India steamrolled Sri Lanka in the third
and final ODI of the series in Thiruvananthapuram, handing the visitors the
heaviest defeat in ODI history to win by 317 runs. It was complete domination
from the hosts with both bat and ball. Shubman Gill and Virat Kohli notched up
centuries to take India to an overwhelming first-innings total of 390 for five
before Mohammed Siraj finished with figures of 4 for 32 to help bowl out Sri Lanka
for just 73 runs.
It was a no-contest from ball one as India
got off to a blazing start after winning the toss and opting to bat first.
Rohit Sharma and Shubman Gill took on the new ball to score 75 runs in the
powerplay and shared a 95-run opening stand that set the tone for the entire
innings. Sharma fell for 42 after pulling Chamika Karunaratne to fine leg, but
Kohli picked up from where his skipper left off to continue India’s momentum.
The number three got off the mark with a
four through the covers and wasted no time in taking the attack to the Sri
Lankan spinners. Shubman Gill nonchalantly reached his half-century off just 52
deliveries and upped his tempo on a slightly two-paced pitch to bring up his
second ODI century in 89 balls. Gill departed for 116 to give Sri Lanka some
respite, but Virat Kohli dominated the final 20 overs of the innings to take
the Men in Blue to 390.
Kohli scored 59 runs off the first 57
deliveries he faced but exploded in the back half of the innings, smashing his
last 107 runs in just 53 balls. Kohli got to his second century of the series
and tenth against Sri Lanka in the 43rd over and finished with his
second-highest score in ODIs – 166* – thanks to a flurry of boundaries in the
final five overs of the innings.
Chasing 390, Sri Lanka folded like a pack
of cards in their innings. The conditions for batting got much tougher under
the lights, with the Indian pacers getting a hint of movement. Mohammed Siraj
ran riot in the powerplay, picking up four wickets inside the first ten overs.
Mohammed Shami also had Charith Asalanka cutting one to point as Sri Lanka
slumped to 37 for five in 9.3 overs.
Kuldeep Yadav produced a beauty to send
back Dasun Shanaka and also picked up the final wicket of the innings to bowl
Sri Lanka out for 73 and give the hosts a dramatic win to finish the series.