MUMBAI: Paceman Jaydev Unadkat led a disciplined attack to set up India’s five-wicket win in the third Twenty20 international against Sri Lanka as the hosts completed a 3-0 whitewash yesterday. Unadkat returned impressive figures of 2-15 to help restrict the visitors to 135-7. India then achieved their target with four balls to spare in a tense chase at the Wankhede Stadium.
Manish Pandey top-scored with 32 but it was Dinesh Karthik (18) and Mahendra Singh Dhoni (16) who put on an unbeaten 31-run stand to take the team home. The win ensured that India end the year on a high after outplaying the islanders in the Test (1- 0), one-day (2-1) and T20 series.
Sri Lanka however put the hosts under pressure with regular strikes as paceman Dushmantha Chameera and medium-pace bowler Dasun Shanaka claimed two wickets each. Shanaka got skipper Rohit Sharma for 27, early in the chase.
The inform Sharma hit 4 fours and a six during his 20- ball stay but his wicket silenced the crowd. Shreyas Iyer, who scored 30 before being run out while backing up at the non-strikers end, and Pandey then put on a gritty 42-run stand for the third wicket but their departure spelt trouble. But veterans Karthik and Dhoni stayed calm in the final few overs when India needed 20 off 18 balls.
Earlier Asela Gunaratne, who top-scored 36, and Shanaka, who hit an unbeaten 29 off 24 balls, gave some respectability to the total after the visitors lost their top three batsmen for 18 runs. Unadkat, who removed the openers early, was ably supported by fellow fast bowler Hardik Pandya as they claimed two wickets each.
Apart from the paceman, debutant off-spinner Washington Sundar, who opened the attack for India, dismissed Kusal Perera for four and ended with figures of 1-22. After a dominant home season across all three formats, India now head for their high-profile tour of South Africa starting January 5 with the first Test in Cape Town. —AFP