New Delhi:Sri Lanka made a thumping comeback in the series to salvage some pride and deprive India of a clean sweep as they bundled the visitors for 252, in reply to their 320 runs, in the fifth and final One-Day International at Colombo.
After a 68-run loss, India won the five-match ODI series 4-1. Both the teams will take positives from this series. India moved up to the second spot in the ICC rankings, though just for a few days, while Sri Lanka gained confidence after this win on Sunday. For the first time in the series, the hosts fought as a unit.
From the Indian camp, all-rounder Ravindra Jadeja started his career in style as he slammed his first ODI fifty and remained unbeaten on 60.
In pursuit of a winning total of 321 runs, India lost Virender Sehwag and Suresh Raina in quick succession. Sehwag could make only 6 runs when he played Thilan Thushara on the up but landed in the hands of Sanath Jayasuriya at mid-off.
Raina failed to open his account after a fuller Nuwan Kulasekara-delivery angled away to take a thick outside edge of his bat and land in the gloves of wicketkeeper Kumar Sangakkara. Gambhir fell in the similar fashion to the Nuwan after adding 43-run stand with Yuvraj Singh for the third wicket.
Rohit and Yuvraj added 33 runs before the former tried to pull a 'not so short' delivery and was caught by Kulasekara at mid-on for 15 runs. Yuvraj completed his 39th half-century soon after Rohit fell to Farveez Maharoof. The Punjab left-hander was adjudged the 'Man of the Series' for his 284 runs and 4 wickets.
Sri Lanka's spin wizard Muttiah Muralitharan removed Yuvraj and Yusuf Pathan in quick succession and pulled the Indian string. Yuvraj was looking in a murderous form when Murali caught him off his own bowling. Yusuf was his next victim whom he trapped him before the off and middle stump for just 3 runs.
Indian skipper MS Dhoni perished to Sanath Jayasuriya after slamming 28th half-century, his 10th against Sri Lanka. After Dhoni, the inevitable was just a matter of time. Ajantha Mendis, who had a disappointing series, comforted himself with the wickets of Irfan Pathan (8) and L Balaji (7). Ishant was taken Maharoof for 4 runs.
Earlier, with the help of top-order blitz, Sri Lanka for the first time in the series crossed the 300-run mark as they made 320 at the loss of 8 wickets.
Electing to bat first, Jayasuriya and Dilshan gave a good start to Sri Lanka and added 66 runs for the first wicket the former threw away his wicket. After being slammed with a string of boundaries, Irfan Pathan managed to rein Sanath Jayasuriya for 37 runs. The Lankan demolisher lofted a short ball and Suresh Raina took a simple catch at mid-off.
Sangakkara, who came after Jayasuriya's fall, had a blasting 143-run second wicket partnership with opener Tillakratne Dilshan. He made 84 runs before he trudged Yuvraj Singh and found an electric Rohit Sharma sliding forward at long-off to take him successfully. However, his effort was acknowledged with the 'Man of the Match' award.
After their fall, Thilina Kandamby joined Dilshan and added 46 runs to add to India's agony. But the visitors made a sensational comeback after they dismissed four Sri Lanka wickets in six balls. While Ishant Sharma dismissed Kandamby and Chamara Kapugedera, opener Dilshan missed his well-deserved hundred as he perished to a brilliant Rohit Sharma-throw. Skipper Mahela Jayawardene was claimed by Yuvraj.
Ishant foxed Kandamby with his pace and accuracy to knock down his stumps. Dilshan went next ball when Jayawardene tried to steal a single. Rohit Sharma charged in from point and caught Dilshan short of his lifeline for 97 runs.
Kapugedera edged one softly from Ishant to wicketkeeper MS Dhoni. Yuvraj dismissed Lankan skipper Jayawardene when he slapped it towards Raina at short cover who dived to collect the catch. Ishant got his third victim in Thilan Thushara after he took a good return catch to see him back for 11 runs.
However, Kulasekara and Maharoof contributed crucial runs in the death overs. Maharoof, however, was run out for 32 runs by debutant Jadeja. Kulasekara and Murali remained unbeaten 10 on and 3 runs respectively.