Birthday boy Wanindu Hasaranga put the icing on the cake for India in a 4-wicket spinning web to earn the birthday present of the Player of the Match on his 24th birthday culminating in Sri Lanka trouncing India by 7 wickets and 33 balls to spare chasing 81 in the decisive third and final T20 for a historic 2-1 triumph since 2019 at the R. Premadasa Stadium for a champagne flying Thursday night celebration. His 4 for 9 off 4 overs was party stuff
Sri Lanka made 82 for 3 off 14.3 overs to India’s 81 for 8 off 20.
Sri Lanka made no mistake about it inching cautiously with Dhananjaya de Silva and Wanindu Hasaranga, in a continuation of the celebrative act, knocking off 26 runs between them having come together with the score 56 for 3 after 11 overs. Silva was unbeaten on 23 off 20 inclusive of 2 boundaries with Wanindu Hasaranga on 14 off 9 with a boundary to cap the victory in dual roles. Upfront, Minod Bhanuka 18 off 27 helping himself to a boundary and Avishka Fernando 12 off 18 with a boundary put on 23 off 35 balls. Fernando was caught and bowled by Chahar. Bhanuka was next out LBW to Chahar with the total reading 35 after 7 overs. Sadeera Samarawickrama hung on adding 21 for the third wicket with Dhananjaya de Silva. He made 6 off 13 cleaned up by Chahar accounting for all three Lankan wickets to fall.
Indeed, Hasaranga’s double strike on a turning wicket that started with the fourth ball of his first over trapping Sanju Samson with a fast leg break and a repeat LBW delivery in the last ball of the over that rapped Raturaj Gaikwad’s pads in line with leg stumps was to set the ball rolling in the Sri Lankan partying mood. It marked a shift from long whipping boys to a box seat domination by Sri Lanka as India was brought to its knees from the dominant for a good part of the tour wobbling on 4 for 25 after four overs. It followed the first wicket of the Indian skipper Shikhar Dhawan gone for a first ball duck prised out by fast man Dushmantha Chameera who has emerged as Sri Lanka’s main new ball weapon starting from the Bangladesh tour, and young Ramesh Mendis, coming first change, trapping Devdutt Padikkat plumb leg before wicket for 9. India 1 for 5 and 2 for 23 after three overs was the ideal trappings for Hasaranga to enter the show in shifting the balance further Sri Lanka’s way. When the Lankan skipper Dasun Shanaka brought himself on in a 2=wicket burst sending back of Nitish Rana by an extraordinary diving return catch for 6 as India precipitated to 5 for 36 and Rahul Chahar caught behind by Minod Bhanuka for 5 after having also starred in the dismissal of Bhuvaneshwar Kumar latching on to a catch at extra cover off Hasaranga as the Lankans left no room for a repeat act by India’s duo of that great escape in the second ODI. Hasaranga’s fourth victim was Varun Chakravarthy caught by Chamika Karunaratne for a duck as India reeled on 63 fr 8 off 16.4 overs and hanging on for 18 more runs after 20 with Kuldeep Yadav unbeaten on 23 and Chetan Sakariya on 5.
India 81/8 (20 Overs)
(Kuldeep Yadav n.o. 23, Wanindu Hasaranga 4/9, Dasun Shanaka 2/20)
Sri Lanka 82/3 (14.3 Overs)
(Dhananjaya de Silva n.o. 23, Minod Bhanuka 18, Wanindu Hasaranga n.o. 14, R. Chahar 3/45)