Dhawan ton as India easily wins 3rd ODI to clinch series

Members of Indian team attend a training session ahead of their third and final one-day international cricket match against Sri Lanka in Visakhapatnam, India, Saturday, Dec. 16, 2017. (AP Photo/Aijaz Rahi)

VISAKHAPATNAM, India (AP) Shikhar Dhawan scored his 12th ODI hundred as India beat Sri Lanka by eight wickets with 107 balls remaining in the third and final one-day international on Sunday.

India won the three-match series 2-1.

Chasing 216 to win, India finished on 219-2 off 32.1 overs as Dhawan scored 100 not out off 85 balls, with 13 fours and two sixes. Shreyas Iyer hit 65.

Earlier, Upul Tharanga’s attacking half-century proved in vain as Sri Lanka was bowled out for 215 in 44.5 overs.

Tharanga scored 95 off 82 balls, including 12 fours and three sixes. The visitors then lost their last six wickets for only 26 runs.

India didn’t have the best start to its run chase as Rohit Sharma (7) was bowled by Akila Dananjaya in the fourth over.

That early wicket didn’t deter India as Dhawan and Iyer added 135 runs for the second wicket.

Iyer scored his second consecutive half-century off 44 balls. Overall, he faced 63 balls and hit eight fours as well as a six. He was dismissed against the run of play, caught at mid-on off Thisara Perera.

Dhawan put on 70 runs with Dinesh Karthik (26 not out) for the unbeaten third wicket and saw India home, with Dhawan just about making his century.

”When I cross 50, I try and convert it to a hundred. My conversion rate is good and I know my game very well now. But individual performances come later. At the end of the day, we are happy to win together as a team,” Dhawan said.

After India won the toss and opted to bowl, Tharanga let loose against the new-ball bowlers as Sri Lanka reached 50 in the ninth over.

Tharanga scored his 36th ODI half-century off 36 balls whilst putting on 121 for the second wicket with Sadeera Samarawickrama. In doing so, Tharanga crossed 1,000 ODI runs in 2017.

Sri Lanka reached 100 in the 17th over and looked set for a 300-plus score.

”We had a good start with the bat today but our middle order didn’t capitalize. We just couldn’t put enough runs on the board,” Sri Lanka captain Perera said.

Yuzvendra Chahal (3-46) provided the breakthrough as Samarawickrama was caught in the deep. Tharanga was dismissed against the run of play, stumped off Kuldeep Yadav (3-42) in the 28th over.

The Indian leg spinners shared six wickets between them.

Chahal bowled in-form Angelo Mathews (17) and also trapped Perera (6) lbw. Kuldeep Yadav accounted for the hard-hitting Niroshan Dickwella (8).

The Indian attack strangled the lower order and there was never any hope of recovery despite crossing 200 in the 36th over.

”We have shown plenty of character and this has been the hallmark of this team to come back strong whenever we have been defeated,” stand-in Indian skipper Sharma said.

Sri Lanka won the first ODI by seven wickets, India won the second by 141 runs.

The three-match T20 series begins Dec. 20 in Cuttack.