Harmanpreet Kaur and Pooja Vastrakar shone with bat and ball as India cantered to a 39-run victory over Sri Lanka in the final One-Day International on Thursday.
India won the series 3-0, its fourth consecutive bilateral series win against Sri Lanka.
SL vs IND, 3rd ODI - AS IT HAPPENED
Harmanpreet (75, 88b, & 1/21) and Vastrakar (56 n.o., 65b, 2/32) added 97 runs for the seventh wicket stand to ensure a decent total of 255 for 9, before making crucial breakthroughs to hurt Sri Lanka during its run chase. India’s bowlers executed their plans well as Sri Lanka was shot out for 216 in 47.3 overs.
The women’s side had earlier won ODI series in 2013, 2015, and 2018.
Sri Lankan skipper Chamari Athapaththu won the toss and chose to field on a surface known to favour teams batting first.
Buoyed by the outstanding performances in the second ODI, openers Shafali Verma and Smriti Mandhana, however, failed to make a big impact. Mandhana was the first to depart (6, 20b) as she fell victim to a length delivery from Kavisha Dilhari after her attempted cut landed in the keeper's gloves.
- India 255 for 9 in 50 overs (Harmanpreet 75, Vastrakar 56, Shafali 49) beat Sri Lanka 216 in 47.3 overs (Nilakshi de Silva 48 n.o., Athapaththu 44, Gayakwad 3 for 36) by 39 runs.
With a half-century under her belt, Shafali, continued her good form, getting to 49 off 50 balls with some crisp shots. She missed scoring her second half-century on a trot by a whisker, Rashmi Silva trapping her leg-before-wicket.
With 155 runs from three matches and with an impressive average of 77.50, Shafali finished as the leading run-scorer in the three-match ODI series. With Shafali departing at a crucial juncture, India suddenly had a middle-order collapse as it was left tottering at 124 for 6 before Harmanpreet turned the tables on the home team.
The Indian skipper batted with a lot of responsibility throughout her innings and made the best use of the short balls, hitting seven fours and two massive sixes. She was rock-solid on the leg side, most of her boundaries coming through the midwicket region. She completed her fifty with a brilliant six over deep midwicket, crouching and clobbering a floated delivery from off-spinner Oshadi Ranasinghe to clear the boundary for a maximum.
While Harmanpreet played the captain's knock, Vastrakar played the role of a perfect second fiddle, hitting three free-flowing sixes in innings. It was her second half-century in women’s ODIs.
When Sri Lanka started the chase, captain Athapaththu (44 off 41 balls) and Hasini Perera (39 off 57 balls) showed positive intent, adding 56 for the second wicket, but things went downhill after the home team skipper was dismissed. It found Rajeshwari Gayakwad (3 for 36 in 10 overs) difficult to get away while most of the bowlers kept the home team under a tight leash.
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