Bravo Kohli and Team India for Dual whitewash victories

By Kersi Meher-Homji

India under Virat Kohli grinded Sri Lanka to dust in all eight internationals played in Sri Lanka; winning the Test series 3-0 and the One Day International (ODI) series 5-0.

And it was not just winning those matches; it was the margin of victories which is staggering. Just have a look at the results and marvel:

India won the first Test by 304 runs, the second by an innings and 53 runs and the third by an innings and 171 runs.

India won the first ODI by 9 wickets, the second by 3 wickets, the third by 6 wickets, the fourth by 168 runs and the fifth by 6 wickets.

One might say that apart from the second and third ODIs, India won the other six internationals unopposed. Crushing victories!

Let me detail the fifth and final ODI which concluded last night.

With Lahiru Thirimanne (67 runs) and Angelo Mathews (55) adding 122 runs for the fourth wicket, Sri Lanka started well for once. But then India’s pacemen Bhuvneshwar Kumar taking 5 for 42 and Jasprit Bumrah 2 for 45, the host team was dismissed for 238.

India lost 2 for 29 but then skipper Kohli (110 not out) and Kedar Jadav (63) got together and India won by 6 wickets and the series 5-0. It was for the first time that Sri Lanka had suffered a whitewash (losing all matches) in a bilateral ODI series at home.

Bhuvneshwar was adjudged the Man of the Match and Bumrah the Man of the ODI Series.

Statistical highlights:

·              During the final ODI, Kohli reached the milestone of 10,000 runs in only 186 innings, the fastest in ODI history. Sachin Tendulkar had taken 267 innings and Australia’s Ricky Ponting 349 innings to reach this milestone.

·              Kohli’s unbeaten 110 in last night’s ODI was his 30th  ODI century. Only Tendulkar has registered more ODI hundreds, 49. Kohli shares the second place with Ponting.

·              MS Dhomi became the first wicket-keeper to make 100 stumpings in ODIs. It was his 301st  ODI. The previous record holder was Sri Lanka’s Kumara Sangakkara, 99 stumpings in 404 ODIs.

After the stunning 5-0 victory last night, a smiling  Kohli  said, “It’s quite amazing to have won the series 5-0. We always thought the shorter format is going to be much more challenging. The youngsters and the spunk on the field have worked for us. All round, it’s been a complete series for us. We’ve been playing some good cricket. We didn’t win three games in the shorter format before this, and now we have six in a row including the West Indies series.”

Man of the series  Bumrah  was over the moon. “It’s always a dream to play Test cricket but I’ll wait for my chance. It was my first visit to Sri Lanka and I’m glad I did well. I was focussing on my preparation, I had time to rest and it makes you hungry. It’s been a long journey with Malinga and I’ve learnt a lot. I just want to learn and become a better bowler.”

The only T20 international between India and Sri Lanka is on Wednesday.

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