Okay! Christmas is around the corner and guess what? This Lankan tour is about to end! Just one T20I left in this miserable tour for them and it will be played on Christmas Eve, Sunday, at 1900 local (1330 GMT) at the Wankhede. Can the Lankans manage to avoid a whitewash? Time will tell. In the meanwhile, if you do wish to compromise with your sleeping patterns, do try and check out the second NZ-WIN ODI which will be played on the 23rd of December, 2017 at 3.30 am IST. We take your leave. ADIOS! TAKE CARE!
Victorious Indian skipper, ROHIT SHARMA is the MAN OF THE MATCH. Say Yippee! for all those who guessed! He says that the conditions were good to bat and he only tried what he always tries to do - hit through the line. Adds that it has been coming off for the last few months. On missing out on the double ton, Rohit laughs it off, saying that it is too much to ask. Deflecting the question further, he says that the team was looking at a big total as no score on this ground seems defendable looking at the dew on offer. Praises Lokesh Rahul for supporting him nicely. On his own batting, Rohit says that he does not look to go hard at the ball and just concentrates on the timing. Coming to the Indian bowling, he says that he had a lot of faith in his bowlers as they have done well in the last 4-5 months. Further mentions that he does not mind games like these where the bowlers are put under pressure. In fact, he is happy that neither spinner went on the defensive, in spite of being hit around the park. Feels that the collapse initiated was brilliant and once again, the spinners did not let him down. On the question of giving Hardik Pandya the full quota of 4 overs, he says that it makes the captain's job easier if Hardik bowls his entire quota.
Sri Lankan skipper, THISARA PERERA says that it is a tough series for them and the run chase was too high. On Sri Lanka's start, he credits Tharanga and Kusal Perera for giving the momentum but then feels that the middle order capitulated. States that in all likelihood, Angelo Mathews is ruled out of the series due to a hamstring injury.
KULDEEP YADAV says that it was a great learning curve. The first three overs of his went for 45 but he still aimed for wickets. He believed that if he got one, he could get two. He tried to bowl slower through the air and wider of the batsmen initially. He went for pace but later on, he realized that slowing the pace would be vital, or rather varying it. Credits Rohit Sharma and MS Dhoni for continuously encouraging and supporting him, asking to go for wickets and not be defensive. On being asked to bowl short, he says that both seniors were asking him to be away from the batsmen in terms of line. Feels that 7 wickets in the last 3 overs changed the game.
India would be happy with the test that they got. There was plenty of dew around and the spinners came back really well after going for a lot initially. The seamers were not bad tonight, just that the spinners came into a bit more scrutiny. Sri Lanka just need to avoid collapses. To lose is not an issue but to lose without a fight definitely is. Sri Lanka gave a fight of course but the last few overs were a disappointment with the bat.
The wrist spinners were being taken away for plenty tonight. Before Tharanga got out, Chahal and Kuldeep had joint figures of 5-0-75-0. Enough to send any fielding skipper panicking. But Rohit backed his boys and they delivered. Chahal got rid of Tharanga and that was the end of the fight. Sri Lanka slipped from 145/1 to 172/9, losing 8/27 in 25 balls. Ouch. Just 3 batsmen managed double figures. The next highest scorer was Mr. Extras - 9.
It started well for the Lankans, with Dickwella going great guns. Kusal Perera then came in at no. 3 and started blasting the ball from the word go, obviously with nothing to lose. He kept the viewers interested, the neutral ones of course, threatening to take the game till the very end. He and Tharanga added 109 for the second wicket in just 53 balls and be it the slightest, India did start to worry.
To be honest, a real cricket fan would have never doubted this result but for once, Sri Lanka gave some fight. However, that can also mislead you. When Kusal Perera was going great guns, it did seem that we could have a close game. But...
Hardik Pandya to Dushmantha Chameera
OUT! That is the end of the game. India win the match and the series. Sri Lanka fall 88 runs short. Hardik bowls an off cutter, around off, Chameera looks to turn it to the leg side but misses and the ball knocks the leg stump out of the ground. 2-0 to India. One more match left for Sri Lanka to end their misery.
A length ball outside off, Chameera is foxed on the slower one.
HARDIK PANDYA is back on as well.
Jasprit Bumrah to Nuwan Pradeep
Full and outside off, driven towards cover.
The batsman goes after this one but misses the line completely.
Three in a row! Why isn't he targetting the stumps? Outside off, NP swings hard after backing a long way to the leg side, only to miss.
Another slower one outside off, Nuwan swings but misses again.
A slower one outside off, Pradeep swings but misses.
Jasprit Bumrah to Dushmantha Chameera
Outside off, run down to third man for a single.
JASPRIT BUMRAH comes back on.
Yuzvendra Chahal to Dushmantha Chameera
No fifer. Full and outside off, slapped to long off for a single.
NUWAN PRADEEP walks in at number 10. Could be the last man in as there is no surety over Mathews coming out to bat. Don't see the need to now.