August 24, 2017 7:56:42 pm
The good start given by the openers was just what Sri Lanka needed. Niroshan Dickwella and Danushka Gunathilaka took the score to 35 for no loss from the first six over. There were some gorgeous looking shots from the former, pulling the short ball, making room for himself to play through point. But, his wicket in the eighth over slowed down Sri Lanka.
A good platform was laid for the middle-order to build on but Sri Lanka managed to do what they have done all through this series — collapse. They are 70 for 1 and collapsed to 125 for 5 before a sensible half-century from Milinda Siriwardana helped them closer to 200. But all Sri Lanka could managed was 236 for 8 in 50 overs.
A better experienced team would have made the start look too good and even would have done well to come out of the collapse and scored closer to 300. Sri Lanka, on the other hand, never could figure out.
Gunathilaka, unlike his partner, was slow to begin and never took the risk against the pacers. So when he did take it against spinner Yuzvender Chahal, he missed delivery and was stump. The leg-spinner moved the ball nicely away from the left-hander before MS Dhoni removed the bails after a fumble.
Kusal Mendis and Angelo Mathews were removed in quick succession leg-before wicket and in similar fashion. Both tried sweeping full deliveries but missed. Sri Lanka needed some runs in the middle overs but those wickets combined with some tight bowling from the spin duo of Chahal and Axar Patel bowled a tight line which did not allow the batsmen to run away with the game.
The last ten overs fetched only 57 runs despite having five wickets in hand. Axar and Chahal combined for 20 overs but gave only 73 picking up three wickets. Kedar Jadhav had to pitch in for Hardik Pandya who went off the field due to a knee problem. Bumrah, though, was brilliant at the death and finished with four wickets from 10 overs.
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