India clinch series with nine-wicket win

India chased their target of 83 without much difficulty after its bowlers, led by Ravichandran Ashwin caused Sri Lanka's batting collapse that had them bowled out by 18 overs. The win gave India the series 2-1.

Shikhar Dhawan took command of India's chase with an unbeaten 46.   -  K. R. Deepak

Tillakaratne Dilshan registered his second low-score in two games.   -  K. R. Deepak

Ravichandran Ashwin’s best spell in Twenty20 Internationals sent Sri Lanka crashing to its lowest total in the Twenty20 format and set the course for India to win the third and deciding match of the Twenty20 International series by nine runs and wrap up the series 2-1. Sri Lanka's previous lowest was 87 against Australia at Bridgetown in the 2010 World Twenty20.

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Sri Lanka’s top order perished in 26 balls as Ashwin completed his first spell with splendid figures of four wickets for five runs in three overs. His final tally was 4-1-8-4 at the ACA-VDCA stadium here.

M. S. Dhoni won the toss and decided that India would bowl first for the first time in the series. He kept faith in the team that played the last two matches while Sri Lanka made three changes but put up a much poorer show.

Sri Lanka brought back Dilhara Fernando, brought in debutant 30-year-old Asela Gunaratne and gave another chance to Niroshan Dickwella. But all its plans to ensure a win in the crunch match failed miserably.

After the Ashwin-inspired attack, Shikhar Dhawan and Ajinkya Rahane led the team to victory in 13.5 overs after Rohit Sharma was trapped in front by Dushmantha Chameera at the team’s score of 29. With no good total to back them on a batting strip, the Sri Lankan bowlers had little to realistically aim at, but among them, Chameera looked better as he bowled with control.

Ashwin strikes in the first over

Ashwin sent the packed stadium into raptures with the third ball of the night when he forced Dickwella to come out of his crease and leave Dhoni to do the rest. Ashwin ended the over trapping the experienced Tillakaratne Dilshan as he beat him with turn.

The Indian spinner went on to pick up more wickets in his next two overs. Dinesh Chandimal ballooned the catch trying for a big hit and was caught by Pandya, while Gunaratne tried to flick the bowler but ended up giving a catch to Suresh Raina. The ball appeared to have kissed the batsman’s gloves.

There was not much resistance from Sri Lanka, which just could not recover from the blows. Ashish Nehra kept one low and disturbed Siriwardena’s stumps.

The introduction of Yuvraj Singh saw Dasun Shanaka making the best use of lose bowling. Yuvraj was no-balled as he bowled higher than the permissible limit as Shanaka slammed him over mid-wicket. The free hit was sent for a straight six.

But in the same over, a hasty run put to an end to any hopes Sri Lanka entertained of staging a comeback. Yuvraj misfielded after Prasanna drove him back but Ravindra Jadeja came running from the covers to hit the stumps. Jadeja then claimed Shanaka, who top scored with 19, as the batsman inner-edged the ball on to his stumps. Raina struck twice in an over to remove Tishara Perera and Sachitra Senanayake, who looked like taking the score past 100.

Jasprit Bumrah picked up Fernando to close out the Sri Lankan innings, and by this moment, the contest was effectively sealed.

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