Colombo, July 23 (MNN) Sri Lanka won the third and final One-Day international here on Friday against India, thanks to Avishka Fernando’s scintillating 76 in 98 balls.
Fernando was caught by Prithvi Shaw off a Rahul Chahar ball when the Lankans were poised for the victory at the Premadasa Stadium, which took the series score 2-1 in India’s favour.
After some last-minutes scares for the Lankan innings, Ramesh Mendis (15 ) and Akila Dananjaya (5) took the hosts through in 39 overs to register a win by three wickets via DLS system.
Bhanuka Rajapaksa was caught by Krishnappa Gowtham on a ball by Chetan Sakariya at 65 off 56 balls. Charith Asalanka was lbw Hardik Pandya at 24 made off 28 balls.
Minod Bhanuka was caught by Chetan Sakariya on a Krishnappa Gowtham delivery on seven while Captain Dasun Shanaka was out for a duck on the very first ball he faced.
Chetan Sakariya and Rahul Chahar took two and three wickets respectively for India.
Earlier, India were bundled out for 225 in 43.1 overs in a 47-over match, but were set a target of 227 under the DLS system
India were going strong with 157 for 3 on the board but a rain break of over 90 minutes was followed by a flurry of wickets as the spinners ran through the middle order.
For India, Prithvi Shaw (49) was the highest scorer. Debutant Sanju Samson also played a good 46-run knock at run-a-ball.
Soon after Manish’s dismissal, India lost a few wickets as the middle order surrendered in front of the Sri Lankan spinners Praveen Jayawickrama and Akila Dananjaya who shared six wickets between them as Sri Lanka bundled out India for 225 in 43.1 overs in the 47 overs a side reduced game.
From 157/4, India lost Hardik Pandya, Suryakumar Yadav, Krishnappa Gowtham and Nitish Rana one after another and found themselves reeling at 195/8.
Navdeep Saini and Rahul Chahar then fought out and forged a 29-run partnership, taking India past the 200-run mark.
When the match began, India skipper Shikhar Dhawan won the toss and opted to bat first even as the visitors put their faith in five debutants.
With India already 2-0 ahead in the series, team coach Rahul Dravid made six changes to give chance to youngsters warming the bench so far — Nitish Rana, Rahul Chahar, Chetan Sakariya, K Gowtham and Sanju Samson. Right-arm seamer Navdeep Saini, who has played seven ODIs, also got to play.
It was in 1980 that India last fielded five debutants — at that time it was against Australia and India had won by 66 runs.
Sri Lanka, on the other hand, made three changes. As Wanindu Hasaranga and Kasun Rajitha are out with injuries and Lakshan Sandakan dropped, Praveen Jayawickrama, Ramesh Mendis and Akila Dananjaya got the chance to play.
Jayawickrama was playing his first ODI, having had a successful debut in Tests, against Bangladesh earlier this year.
India won the first game comfortably by seven wickets whereas Deepak Chahar pulled off a thriller in the second game with his match-winning unbeaten 69 and two wickets to help visitors win by three wickets.