Mumbai: It was far from a dominating batting show after young bowlers’ inspiring show but India managed to inflict a 3-0 series whitewash on Sri Lanka with a tense five-wicket win in the third Twenty20, here tonight.
Sri Lankan hopes to end the miserable tour on a high were raised when India struggled in a 136-run chase but eventually the hosts crossed the finish line with four balls to spare.
Sri Lanka will go home with just one ODI win from this tour while India would head to South Africa with convincing victories in all three formats.
India lost in-form openers captain Rohit Sharma (27) and KL Rahul (4) early, which affected their run-rate badly as Shreyas Iyer and Manish Pandey found the going tough against a fired-up Lankan attack.
Paceman Dushmanta Chameera cleaned up Pandey (32 off 29 balls) with a faster but straight delivery, bringing Dhoni at the crease with India requiring 28 from 23 balls.
Boundaries were still hard to come but Dinesh Karthik (18 not out) tilted the match in India’s favour by hitting a massive six off Nuwan Pradeep’s full toss in the last ball of the 19th over.
Needing three from the last over, Dhoni (16 not out) got a couple from first ball and flicked the next one from Thisara Perera to mid-wicket boundary to finish the game.
Earlier, Asela Gunaratne was the only batsman, who applied himself well and played a slow but crucial 36-run knock that took Sri Lanka past the 100-run mark.
Unadkat, who generated a lot of pace in his first spell, was the most outstanding Indian bowler with figures of impressive 4-0-15-2.
His pace colleague though proved very expensive, leaking 45 runs from his four overs with 18 coming in the last over of the innings.
Debutant Washington Sundar (1/22) and Unadkat removed the top three batsmen in space of 11 balls to rattle the visitors.
In a three-over spell, Sundar conceded 18 runs while Unadkat gave away only seven runs in his impressive two-over spell as Sri Lanka managed 37 runs in Powerplay.