Rohit, Bumrah star as India seal series at pallekele

Pallekele [Sri Lanka]: Swashbuckling Indian opener Rohit Sharma scored a brilliant hundred as India won the third ODI comfortably by six wickets, thereby clinching the five-match series here at the Pallekele International Cricket Stadium here on Sunday.

Chasing a paltry score of 218, India recovered from early hiccups,thanks to a brilliant partnership between Rohit (124) and Mahendra Singh Dhoni (67) to help the Men in Blue cross the line with ease .

Security forces were called in between the match when India were 210 for four after 44 overs, to clear the spectators from some of the sections in the gallery after Sri Lankan supporters resorted to throwing bottles into the field of play.

The visiting side’s batting order collapsed for a second successive time after Shikhar Dhawan (5), skipper Virat Kohli (3), KL Rahul (17) and Kedar Jadhav (0) were back to sent back to the pavilion on 61-4.

However, Dhoni and Sharma kept their calm and composure to help India not only get out of troubled waters but also take an unassailable 3-0 lead in the series.

Earlier, pacer Jasprit Bumrah came out with a stupendous bowling performance as India restricted the hosts 217-9 in their stipulated quota of 50 overs.

Bumrah ended with 5-27, his best figures in an ODI. He was ably supported by Bhuvneshwar Kumar who couldn’t scalp any wicket but put a break on the Sri Lankan batting.

Hardik Pandya, Axar Patel and Kedar Jadhav all chipped in with a wicket each.

For the hosts, Lahiru Thirimanne was the top scorer as played a fine knock of 80, which included five boundaries and a six. Apart from him, Dinesh Chandimal (36) and Milinda Siriwardana (29) made some notable contributions.

Bumrah was awarded man of the match for his brilliant bowling performance.

This was India’s seventh successive bilateral series victory against Sri Lanka.

The two teams will now lock horns in the fourth ODI to be played at the R. Premadasa Stadium, Colombo on August 31. (ANI)