Mumbai: India completed a 3-0 T20I series whitewash after they outplayed Sri Lanka once again by five wickets at the iconic Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai on Sunday.
Riding on a patient 32 from Manish Pandey and an equally supporting 30 from Shreyas Iyer, India chased down the paltry total of 136 with four balls to spare at the very venue where they had last won a limited overs’ match in November 2012.
Batting first, Jaydev Unadkat got the Indians off to a flying start by removing wicket-keeper batsman Niroshan Dickwella for the third time in the series, with just eight runs on the board.
The left-arm speedster also got rid of Upul Tharanga for 11. The wickets kept on tumbling for the visitors as Washington Sundar, making his debut, came into the act by sending back the dangerous Kusal Perera for just four.
Had it not been for Sadeera Samarawickrama’s 21, Asela Gunaratne’s 36 and Dasun Shanaka’s 29 down the order, Sri Lanka would have fallen short of posting a competitive total but it was the Indian bowlers led by Unadkat who stole the show on Sunday. But Mohammad Siraj had a day to forget as despite taking a wicket, he ended up conceding 45 runs from his four overs.
But the chase, which looked pretty easy at the beginning became a bit interesting with both the in-form openers KL Rahul (4) and Rohit Sharma (27) dismissed within the first seven overs. This created an ideal situation for the middle-order to spend some time at the crease and Pandey made full use of it as he played a patient 32-run knock of 29 balls with four fours before being bowled by Dusmantha Chameera. Local boy Iyer’s 30-run knock was cut short by Dananjaya’s throw which caught him short of the crease.
The match started to gather more drama at the end with nine runs needed of seven deliveries. But Nuwan Pradeep, who had bowled a fine over till then ended up bowling a full toss that was comfortably deposited into the stands by Dinesh Karthik (18 n.o) with MS Dhoni (16 n.o) at the other end.
With three runs required for a win, Dhoni eventually finished things off with a boundary as India maintained their unblemished record in the T20I series. Unadkat was named the man of the match as well as the man of the series.
Sri Lanka 135/7 (Asela Gunaratne 36, Dasun Shanaka 29; Jaydev Unadkat 2/15) lost to India 139/5 (Manish Pandey 32, Shreyas Iyer 30; Dusmantha Chameera 2/22) by 5 wickets.