Mithali’s career-best 125 fails to win India 3rd ODI
Katunayake, September 16
Skipper Mithali Raj’s career-best knock of 125 not out went in vain as the Sri Lanka women shocked India women by three wickets in an inconsequential third and final ODI.
India had already sealed the series by winning the first two ODIs but in the third match they could not defend the total of 253/5, built around Raj’s unbeaten 125 and opener Smriti Mandhana’s 51.
The duo had shared a 102-run stand for the second wicket after young Jemimah Rodrigues (0) made an early exit. Mithali’s seventh ODI hundred, and first in 14 months, came off 143 balls with 14 fours and a six.
Sri Lanka skipper Chamari Attapattu’s century (115) and a gutsy 101-run stand with fellow opener Hasini Perera (45) set the tone for the chase. There were a few hiccups after the two batswomen returned to the pavilion as the Indian bowlers made inroads but tailender Kavisha Dilhari pushed her side to the finish line with one ball to spare.
Sri Lanka needed six runs from the final over. Kavisha smashed a four in the penultimate ball of the match off Deepti Sharma to earn a consolatory win for the hosts. Jhulan Goswami and Mansi Joshi took two wickets each. The five-match T20I series between the two teams will begin on Wednesday at the same venue.
Brief scores: India women: 253/5 (Raj 125*, Mandhana 51; Dilhari 1/37); Sri Lanka women: 257/7 (Atapattu 115, Hasini 45; Goswami 2/39, Joshi 2/43).
Indian nationals asked to leave venue
At least five Indian nationals were asked by the Sri Lanka Cricket authorities to leave the Katunayake ground for suspicious behaviour during the third and final ODI. They were handed over to the police for questioning, according to the local officials.
“They were seen talking on their mobile phones throughout the match. When questioned they said they were informing those back home on the game,” an official said. The police were questioning them to find out if they had any connections with the bookies.