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India Won Final ODI Against Sri Lanka, Rises in ICC Ranking

By Dipakmishra @idipakmishra

India won final ODI against Sri Lanka by 20 runs to finish the series 4-1. With this win India rose to second in the ICC ODI team rankings. Gautam Gambhir, Mahendra Singh Dhoni and Manoj Tiwary were the stars with the bat while Irfan Pathan (5/61) did the damage with the ball to help India to their third straight win against Sri Lanka. Lahiru Thirimanne (77) and Jeevan Mendis (72) came up with spirited knocks but it proved to be futile in the end as India registered their third bilateral series win against Sri Lanka in Sri Lanka.

India won final ODI against Sri Lanka, rises in ICC ranking

India finished their innings at a strong total of 294/7 with the help of MS Dhoni’s 58 off just 38 balls. India were in a spot of bother at 213/6 when the hard-hitting right hander took over and started setting the pace with some fabulous shots. He smashed Thisara Perera for 3 consecutive fours before lifting him for a maximum in the next over. Dhoni had the impressive Irfan Pathan for company and the left handed all-rounder justified his ability with the bat as he hit an unbeaten 29 at a little more than run a ball to help India get to 294/7. Dhoni and Irfan Pathan had Gautam Gambhir and Manoj Tiwary to thank for the decent platform as the Kolkata Knight Riders duo put on a steady 110 run stand to set the stage. With not much on the board and having lost the top 3, India were in a tricky situation when Gambhir and Tiwary got together and started building a partnership.

Chasing a big target, Sri Lanka suffered an early setback when Irfan Pathan got rid of Tillakaratne Dilshan for zero in the second over. The early wicket did not deter Upul Tharanga though as the left handed opener employed an aggressive approach to help Sri Lanka forward. He took a particular liking to Irfan Pathan as did his partner Lahiru Thirimanne. But the bowler had the last laugh, accounting for Tharanga (31) as the batsmen, attempting an uppish drive, failed to clear Rahane at cover. The hosts were in more trouble when Ashok Dinda sent Dinesh Chandimal back by trapping him in front for 8.

Lahiru Thirimanne restored some order to the Sri Lankan innings with a patient half century and was given good support by Jeevan Mendis as the pair raised a fifty plus stand to keep Sri Lanka’s hopes alive. Although the scoring rate was not so high, the pair managed to stick around and keep the Indian bowlers at bay. The pressure did build up a bit with the required rate going over 7 an over, but Thirimanne managed to ease it with a couple of big hits off Tiwary.

Meanwhile, the pressure had shifted base after the 102 run stand between Thirimanne and Mendis, and it continued to be the same as Thisara Perera joined Mendis and the pair made optimum use of the powerplay to bring the equation down to a run-a-ball. Mendis scored his maiden ODI fifty.

Just when Sri Lanka looked to be in control, there was a twist in the tale courtesy Irfan Pathan, who brought about the dismissals of both Perera and Mendis in the 43rd over to derail the hosts. Irfan then went on to dismiss Sachithra Senanayake in the 45th over with the last ball of his spell to finish with his 2nd five wicket haul in One Dayers. Lasith Malinga managed a couple of boundaries before falling to Dinda as Sri Lanka fell 21 runs short of the target.

Brief Scorecard

India: Gautam Gambhir – 88 runs (99 balls), Manoj Tiwary – 65 runs (68 balls), Lasith Malinga – 3 wkts (10 overs 64 runs)

Sri Lanka: Lahiru Thirimanne – 77 runs (96 balls), Jeevan Mendis – 72 runs (88 balls), Irfan Pathan – 5 wkts (10 overs 61 runs)

Result: India won by 20 runs

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