Currently 12th on the ICC Cricket World Cup Super League standings, Sri Lanka will hope they can get the crucial 10 points in the third and final ODI against India.
Sri Lanka have many reasons to be optimistic about their chances in the final ODI after an improved performance in the second match. Though they struggled in the middle overs while batting, the bowlers, who looked hapless in the first game, almost took the home side to victory.
All eyes will be on Wanindu Hasaranga who was been Sri Lanka’s standout player for some time now. Dasun Shanaka might look to make a change or two in the misfiring middle-order, though more would be expected of the captain himself in the middle overs.
In his first series as captain, Shikhar Dhawan will be hoping to complete the whitewash. With the series already wrapped up, the Indian side have room to experiment in the final game, but cannot let complacency set in.
After winning the game for India with the bat, more will be expected from Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Deepak Chahar, especially after going wicketless in the Powerplay in both ODIs.
Remember the last time:
After opting to bat first, Avishka Fernando and Minod Bhanuka provided Sri Lanka with a solid start, once again rendering India’s Powerplay bowling ineffective. A twin strike from Yuzvendra Chahal brought India back into the game and the visitors dominated the middle overs.
Chamika Karunaratne came to Sri Lanka’s rescue with a 33-ball 44, thus taking the home side to 275/9 in 50 overs.
Sri Lanka’s decision to introduce spin early on in the innings proved to be a masterstroke as Hasaranga removed Prithvi Shaw before he could inflict much damage. The home side kept picking wickets at regular intervals as India found themselves 116/5.
Suryakumar Yadav’s maiden ODI fifty and Krunal Pandya’s gritty innings helped India keep the chase on track but once both were dismissed, things looked bleak for India.
That’s before Deepak Chahar and Bhuvneshwar Kumar strung a run-a-ball 84-run partnership and turned out to be unlikely heroes with the bat for India as they chased down a target of 276 with three wickets in hand.
What they said:
Shikhar Dhawan (India captain): “I felt that the way Sri Lanka planned their innings, batting and bowling – they brought the spinner on early – and the way they fielded was good to watch and learn. They worked very hard but glad that we’re on the winning side. Every game whether we win or lose, it’s a learning. We are also going to get better.”
Dasun Shanaka (Sri Lanka captain): “I think we started really well today. The middle period we lost wickets; I think the thing we shouldn’t do in the next game is give them easy wickets. We should bat well until the last powerplay.”