Pathan, Dhoni sink Sri Lanka
Baroda, November 12:
Home favourite Irfan Pathan produced a fine all-round performance as India notched up a five-wicket win over Sri Lanka in the seventh and final one-dayer to wrap up the series 6-1.
Pathan grabbed three scalps and slammed a brisk 35 during his first international appearance in his hometown as India raced to the 245-run target with 10.3 overs to spare. Hard-hitting Mahendra Dhoni made things easy with a quickfire 80, adding 83 for the fifth wicket with captain Rahul Dravid (31 not out) before falling at the brink of victory.
Wicketkeeper Dhoni, who was named man of the series after a fine run with the bat that included a record-breaking 183 not out in Jaipur, hit nine fours and three sixes off 73 balls.
India, who had clinched the series early on by winning the first four matches, finished with a morale-boosting series result just four days ahead of a five-match one-day series against South Africa.
The day belonged to 21-year-old Pathan, who was on the offensive from early on after being promoted to the number three position, from where he had slammed a quickfire 83 off 70 balls in the opening match in Nagpur.
The left-hander smashed four fours and two sixes, one each off pacemen Dilhara Fernando and Nuwan Zoysa, in just 23 balls.
Earlier, Pathan and the other left-arm paceman Rudra Pratap Singh had bagged three wickets each to help restrict Sri Lanka to 244-9. Rudra finished with 3-33 and man of the match Pathan 3-38. Rudra ran through the middle-order by claiming Kumar Sangakkara, Mahela Jayawardene and Tillakaratne Dilshan.
Electing to bat, Sri Lanka were reduced to 85-5 after Rudra’s successes, and only managed the total they did because of a 133-run stand for the sixth wicket between Atapattu (59) and left-hander Russell Arnold (68).
The duo came together in the 25th over and repaired the damage with some determined batting before they fell on successive deliveries from Pathan in the 47th over.
Pathan had earlier accounted for left-hander Upul Tharanga (six) with the new ball when the opener edged to Dravid at first slip. Atapattu struck five fours during his 55th one-day half-century while Arnold hit seven fours and a six in his 23rd before they were both caught by Harbhajan Singh in the deep.
Earlier, Sangakkara (32) and Jayawardene (20) added 57 runs for the third wicket after two early dismissals. Seamer Ajit Agarkar chipped in with two wickets.
T Samaraweera c Harbhajan b Agarkar 6
U Tharanga c Dravid b Pathan 6
K Sangakkara c Yuvraj b Rudra 32
M Jayawardene c Kartik b Rudra 20
M Atapattu c Harbhajan b Pathan 59
T Dilshan c Dhoni b Rudra 4
R Arnold c Harbhajan b Pathan 68
D Lokuhetige b Agarkar 5
C Vaas c Yuvraj b Kartik 11
U Chandana not out 4
Extras: 29 (lb4, w23, nb2)
Total: 244/9 (50 overs)
FoW: 1-11, 2-20, 3-77, 4-80, 5-85, 6-218, 7-218, 8-227, 9-244
India bowling: Pathan 10-1-38-3, Agarkar 10-1-47-2, Rudra Singh 10-2-33-3, Harbhajan 10-1-45-0, Kartik 7-0-53-1, Sehwag 3-0-24-0
V Sehwag c Sangakkara b Fernando 35
S Tendulkar c & b Zoysa 39
I Pathan c Jayawardene b Zoysa 35
M Dhoni c Samaraweera b Chandana 80
M Kaif b Lokuhettige 13
R Dravid not out 31
Y Singh not out 0
Extras: 12 (lb3, w1, nb8)
Total: 245/5 (39.3 overs)
FoW: 1-53, 2-109, 3-115, 4-157, 5-240
Sri Lanka bowling: Vaas 9.3-1-51-0, Fernando 10-1-72-1, Zoysa 7-0-47-2, Lokuhettige 5-0-29-1, Chandana 6-0-32-1, Dilshan 2-0-11-0