 73 in just 22 overs, their fourth-lowest total in the history of the format. Mohammed Siraj got the ball to move around to run through the top order and pick his career-best figures of 4-32 in ten overs, while Mohammed Shami and Kuldeep Yadav had figures of 2-20 and 2-16 respectively in India’s dominating victory.
Under scoreboard pressure, Sri Lanka just wilted and couldn’t put up a fight. Siraj, central to India’s success in Power-play in ODIs, delivered the first blow by having Avishka Fernando edge straight to the first slip for a low catch.
In his next over, Siraj used his wobble-seam delivery to force Kusal Mendis into nicking behind to the keeper. Shami was next to strike, coercing Charith Asalanka to punch straight to the backward point.
Siraj had his third wicket when Nuwanidu Fernando went for an expansive drive to an outswinger and chopped onto his stumps. In the final over of the first Power-play, Siraj got his wobble-seam delivery to nip back in from outside off and rattle Wanindu Hasaranga’s off-stump.
With half the side back in the pavilion, panic ensued, resulting in a bizarre run-out of Chamika Karunaratne, who was out of the crease after defending against Siraj, and saw the bowler fire in a direct hit at the striker’s end.
The crumbling continued with Kuldeep drawing Dasun Shanaka forward and then castling him through the gate. Dunith Wellalage, coming in as a concussion substitute for Jeffrey Vandersay after his nasty collision with Ashen Bandara while fielding, chipped a drive straight to point off Shami.
With Bandara absent injured, Kuldeep finished off the match by castling Lahiru Kumara and ending a 22-run partnership for the ninth wicket, completing a monstrous victory for India.
Brief scores: India 390/5 in 50 overs (Virat Kohli 166 not out, Shubman Gill 116, Kasun Rajitha 2-81, Lahiru Kumara 2-87) beat Sri Lanka 73 all out in 22 overs (Nuwanidu Fernando 19; Mohammed Siraj 4-32, Kuldeep Yadav 2-16) by 317 runs