India on Sunday completes a historic whitewash after Indian bowlers demolished the Lankan batsmen in the 5th ODI at Colombo. The last match of the series like previous matches had a same story attached to it. Sri Lanka decided to take on Indian bowlers early on but only Tharanga managed a counter attack. After he departed, Thirmane and Matthews took their time and made sure that Lanka will pose some challenge to India. It was not meant to be as both of them failed to finish things off for Sri Lanka and they were bundled out at 238. Bhuvneshwar Kumar who didn’t get a single wicket in the previous 3 matches wins the Man of the Match award by maiden 5 wickets in the last ODI.
Run chase though had initial hiccups as both the openers Rahane and Rohit Sharma departed early but a 99 run stand between Kohli and Pandey ensured that India are on their way to create history in Sri Lanka. Jadhav who has not been amongst runs scored a brilliant half century alongside Virat who scored a hundred by taking his hundred’s tally to 30. He remained not out on 110 and took India home with three and a half over’s to spare and 6 wickets in hand. Jasprit Bumrah for his tally of 15 wickets in the series was adjourned Man of the Series.
This series was an important one for the hosts as they needed two wins to seal a direct qualification at the 2019 ICC Cricket World Cup. With seven teams already qualifying for the 2019 World Cup, Sri Lanka will now have to bank on Windies poor show in the United Kingdom to make sure they still have a go for the direct qualification. Though it will be an uphill task for West Indies to secure a direct qualification as they will have to beat Ireland in the only match they will be playing against them and beat England 4-1 in a 5 match ODI series in their own backyard.
The teams which fail to seal a direct qualification will have another chance to qualify for the World Cup by playing the ICC’s qualifying tournament. The ICC’s World Cup Qualifier will feature the bottom ranked 4 teams from ICC ODI rankings and the top ranked 4 teams from the World Cricket League Championship. The top two teams will complete the 10 teams roster for the 2019 ICC Cricket World Cup.
Article by Navneet.