Sri Lankan team has tasted very little success in the past few years and the trend continues in 2021, with India winning the ODI series 2-1. Sri Lanka has not won any bilateral ODI series against India since 2007 and this is their ninth straight series loss to the “Men in Blue”.
Since 2012, Sri Lanka has lost all their ODI games against India at home and the streak has finally come to an end with a win in the third and final ODI of the three-match series. Even though the hosts lost the series 2-1, this win will surely boost the confidence of the team going ahead into the three-match T20I series.
In the post-match presentation, Lankan skipper Dasun Shanaka praised his bowlers who restricted India to a below-par score after a good start. At 102/1 in just 15.4 overs, the visitors looked set to post a big 300+ total. However, after the rain interruption, the Lankan bowlers stepped up and bundled out India for just 225 in 43.1 overs.
“Congrats to India for winning the series. It was a very good series throughout and I am really happy with how we played. The bowlers showed maturity, that's what I expect from the youngsters. I hope they will continue this in the future tours as well,” Shanaka told in post-match presentation.
While the hosts got off to a flier scoring at well above 6 runs an over in the first powerplay, the middle order once again lacked the maturity to stay at the crease. Opener Avishka Fernando and the batsman coming back from injury Bhanuka Rajapaksa scored half-centuries for the team.
With two wickets each from debutant Chetan Sakaria and leggie Rahul Chahar, it felt like Sri Lanka would once again collapse nearing a win, but in the end, it proved out to be too late as the hosts won the match by 3 wickets.
However, Shanaka did point out the middle order collapse and insisted that the players need to bat consistently and with maturity in future.
“When you play international cricket for long, the guys will improve and play consistently. It is a very big win for the fans. We have been waiting for very long and have won after very long against India at home. I want to thank all my players and the support staff. Actually, I enjoy captaining.” Shanaka added.
Both the teams will now head into the three-match T20I series at the same venue starting from Sunday (25th July). Sri Lanka will go into the series with confidence of having finally beaten the Indian side, while for the Indian players, this series could be their ticket into the ICC T20 World Cup Squad.
(Inputs from SportsCafe)