Katunayake: Skipper Mithali Raj's career-best knock of 125 not out went in vain as Sri Lanka women shocked India women by three wickets in the inconsequential third and final One-day International in Katunayake on Sunday.
India had already sealed the series by winning the first two ODIs but in the 3rd match they could not defend the total of 253 for five, built around Raj's unbeaten 125 and opener Smriti Mandhana's 51.
They 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 though counted as her 115-run knock 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 pavillion as Indian bowlers made in roads but tail-ender Kavisha Dilhari held her nerves to push her side to the finish line with one ball to spare.
Sri Lanka needed six runs from the final over. Coming out to bat at number nine, 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 to rip through the Lankan middle order but their effort proved insufficient in the end.
The five-match Twenty20 series between the two teams will begin on Wednesday at the same venue.
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Shanaka, who was named captain as Sri Lanka announced their squad on Friday, said that while the hosts were going through a lean patch, the Indian squad was also an inexperienced one in terms of international exposure.
The Sri Lankan tour was Dravid's first assignment as the head coach of the India senior team.
Shikhar Dhawan's unbeaten 86 in the first game of the ongoing three-ODI series in Colombo helped him accumulate 712 rating points and gain two slots, while Kohli has 848 points.