Colombo: Virat Kohli displayed utmost ruthlessness in both captaincy and batsmanship as India became the first visiting country to inflict a 5-0 ‘Whitewash’ on Sri Lanka with a thumping six-wicket victory in the final ODI of the series, here on Sunday.
In one of the most lopsided bilateral contests in recent history, India have now completed back-to-back rout after humiliating the islanders in the three-Test series, which was also a complete rout.
After Bhuvneshwar Kumar’s maiden five-wicket haul enabled India to restrict Sri Lanka to a below-par 238, Kohli for the umpteenth time anchored a successful chase in 46.3 overs with a fluent unbeaten 110.
This was his 30th ODI hundred in his only 194th game and is now jointly second highest in list of century makers alongside Ricky Ponting with only Sachin Tendulkar (49 hundreds) ahead of him.
Kohli got able support from Kedar Jadhav (63), who redeemed himself after a couple of ducks adding 109 runs with his skipper for the fourth wicket stand.
The stage was set by Kohli and Manish Pandey 36) with a 99-run stand for the third wicket.
On a pitch that was bit slower than the fourth ODI, Kohli adjusted his game accordingly, hitting only nine boundaries in 116 balls. Jadhav hit some delicate late cuts scoring his runs off 73 balls with seven boundaries in it.
Fittingly, the winning runs were hit by Kohli, who is now growing in strength and stature as the leader of a successful unit.
The only people to miss out were comeback man Ajinkya Rahane (5), who was dismissed trying to hook a Lasith Malinga bouncer while Rohit Sharma’s lap shot off a Vishwa Fernando delivery was brilliantly caught at fine leg by Malinda Pushpakumara.
However, once Kohli hit his customary cover drive to start his innings, things as usual went downhill for the Sri Lankans.
Earlier, Bhuvneshwar grabbed a career-best 5/42 effecting yet another batting collapse as India skittled out Sri Lanka for 238.
Sri Lankan batting once again promised a lot but delivered too little losing as many as seven wickets for 53 runs after they were cruising along at 185 for 3.
A 122-run partnership for the 4th wicket between Lahiru Thirimanne (67) and Angelo Mathews (55) enabled hosts Sri Lanka to reach a position of safety before Bhuvneshwar led the charge with his maiden five-wicket haul.
Jasprit Bumrah (2/45), Kuldeep Yadav (1/40) and Yuzvendra Chahal (1/36) were the other wicket-takers for visitors.
Sri Lanka: N. Dickwella c & b Kumar 2, U Tharanga c Dhoni b Bumrah 48, D. Munaweera c Kohli b Kumar 4, L. Thirimanne b Kumar 67, A. Mathews c Dhoni b Yadav 55, M. Siriwardana c Thakur b Kumar 18, H. de Silva run out 9, A. Dananjaya c Dhoni b Chahal 4, M. Pushpakumara b Bumrah 8, V. Fernando (not out) 7, L. Malinga c sub b Kumar 2. Extras (b4, lb3, nb1, w6) 14. Total (all out in 49.4 overs) 238.
FoW: 1-14, 2-40, 3-63, 4-185, 5-194, 6-205, 7-212, 8-228, 9-228.
Bowling: Kumar 9.4-0-42-5, Thakur 6-0-48-0, Bumrah 10-0-45-2, Yadav 10-0-40-1, Jadhav 4-0-20-0, Chahal 10-0-36-1.
India: R. Sharma c Pushpakumara b Fernando 16, A. Rahane c Munaweera b Malinga 5, V. Kohli not out 110, M. Pandey c Tharanga b Pushpakumara 36, K. Jadhav c Dickwella b de Silva 63, M.S. Dhoni not out 1.
Extras: 8 (lb-4, nb-1, w-3). Total: 239/4 (46.3 overs).
FoW: 1-17, 2-29, 3-128, 4-237.
Bowling: L. Malinga 8-1-35-1, M. Fernando 7-0-40-1, A. Dananjaya 10-0-49-0, A. Mathews 3-14-0-4, P. Pushpakumara 10-0-40-1, M. Siriwardana 4-0-28-0, W.H. de Silva 4.3-0-29-1.