Mahela Jayawardene’s 17th ODI ton rescued Sri Lanka from some lethargic batting from his fellow batsmen as the Lankan middle order collapsed following a well-constructed 105 third wicket partnership between Tillakratne Dilshan. Sri Lanka finally managed to put on 242 on the board. Jayawardene, who retired from Test matches earlier this year to concentrate on the World Cup scored his 17th ODI century and remained scored a vital 124 ball 118 with 12 fours and a six before getting stumped off Ashwin. The only other notable performance for the Lankans came from the bat of Dilshan, who scored his 39th ODI fifty before gifting his wicket to Ambati Rayudu for an 80 ball 53.
After electing to bat on a wicket that was under the covers due to overnight rains, Sri Lanka lost the wicket of Kusal Perera in the very first over, Courtesy a gem of a delivery from pacer Umesh Yadav. Umesh struck in his next ball, the first ball of the third over as he scalped the all-important wicket of Kumar Sangakkara for a Golden duck as he edged a ball to R Ashwin in the first slip. Jayawardene and Dilshan consolidated the innings before their 137 ball partnership was broken by Ambati Rayudu, against whom Dilshan tried to go over the top and ended up scooping to Ajinkya Rahane at covers who leaped up and took the catch.
Skipper Angelo Matthews walked in and soon after the batting power-play was taken. It’s where the floodgates opened for Sri Lanka as the batsmen simply threw their wickets away. First it was Matthews who top-edged a pull shot off Akshar Patel straight to his counterpart Virat Kohli at mid-off. Akshar stroke again to send Ashan Priyanjan back to the pavilion for just 2 runs. In the final over of the batting power-play, Akshar had Chaturanga de Silva in the last over of the power-play to derail the Sri Lankan innings. Soon, things became difficult for Sri Lanka as they had Thisara Perera popping a Yadav’s short of a length delivery straight to substitute fielder Binny at extra cover.
But Jayawardene remained calm and brought up his 17th ODI century with a six off Akshar off the square-leg boundary. He started a counter attack as he smashed the Indian bowlers all over the ground. He, along with number 9 batsman Seekkuge Prasanna added 67 runs in 55 balls. Prasanna’s rusty hits took Sri Lanka to
Umesh Yadav and Akshar Patel were the pick of the Indian bowlers with figures of 4-53 and 3-40 respectively. It was also the career best figures forUmesh Yadav in ODI’s.
For India to seal the series, India need to chase 243 in 50 overs. The only concern for India will be Ishant Sharma, who left the field mid-way through the innings due o an injury. It is expected not to be serious and Ishant is expected to be back for the next match on Thursday.