RAJKOT: Suryakumar Yadav’s unbeaten century guided India to a 91-run victory over Sri Lanka in the third and final Twenty20 international in Rajkot on Saturday as the host clinched the series 2-1.
Yadav, the top-ranked batsman in T20s, made 112 not out, hitting seven fours and nine sixes in his 51-ball display as India set Sri Lanka a target of 229 after electing to bat first.
In response, Sri Lanka was bowled out for 137 as Arshdeep Singh bagged three wickets, while Hardik Pandya, Umran Malik and Yuzvendra Chahal took two wickets each.
While the first two matches were neck and neck, India dominated the proceedings with both bat and ball in the decider, which is bound to boost the youngsters’ morale.
Chasing the stiff target, Pathum Nissanka (15) survived a first-ball appeal as he chose to review a leg before call off a Hardik Pandya delivery.
The two openers looked up for the challenge as they shared a brisk 44-run stand. While Nissanka hit Arshdeep Singh (3/20) for a couple of fours in the second over, Kusal Mendis slammed consecutive sixes off Pandya in the next over.
With the pacers going for runs, Pandya introduced spin in the form of Axar Patel (1/19) and the left-arm spinner took the wicket of Kusal Mendis (23).
Arshdeep Singh then dismissed Nissanka in the next over while Pandya got Avishka Fernando (1).
The wily Yuzvendra Chahal (2/30) was the next bowler to claim a wicket in the form of Charith Asalanka (19) courtesy Shivam Mavi, who ran to his left from deep cover to complete an excellent catch.
The ever-increasing required run rate troubled the visitor as it started finding Indian fielders and giving away its wickets.
Earlier, after completing his fifty in 26 balls, Surya took only 19 deliveries to reach the 100-run mark. He ended the innings in style, hitting a six and a four off Chamika Karunaratne (1/52) in the last over.
Shubman Gill (46), who failed to go beyond single digit scores in the previous two matches, was cautious as he opened his account after playing nine dots with a six, followed by a four off Dilshan Madushanka (2/55) in the third over.
Rahul Triptahi played a 16-ball 35-run knock after Ishan Kishan (1) was sent back in the first over.
As soon as spin was introduced, Tripathi targeted Mahesh Theekshana (0/48) as he collected three fours from the fifth over. He scooped the first one over square leg, played the second to point and hit the third over mid-off.
India collected 53 for the loss of two wickets in the powerplay and while Gill continued to score at a slow pace, Surya was at his effortless best.
The world’s number one batter in the format looked like a man from another planet.
Brief scores: India 228/5 in 20 overs (Suryakumar Yadav 112*, S Gill 46) bt Sri Lanka 137 in 16.4 overs (A Singh 3/20)