India win series 6-1

Mahendra Singh Dhoni starred again for India, as they thrashed Sri Lanka by five wickets in the final ODI at Baroda, to seal a whopping 6-1 series triumph. Set a target of 245, the home side knocked them off in the 40th over, thanks to the wicket-keeper batsman’s 80 off 73 balls.

Sri Lanka, without the services of Sanath Jayasuirya and Muttiah Muralitharan, both injured, won the toss and surprisingly decided to bat first on a wicket which was rightfully predicted to get easier as the day progressed.

Both the openers, Upul Tharanga and Thilan Samaraweera, lasted hardly a few overs, as Irfan Pathan, playing on his home ground, and Ajit Agarkar, at the peak of their form this series, accounted for their wickets, with only 20 on the board.

Kumar Sangakkara and Mahela Jayawardene added 57 for the third wicket, and seemed to have settled in, just when Rudra Pratap Singh, the hero in the last match, removed both in successive overs – Jayawardene holding out at mid-wicket for 20, and Sangakkara top-edging to point for 32.

Singh picked up another wicket, that of Tillakaratne Dilshan, caught behind, with the score at 85. He finished his 10-over spell with impressive figures of 3-33. Marvan Atapattu and Russel Arnold rescued the innings, and went on to score their individual half centuries, the latter doing so at a run-a-ball.

Just when it looked as if Sri Lanka might be able to put up around 260, Pathan came back to pick up both Atapattu and Arnold off consecutive deliveries, to get the crowd enthralled. Chaminda Vaas, with 11 off 10 balls, tried to get the score past 250, but they ultimately ended the innings at 244-9.

We regret the unavailability of a detailed report from the Indian reply.

Sri Lanka 244-9 in 50 overs
MS Atapattu 59 (68), RP Arnold 68 (69)
IK Pathan 3-38 (10), RP Singh 3-33 (10)

India 245-5 in 39.3 overs
SR Tendulkar 39 (48), MS Dhoni 80 (73)
DNT Zoysa 2-47 (7)

India won by five wickets, and take the series 6-1

Man of the Match:
IK Pathan (India)
3-38 (10) & 35 (23)

Player of the Series:
MS Dhoni (India)
346 runs @ 115.33, 6 catches & 3 stumpings

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