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Ashwin stuns Sri Lanka as India complete series win

Ashwin stuns Sri Lanka as India complete series win
Ravichandran Ashwin (right) registered the best figures for an Indian bowler in T20Is.
©REUTERS / Action Images

India 84-1 (Dhawan 46no) beat
Sri Lanka 82 (Ashwin 4-8) by nine wickets
Third Twenty20 International in Visakhapatnam

Ravichandran Ashwin took four wickets as India bundled Sri Lanka out for 82 runs and chased down the target in 13.5 overs to complete a nine-wicket win in the third Twenty20 International in Visakhapatnam while sealing a 2-1 series victory.

India won the toss and opted to field first with an unchanged side. Sri Lanka made three changes by including Dilhara Fernando, Niroshan Dickwella and Asela Gunaratne.

India opened the bowling with Ashwin (4-8) yet again who had an immediate impact by dismissing Dickwella (1) and Tillakaratne Dilshan (1) in the very first over. Dickwella was stumped by MS Dhoni while Dilshan was trapped lbw.

In his next over, Ashwin got Dinesh Chandimal (8) to top edge a delivery down to Hardik Pandya (0-13) at mid-off.

Sri Lanka slid further as Gunaratne (4) was given out caught at leg slip off Ashwin in the fifth over while Milinda Siriwardana (4) was castled by Ashish Nehra (1-17) in the sixth. By the end of the powerplay, India had reduced Sri Lanka to 29 for five.

The procession of wickets continued as an accurate underarm throw caught Seekkuge Prasanna (9) short of the crease in the eighth over.

Shanaka (19) played a 24-ball knock of 19 runs before Jadeja got a ball through his defences leaving Sri Lanka seven down for 54.

Sachithra Senanayake (8) and Thisara Perera (12) halted India’s juggernaut by playing out 4.5 overs but a double strike from Suresh Raina (2-6) dismissed both the players in the 16th over.

Sri Lanka were eventually bowled out for 82 runs in 18 overs, which was their lowest score in T20Is. Ashwin was the pick of the bowlers as he picked four wickets and conceded just eight runs from his four overs.

Chasing a small total, Rohit Sharma (13) and Shikhar Dhawan (46 not out) gave India a perfect start with a 29-run opening stand in just 5.2 overs.

Dushmantha Chameera (1-14) was the lone wicket-taker as he dismissed Sharma lbw in the sixth over.

However, Dhawan and Ajinkya Rahane (22 not out) ensured that India had no more hiccups in the chase with an unbeaten 55-run stand.

In the 14th over, Dhawan struck a six and a four off consecutive balls to seal a nine-wicket victory which also gave India a 2-1 victory in the series.

By the virtue of their win, India retained the top position in the ICC T20I rankings. Ashwin was chosen as the man of the match and the man of the series as well.

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