India take ODI series 4-1

Aided by a five-wicket haul from all-rounder Irfan Pathan, India beat Sri Lanka by 20 runs in the fifth one-Day international at Pallekele on Saturday to win the five-match series 4-1.

After electing to bat first, India set a stiff target of 295 for Sri Lanka to chase.

Sri Lanka lost the wicket of the dangerous Tillakaratne Dilshan in the second over. However, the second wicket pair of Upal Tharanga and Lahiru Thirimanne continued the chase at a brisk pace. They added 48 runs in 38 balls for the second wicket.

Sri Lanka lost wickets in regular intervals from thereon to be left at 102 for five. However, Thirimanne along with Jeevan Mendis revived the innings for Sri Lanka with a 102-run stand for the sixth wicket.

Earlier, Skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni’s late burst propelled India to a challenging 294 for seven after Gautam Gambhir and Manoj Tiwary laid the foundation with a century partnership in the fifth and final ODI against Sri Lanka on Saturday.

Dhoni smashed a 38-ball 58 after Gambhir (88 off 99 balls; 7×4) and Tiwary (65 off 68; 6×4) put India on course with a 110-run partnership for the fourth wicket at the Pallekele International Cricket Stadium.

Dhoni along with Irfan Pathan (29 not out) plundered 77 runs in just 9.5 overs before falling to Lasith Malingain the penultimate over of the innings.

Brief Scores: India 294 for 7 in 50 overs (Gautam Gambhir 88, Manoj Tiwari 65; Lasith Malinga 3 for 64) vs Sri Lanka 274 all-out in 45.4 overs (Lahiru Thirimanne 77, Jeevan Mendis 72; Irfan Pathan 5 for 61)