India defeated Sri Lanka by 20 runs in the final one-day match to win the five match series 4-1. Indian team was always favorites to win the match going by the way their batting was clicking at crucial times.
India after chasing down the target in the past couple of matches got an opportunity to bat first after winning the toss. Indian batsmen did well to score a total close to 300 runs and it was always going to be a tough task as Sri Lanka was playing without their two best batsmen, Kumar Sangakkara and Mahela Jayawardene.
The inexperienced Sri Lankan batsmen did well and at one point the home team was favorites to win the match. But Indian bowlers made a strong comeback to halt the Sri Lankan run chase.
Both the innings saw some strong and some pretty weak performances, let’s have a look at some of the hits and flops from both teams.
Gautam Gambhir: He has been the best Indian batsman in this series along with Virat Kohli. He once again played a very important innings as the Indian team lost three quick wickets and they needed a batsman to be steady at the crease. The best thing about Gambhir’s batting is that he never lets the rate drop and keeps the scoreboard ticking. He played a solid inning of 88 which included seven fours.
MS Dhoni: Dhoni had a relatively quite series before this match and he needed a substantial innings. Dhoni came in to bat with more than 12 overs to be bowled and that gave him the opportunity to get his eyes set. He rotated the strike beautifully in the initial part of his innings and finished the innings with the usual Dhoni flair. He made 58 runs of just 38 balls.
Irfan Pathan: He was the last minute inclusion into the Indian squad and he has done brilliantly in the series. In this match he picked five wickets in the match and he who took two well set batsmen in one over that won India the match. Pathan also played a handy innings of 28 runs and provided good support to the Indian captain.
Manoj Tiwary: He did well with the ball and it was his turn to deliver with the bat in this match. Tiwary came into bat when India lost two quick wickets and he provided good support to Gambhir. Tiwary was a bit lucky not to be given out on couple of occasions. He made a solid 65 of 68 deliveries.
Rohit Sharma: He scored 13 runs in five innings and that explains everything. He once again missed a straight delivery and should consider himself very luck that the Indian team management just doesn’t want to drop him.
Jeevan Mendis: He was the man responsible for bringing Sri Lanka back into the match. He played a superb innings of 72 runs and the home team looked like winning till the time he was on the crease. He picked the gaps beautifully and his short-arm jabs toward the leg-side were simply beautiful to watch.
Lahiru Thirimanne: He batted at the number three position and displayed a cool head on his shoulders. He kept his ground despite losing his partners at the other end. He batted very well with Mendis and it would have been a different story for Sri Lanka if he wouldn’t have got himself run-out.
TM Dilshan: He was the most experienced Sri Lankan batsmen in the absence of Kumar Sangakkara and Mahela Jayawardene, but he surely didn’t play like one. A lot depended on him but he threw his wicket trying to chase a wide delivery outside the off-stump. Dilshan should be really disappointed with the way he has batted in this series.
Thisara Perera: All he had to do was to provide support to Mendis on the other end but he lost his wicket trying to go for glory. Sri Lanka was well placed when these two guys were on the crease, but Perera lost his cool and gave a straight-forward catch to Kohli at deep cover.
By Indian Sports News Network