Twenty20 International: Dominant India claim series

Cricket Third T20I : Ashwin returns his best T20 figures as hosts drub Lanka by nine wickets

Twenty20 International: Dominant India claim series

Off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin weaved his magic with a career-best four-wicket haul as India trounced Sri Lanka by nine wickets in the deciding third and final Twenty20 International to clinch the three-match series 2-1 here on Sunday.

Ashwin scalped two wickets in the very first over and then finished with dream figures of 4-1-8-4 as the hosts bundled out Sri Lanka for 82, their lowest ever score in T20 cricket.
Before this, Sri Lanka’s lowest total was 87 against Australia in 2010 at Bridgetown.

Ashwin was simply unplayable for the Sri Lankans on a pitch, which offered help to the spinners.

Besides Ashwin, Suresh Raina also shone with the ball by scalping two wickets, giving away just six runs in his two overs.

The series win also helped India retain its numero uno position in the ICC T20 rankings.
Such was the plight of the visitors that only two batsmen — Dasun Shanaka (19) and Thisara Perera (12) — managed to touch the double-digit mark at ACA-VDCA stadium.

The total was too small for India, who overhauled the target in 13.5 overs after losing Rohit Sharma (13) early in the innings. The Indians were in no hurry as they waited for bad balls to hit the boundaries and relied on singles and twos to keep the scoreboard ticking.

Opener Shikhar Dhawan (46 off 46) and Ajinkya Rahane (22 off 24) took the side to the finishing line with an unbeaten 55–run partnership for the second wicket.
There were not many boundaries but Dhawan finished off the match with a six and four off debutant Asela Gunaratne.

It was second successive series win for India after whitewashing Australia 3-0 in their own backyard. India's next assignment is Asia Cup in Bangladesh where they play the hosts on February 24 in the tournament-opener in Mirpur. 

Earlier opting to field, India skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni handed out the new ball to Ashwin and he responded in fine fashion.

Ashwin had Niroshan Dickwella (1) stumped when the batsman charged down the track but was was completely beaten and the Indian captain had an easy stumping to do.

In the last ball of the over, Ashwin trapped Tillakaratne Dilshan (1) and when he retuned for his second over, he had Dinesh Chandimal caught by Hardik Pandya as the rival skipper tried to cut loose but miscued a shot.

In his third over, Ashwin got rid of debutant Asela Gunaratne and soon the Lankans were gasping at 21 for five, with left-arm paceman Ashish Nehra taking the fifth wicket.

Such was the dominance of the Indian bowlers that only six shots to the fence were played in seven overs. It was only in the eighth over that Sri Lanka found two sixes through Dasun Shanaka (19), who whacked Yuvraj Singh twice over the fence. However Shanaka lost his partner Prasanna in the same over through a run out, which was result of excellent field work by Ravindra Jadeja and Sri Lanka were tottering at 48 for six.

At half-way mark, the visitors had managed to put on board only 54 runs. The wicket was assisting spinners and Dhoni had no hesitation in giving the ball to Jadeja and Raina. Soon Jadeja sent back Shanaka (19) by going through his defence.

Ashwin returned for his final over but could not add any wicket to his tally but Raina then scalped Sachitra Senanayke (8) and Thisara Perera (12) in a space of three balls.

Bumrah folded the innings by castling Dilhara Fernando (1) in the last ball of the 18th over. 

score board

SRI LANKA
Dickwella st Dhoni b Ashwin    1
(2b)
Dilshan lbw Ashwin    1
(2b)
Chandimal c Pandya b Ashwin    8
(9b, 2x4)
Gunaratne c Raina b Ashwin    4
(12b)
Siriwardana b Nehra    4
(2b, 1x4)
Shanaka b Jadeja    19
(24b, 1x4, 2x6)
Prasanna (run out)    9
(7b, 2x4)
Perera c Jadeja b Raina    12
(20b, 1x4)
Senanayake c Dhoni b Raina    8
(16b)
Chameera (not out)    9
(9b, 1x4)
Fernando b Bumrah    1
(6b)
Extras (LB-2, W-3, NB-1)    6
Total (all out, in 18 overs)    82
Fall of wickets: 1-2, 2-3, 3-12, 4-20, 5-21, 6-48, 7-54, 8-72, 9-73.
Bowling: Ashwin 4-1-8-4, Nehra 2-0-17-1, Bumrah 3-0-10-1, Jadeja 4-1-11-1, Yuvraj 1-0-15-0, Pandya 2-0-13-0, Raina 2-0-6-2.
INDIA
Sharma lbw Chameera    13
(13b, 1x4, 1x6)
Dhawan (not out)    46
(46b, 5x4, 1x6)
Rahane (not out)    22
(24b, 1x4)
Extras (LB-3)    3
Total (for 1 wkt; 13.5 overs)    84
Fall of wicket: 1-29.
Bowling: Senanayake 4-0-22-0, Fernando 2-0-7-0, Chameera 2-0-14-1, Prasanna 1-0-3-0, Siriwardana 1-0-9-0, Gunaratne 2.5-0-22-0, Dilshan 1-0-4-0.
India win the series 2-1

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