India bounced back in dominant fashion to win the third and final T20I in Rajkot on Saturday by a massive 91-run margin and clinch the series 2-1.
World’s No 1 T20I batter Suryakumar Yadav smashed an unbeaten 112 off 51 balls to fire India to a massive 228-5. The bowlers then completed a clinical effort.
With this series win, India extended their unbeaten streak in men’s bilateral series at home against Sri Lanka. Indian men also keep up their win record in bi-lateral series on home turf which stretches back to February 2019.
Chasing a big target, the Sri Lankan batting line-up crumbled for 137 runs within 16.4 overs as the Indian bowlers picked up regular wickets. Arshdeep Singh starred with 3/20 while Hardik Pandya, Umran Malik and Yuzvendra Chahal picked up two wickets apiece to ensure India produced an all-round show.
In the process, Chahal equalled Bhuvneshwar Kumar’s tally (90) for the most wickets by an Indian bowler in men’s T20Is.
The highest score for Sri Lanka remained captain Dasun Shanaka and Kusal Mendis with 23 runs as the hosts’ batting line-up was unable to post any resistance.
Earlier in the match, Hardik Pandya won the toss and elected to bat first in the series decider. India lost wickets inside six overs after they elected to bat first but Suryakumar and Shubman Gill (46) put on 111 runs to lay the foundations for the challenging total in Rajkot. Rahul Tripathi’s quickfire innings in the powerplay however set the tone.
Suryakumar, known as a 360-degree player for his ability to play all around the ground, raised his third T20 hundred for India in 45 balls as he stamped his class as the world’s number one batsman in the format.
Left-arm quick Dilshan Madushanka struck in the opening over to send back the left-handed Ishan Kishan caught at slip for one by Dhananjaya de Silva.
Tripathi, 31, who made his debut in the previous match, then hit back with Gill for company as he hit Maheesh Theekshana for three fours in the fifth over.
Tripathi smashed fast bowler Chamika Karunaratne for two successive sixes but got caught out in an attempt to get another boundary. He made 35 off 16 deliveries.
Suryakumar, who reached his fifty in 26 balls, then took charge with his all-round hitting including three sixes with his trademark scoop shot over fine leg.
Gill joined in the charge along with Suryakumar, who hit seven fours and nine sixes, smashed 23 runs in the 14th over from Theekshana.
But after three fours and two sixes in his 36-ball knock, Gill got bowled by leg-spinner Wanindu Hasaranga and skipper Hardik Pandya soon also fell on four.
Sri Lanka bounced back from their opening loss to level the three-match series at 1-1 on Thursday.
Suryakumar was the player of the match, while Axar Patel was player of the series.
The One Day International series, where Rohit Sharma will return to lead the Indians, begins on 10 January.
With inputs from AFP