India vs Sri Lanka, 5th ODI: MS Dhoni's Gesture For Virat Kohli That Most Failed To Notice
MS Dhoni came in to bat with India just two runs to win and handed the strike over to Virat Kohli.
Virat Kohli scored his second century of the series to steer India home to a six-wicket win in the fifth and final ODI against Sri Lanka on Sunday. The Indian captain and Kedar Jadhav stitched together a 108-run stand for the fourth wicket to put the hosts on the mat. Jadhav, however, failed to bat till the end as he was dismissed with the Men in Blue needing just two runs to complete a 5-0 sweep. That brought MS Dhoni to the crease, a man with the reputation of finishing off matches with big hits. Interestingly, Dhoni curbed his natural instincts to take a single on the very first ball. On reaching the non-striker's end, the former India captain smiled at Kohli who acknowledged the gesture with the exact same expression. While the duo didn't exchange any words, it was amply clear that Dhoni wanted Kohli to hit the winning runs after having played a stellar knock. Kohli didn't opt for anything fancy, striking the ball straight down the ground to seal the win.
2 runs to win.Dhoni @ crease. Kohli looks away as if he wants the winning runs. Dhoni taps for a single & smiles back. buddy u take us home.— Naresh Chelladurai (@NChelladurai) September 3, 2017
It was a match to remember for both superstar cricketers. Kohli went on to complete his 30th ODI century, equalling former Australian captain Ricky Ponting's tally. Only batting legend Sachin Tendulkar has scored more centuries in the 50-over game with 49 tons.
Dhoni passed a career milestone when he stumped Akila Dananjaya off the bowling of leg-spinner Yuzvendra Chahal, his 100th in ODIs. Dhoni became the first to achieve the feat, surpassing former Sri Lankan wicketkeeper Kumar Sangakkara who had 99 stumpings to his credit.
Kohli smashed nine fours in his unbeaten 110-run knock to help the visitors achieve the target of 239 with 21 balls to spare at the R. Premadasa Stadium.
The series win came after India swept the preceding three-Test rubber 3-0, capping their domination of the home side which has been beset by injury and selection woes.
This was India's second 5-0 whitewash in an away ODI series with Kohli's men having blanked Zimbabwe in 2013.
"It's quite amazing to have won the series 5-0. We always thought the shorter format is going to be much more challenging," said Kohli.
(With inputs from AFP)