India seal series 4-1
India wrapped up the ODI series 4-1 with a 20 run win in the 5th ODI at Pallekele on Saturday.
After choosing to bat first, India lost opener Ajinkya Rahane (9) early. Virat Kohli (23) and Gautam Gambhir added 48 for the second wicket before Kohli and Rohit Sharma (4) were both dismissed within overs of each other, leaving India at 87/3. Manoj Tiwary (65) and Gambhir (88) then added 110 for the fourth wicket, setting up a good base for India before Dhoni (58) and Irfan Pathan (29) carried the total to 294/7 with a quick 77 run partnership for the seventh wicket.
Pathan then gave India a great start, removing the SL’s most senior batsman Tillakaratne Dilshan for a duck. Upul Tharanga (31) looked in great touch and he took SL past fifty within the powerplay, the best start for either team in the series. But Pathan, Dinda, Zaheer all struck with one wicket each while Tiwary ran out Mathews to soon reduce SL to 102/5 in the 16th over.
Jeevan Mendis then joined Lahiru Thirimanne and together the pair added 102 for the sixth wicket to keep SL in the hunt. Thirimanne (77) had begun to accelerate when sharp fielding from Virat Kohli and co-ordination from Zaheer and MS Dhoni saw him being run out.
Mendis (72) took on the onus of the big shots and succeeded, adding 48 quick runs with Thisara Perera (18) before Pathan sent both back in the 43rd over. The wicket of Senanayake in the 45th over sealed Pathan’s second ODI five wicket haul and he finished with 5/61 in his 10 overs.
Late hitting from Lasith Malinga gave India a few scares before Dinda had him caught at long off to seal a 20 run win for India. The win gave them the series 4-1 and also took them to no.2 in the ICC ODI team rankings.
Leading the tournament run charts with 296 runs at an average of 74, Virat Kohli picked up the Man of the Series award – a Renault Duster which the team rode around on as a lap of honour.