India had already sealed the series by winning the first two ODIs but in the third match, it could not defend the total of 253 for five, built around Raj’s unbeaten 125 and opener Smriti Mandhana’s 51. They had shared a 102-run stand for the second wicket after young Jemimah Rodrigues (0) made an early exit. Mithali’s seventh ODI hundred and first in 14 months, came off 143 balls with 14 fours and a six.
Sri Lanka skipper Chamari Attapattu’s century though counted as her 115-run knock and a gutsy 101-run stand with fellow opener Hasini Perera (45) set the tone for the chase. There were a few hiccups after the two batswomen returned to the pavilion as Indian bowlers made in roads but, tail-ender Kavisha Dilhari held her nerves to push her side to the finish line with one ball to spare.
Sri Lanka needed six runs from the final over. Coming out to bat at number nine, Kavisha smashed a four in the penultimate ball of the match off Deepti Sharma to earn a consolatory win for the host. Jhulan Goswami and Mansi Joshi took two wickets each to rip through the Lankan middle order but their effort proved insufficient in the end.
Brief scores: India women 253 for five in 50 overs (Smriti Mandhana 51, Mithali Raj 125) lost to Sri Lanka women 257 for seven in 49.5 overs (Chamari Athapaththu 115, Jhulan Goswami 2/39)