Opener Avishka Fernando starred as Sri Lanka scripted a consolation win in the third ODI against India on Friday (July 23) at the R Premadasa Stadium in Colombo.
Chasing 226 runs, Avishka Fernando (76) and Bhanuka Rajapaksa (65) added 109 runs for the second wicket to steer the Islanders to the win. Although the hosts lost a couple of wickets at the end, the target was within reach for Sri Lanka. They chased down the target with eight overs to spare and three wickets in hand.
Sri Lanka’s star player – Avishka Fernando
Speaking at the end of the match, player of the match, Avishka Fernando rued losing the plot at the fag end of the second ODI as the reason behind losing the series. He said,
“If we had done well in the second match, we would have won the series. I am very happy for the Player-of-the-Match award today though. After the England tour, I worked on my batting and that has helped. We have a very young side and going forward I believe we will do well.”
Avishka Fernando was the most impressive Sri Lankan cricketer in the series. He scored 159 runs in the series, including two half-centuries. However, he lacked support from others which resulted in Dasun Shanaka starting his captaincy assignment with a loss.
The newly-appointed Sri Lanka skipper lauded his teammates for showing character against a potent Indian side. Dasun Shanaka stated,
“Congratulation to India for the series win. It was a very good series throughout. Young guys showed a lot of maturity, both with bat and ball and that’s what I expect from them. It’s a big win for fans, they were waiting for years for this win; we have won against India at home after quite some time.”
With the ODI series now done and dusted, India and Sri Lanka will now shift focus to the three-match T20I series, which starts on July 25.
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