Kohli eclipses Mathews’ heroics as Sri Lanka suffer their first ever 5-0 whitewash

121

Virat Kohli’s majestic 21st ODI century overshadowed Angelo Mathews’ maiden ODI ton as India strolled to a 3-wicket win over Sri Lanka in the 5th and final ODI at Ranchi on Sunday to inflict the first ever bilateral 5-0 whitewash in the history of Lankan cricket history. 

The battle of the captain’s continued throughout the series and Virat Kohli once again displayed his class by matching Angelo’s magnificent century to mark his name in the Indian ODI history by golden letters. For the first time in ODI history, both captains’ made 139 unbeaten but eventually  captain Kohli ended in the winning side. 

Earlier in the day, Angelo won the toss and elected to bat first on a dry surface which was more suited for the spinners. Sri Lanka handed a debut cap to rookie opener Niroshan Dickwella in place of out-of-form Kusal Perera while India too included a debutant in Kedhar Jadav for the expense of Suresh Raina. 

India were sharp on the field from the outset as Rayudu lunged forward to take a diving catch which dismissed the left-hander Dickwella, who failed to read a slower one from Kulkarni only to flick it at the fielder at square leg for only 4 in 10 balls. TM Dilshan produced a quick-fire 24-ball 35 as Sri Lanka had raced to 45 in the first six overs but Stuart Binny castled the 38-year old. 

Dinesh Chandimal looked out of sorts in the middle and struggled against the Indian bowlers and he played a rash short to Akshar Patel after making a slow 31-ball 5. Mahela Jayawardene looked elegant as always but could not prolong his innings before Ashwin generated a sharp turner with bounce and the legend failed to escape a thick edge to Rahane at slip for 32 as Sri Lanka were restricted to 85 for 4.

Mathews found a perfect ally in his deputy Lahiru Thirimanne in their 128 runs partnership that revived Lanka’s hope to return home with some pride. Thirimanne scored his 2nd half-century in as many games as he scored 52 from 76 balls before he became Ashwin’s 2nd victim. 

Mathews started to break loose, when he hit Karn Sharma for a six over extra cover to complete his half-century from 76 balls. The Indian bowlers suddenly looked lackluster with Mathews hitting lusty blows and in one over the Lankan captain hit part-time bowler Ambati Rayudu for two sixes and a four. Firing in all cylinders, Mathews’ second 50 came in no time as he took just 26 balls to race to his first ODI century. His entertaining knock of 139 from 116 balls had 10 big sixes and six boundaries. Sri Lanka got 114 runs in the final 10 overs thanks to one of the best innings from the skipper we call, ‘Captain Marvel’. 

India were struck by the great man himself in their chase as Mathews rolled his arm over to bowl wicket to wicket to clean bowl Ajinkya Rahane and Rohit Sharma cheaply with the hosts looking flummoxed at 14/2.  

India was 34 for 2 in 10 overs but from then they started to tarnish the bowling. Virat Kohli and Ambati Rayudu steadily constructed the innings as they plundered the Lankan bowling at ease. The Lankan bowlers failed to take wickets and let partnerships build which was the main highlight of the series. 

Both right-handers were involved in a forgettable run-out incident in the 28th over which brought an end to a well-compiled 136-run stand for the 3rd wicket. Ambati Rayudu walked-back to the pavilion after a solid 59 in 69 balls. Kohli looked destructive as ever and he was primed to take his team over the winning line. 

Ajantha Mendis got his first wicket of the series thanks to a brilliant diving catch by that man, Angelo Davis Mathews who seemed to be waging a one man war against India to dismiss Robin Uthappa for 19 in the 34th over of the match leaving the game evenly poised. Debutant Kedhar Jadav misread a ‘Mendis Googly’ and was clean bowled after a promising 20 from 24 deliveries. 

Virat Kohli kept on losing partners from the other end as Mendis struck two in two to send jitters into the Indian dressing room and Stuart Binny and Ravichandran Ashwin became Mendis’ 3rd and 4th victims respectively as left-arm spinner Akshar Patel walked in at 231/7 in the 44th over. 

Virat Kohli held his nerve impeccably as he started to counter-attack the Lankan bowlers including Ajantha Mendis and Shaminda Eranga. Akshar Patel played a ’cute’ supporting role to help his skipper win the game for them and Kohli sealed off the game with a six in the 49th over as a sensible 8th-wicket stand of 57 ensured India claim their 2nd ODI series whitewash over Sri Lanka at home – the first since the 3-0 triumph in 1982.

 

Full Scorecard