One-day international hundred number 30, number 19 in 106 innings while chasing, remained unbeaten in the end. Virat Kohli once again made it look easy as India conquered a target of 239 runs with six wickets and 21 balls remaining. The Indian captain structured the chase and his century with ease and led India to the victory in the fifth ODI against Sri Lanka in Colombo. This was the first time that any team had won five matches in a bilateral series in Sri Lanka.
Kohli crossed 1,000 runs in ODIs this year and also matched Ricky Ponting’s mark of centuries in ODIs but has taken only 186 innings to become the player with joint second most centuries. His unbeaten innings of 110 runs was rather easy as he played shots at will and wherever he liked to.
Sri Lanka were restricted to a small total after Bhuvneshwar Kumar’s maiden five-wicket haul in ODIs. Apart from the 122-run partnership between Angelo Mathews and Lahiru Thirimanne, Sri Lanka collapsed on either side of the that stand.
India opened with Rohit Sharma and Ajinkya Rahane but both fell early. Kohli then took over and scored at his own pace. Rohit Sharma didn’t last long and hence, he and Kohli could not repeat the heroics of the fourth ODI in which the two put up a third wicket partnership of 219. Manish Pandey then joined Kohli in the middle. They began with some singles and then unleashed an attack on the Sri Lankan bowlers.
Pandey fell trying to sweep but that did not affect Kohli as he completed his 49th ODI half-century. Kedar Jadhav made life easy and any challenge left in the chase was over. Jadhav also eventually got his 50 before Kohli got to three figures.
Every Indian bowler apart from Shardul Thakur used the slow track to get rewards. Hardik Pandya was dropped from the playing XI for the first time since the Dharamsala ODI against New Zealand but Thakur proved costly on Sunday.
Jasprit Bumrah inflicted the early damage before the spinners slowed down the Sri Lanka run-rate which was over six runs per over when Upul Tharanga, the captain returning after two-match ban, was dealing in boundaries.
India spinners Kuldeep Yadav and Yuzvendra Chahal, two wrist spinners turning out for India for the first time ever, did well in the middle overs to contain the flow of runs and picked one wicket each.