Pallekele, Aug 4: Irfan Pathan claimed five wickets to help India beat Sri Lanka by 20 runs in the fifth ODI at Pallekele. India also claimed the second spot in the ODI rankings after winning the series 4-1.
Irfan Pathan claimed his second career-best figures (5/61) as he rocked Sri Lanka early on. Chasing a target of 295, the Lankans hopes were dashed when Pathan claimed his first wicket of opener Tillakaratne Dilshan, who got out for a duck. Upul Tharanga (31) and Lahiru Thirimanne looked set until Pathan struck again to claim opener Tharanga.
Thirimanne and Jeevan Mendis fought back after Lanka lost three wickets in quick succession, Dinesh Chandimal (8), Angelo Mathews (13) and Chamara Kapugedera (9) were dismissed in the space of 5 overs for 28 runs.
However, Thirimanne and Mendis racked up 102 runs for the sixth wicket to bring Sri Lanka back in the game. Thirimanne scored 77 runs before being run out while Pathan took three important wickets of Mendis, 72 runs, Thisara Perera (18) and Senanayake (7).
India will aim to end the tour with a win in the only Twenty20 game at Pallekele on August 7, Tuesday.
India's First Innings Report
Having won the toss and elected to bat, India lost Ajinkya Rahane in the 6th over for 9, while Virat Kohli (23) also made his way to the pavilion after making a good start as he was trapped leg before by Nuwan Pradeep.
Gautam Gambhir (88) and Manoj Tiwary (65) played a fabulous innings, as they added 110 runs for the 4th wicket. Gambhir played a gritty knock as he scored 88 off 99 balls which included 7 boundaries.
While Gambhir scored his 33rd ODI fifty, Manoj Tiwary also raced to his second ODI fifty as he scored 65 off 68 balls.
Gambhir and Kohli added 48 runs for the second wicket which was the third highest partnership for India in the 5th ODI.
Rohit Sharma's disappointing form continued as he was out for 4, bowled for the 13th time in ODIs, while Suresh Raina (0) also couldn't repeat the magic again as it all depended on skipper Dhoni and Irfan Pathan to post a decent score in order to defend the total.
Dhoni during his knock of 58 reached 2000 ODI runs against Sri Lanka as Gambhir reached 5000 ODI runs during the fifth ODI at Pallekele. Pathan (29*) along with Dhoni added 77 runs for the 7th wicket, the second highest of the match.
With 295 needed from 50 overs, Lanka rely on the opening pair Upul Tharanga and Tillakaratne Dilshan, Dinesh Chandimal to play a vital knock in order to save pride for the nation after losing the series 3-1.
India: MS Dhoni (captain), Gautam Gambhir, Virat Kohli (vice-captain), Rohit Sharma, Suresh Raina, Irfan Pathan, Ravichandran Ashwin, Zaheer Khan, Ajinkya Rahane, Manoj Tiwary, Ashok Dinda
Sri Lanka: Angelo Mathews (captain), Tillakaratne Dilshan, Upul Tharanga, Dinesh Chandimal, Thisara Perera, Lahiru Thirimanne, Lasith Malinga, Chamara Kapugedera, Sachithra Senanayake, Jeevan Mendis, Isuru Udana, Nuwan Pradeep.