India vs Sri Lanka 2017: 3rd ODI, 5 talking points
Jasprit Bumrah, Rohit Sharma and MS Dhoni helped India seal the ODI series in Sri Lanka by six wickets in the third ODI at Pallekele. Opting to bat first, Sri Lanka were hurt by Bumrah's opening strikes but aided by Lahiru Thirimanne and Dinesh Chandimal, they recovered in parts. Bumrah continued to torment them right through the death overs and restricted the hosts to 217.
Rohit Sharma got India off to a flier but Sri Lanka struck with wickets of Shikhar Dhawan and Virat Kohli early in the chase. Akila Dananjaya, that mystery man, then turned up and added more to his bag to reduce India to 61/4.
However, India were in no mood to give Lanka any hopes in the series and Rohit Sharma and MS Dhoni combined for an unbeaten 149 run stand to take India to within 8 runs of the target. Unprecedented scenes at Pallekele saw the frustrated Lankan fans go berserk and hurl around plastic bottles to interrupt the game. The game was stopped for around 35 minutes before the unbroken pair resumed duties to take India home.
Brief Scores: Sri Lanka 217/9 (Thirimanne 80, Burmah 5/27) lost to India 218/4 (Rohit 124*, Dhoni 67*, Dananjaya 2/38)
Here are the talking points from the third ODI at Pallekele.
#5 Lahiru Thirimanne makes a point on his comeback
Playing an ODIs for the first time since January 2016, Lahiru Thirimanne showcased exactly what Sri Lankan were missing in the middle-order during the past few months. He chose to nudge and manipulate the field rather than going overboard with attacking strokes and the move paid off.
Not only did he enact the anchor role to perfection but also revelled so much in it that his partners could bat freely around him. While his 80 had just five fours and one six, it was enriched by smart running between the wickets and excellent placement. He was elected to play in the middle-order with Chandimal opening the innings and the swap seemed to work for the hosts.