For the first time in five ODI’s, the Sri Lankan batsmen showed some fight as their skipper Angelo Mathews scored his maiden ODI hundred and propelled the visitors to a par score of 286-8 in their fifty overs against India in the fifth and final ODI at Ranchi. With this hundred, Mathews just got the monkey off his back which took as many as 116 ODI innings.
Tillakratne Dilshan gave the Lankans a flying start as he went after the bowlers straight after winning the toss and choosing to bat. He lost his opening partner Niroshan Dickwella for 4 to Dhawal Kulkarni before he was castled by Binny for a 24 ball 35. Dinesh Chandimal didn’t last long but Mahela Jayawardene tried to get the innings back on track before losing his wicket against the run of play. It was when Mathews joined Lahiru Thirimanne at the crease. The duo batted sensibly, and negotiated the batting power-play without a loss of wicket before launching an assault on the Indian bowlers. The duo batted 26 overs and put on a 128 run partnership. Thirimanne lost his wicket for 52 offering a catch for Ambati Rayudu off R Ashwin.
Mathews, on the other end, kept on attacking the bowlers especially spinners and took them to cleaners. He completed his hundred with a double off R Ashwin. He dispatched the bowlers out of the park consistently as he smashed 10 sixes in total along with 6 fours in his unbeaten knock of 116 ball 139. Akshar Patel was the pick of the Indian bowlers with a figures of 2-45 in his 10 overs. Ashwin and Kulkarni too finished with two wickets apiece.
India’s 3 spinner theory failed to work and India need to chase down 287 to whitewash the Sri Lanka 5-0. Sri Lanka have not lost a series 5-0 in the past 10 years. WIth this innngs, Mathews became the first captain to score 10 sixes in an ODI innings, surpassing Ricky Ponting’s 9 against South Africa at the Jo’Burg.