It was the series decider, and unfortunately, it turned out to be a one-sided affair. India won the toss and elected to bat first in Rajkot. Once again, it was a startling innings by Suryakumar Yadav that helped India post a mammoth total of 228/5.
In reply, Sri Lanka were never in the game as they kept losing wickets at regular intervals. Their batting hero Dasun Shanaka, also succumbed to the pressure of a high chase. Eventually, they lost the match by 91 runs and handed the series to India. There were plenty of stats, with SKY headlining most of them:
SKY adds another chapter to the record books
We, as writers, are running out of appreciation and adjectives for SKY. This man is just unbelievable. In his knock of unbeaten 112 of 51 balls against Sri Lanka, SKY registered some notable records:
In T20Is, SKY now has three centuries in just 43 innings. With his third century, he has the joint second-most centuries in the format. Rohit Sharma leads the list with four in 140 innings.
All his three centuries have come within 50 balls (when he reached his 100). By virtue of it, he became the first batter in T20Is to register three 100s within 50 balls and the second batter after David Miller to have multiple centuries in less than 50 balls.
Today’s century was the fastest of all the three he has scored. Among Indians, his 45-ball century is the second fastest, beating KL Rahul’s feat against West Indies in 2016.
In his knock, SKY smashed nine sixes, which is the second most by an Indian batter in a T20I inning.
SKY is the first non-opener in T20Is to hit three centuries. Two tons came while batting at number four and one at three.
India’s no-ball issues this series
One of the biggest positives from this match was Arshdeep Singh not bowling a single no-ball. India cut short the number of no-balls bowled in this innings. However, due to their 2nd T20I blunder, they had bowled nine no-balls in this series.
This is the most India have bowled in a bilateral T20 series. Overall, only West Indies, against New Zealand in 2020, had bowled more (10) in a bilateral series.
Shanaka’s heroics not enough to win a series
Shanaka has been excellent throughout the series. His heroics won them the second T20I, and brought them close to a win in the first T20I. But, in this match, the target was out of reach for him. Nevertheless, he was exceptional throughout the series.
In this series, he scored 124 runs at a strike rate of 187.8. Among Sri Lankan batters who have scored 100+ innings after batting three-plus innings in a series, his strike rate is the second-best. Interestingly, the best also belongs to him (196.8), and that came when he last toured India in 2022.
He had hit 11 sixes, which is the joint most for a Sri Lankan batter in a series. Mahela Jayawardene, in the 2010 edition of the T20 World Cup, also had 11 sixes.
A big win
Unlike the first two matches, this didn’t go down to the wire. In fact, it was a one-sided encounter. Chasing a huge total, Sri Lanka were all-out for 137 runs. By virtue of it, they handed India a 91-run margin win.
On Indian soil, this is the second-biggest win in terms of runs. Against the same team in Cuttack in 2017, India had registered a 93-run win after setting a total of 261. This still remains as the biggest win in India. For India, this is the fourth biggest win overall in T20Is.
A lot of maximums
When playing in India, one can expect a lot of sixes to be hit in a series. In this series, India hit 33, and Sri Lanka had 28 sixes to their name.
In total, 61 sixes were witnessed in this series. In a three-match bilateral series, these are the fourth most number of sixes hit. When West Indies toured India in 2019, 72 sixes were hit, which is the most. Between England and South Africa in 2020, in South Africa, 65 sixes, and in South Africa’s tour of India in September 2022, there were 63 sixes.
A series in which lower order contributed
Throughout this series, batters six or below have contributed really well. Axar Patel for India and Shanaka for Sri Lanka were the main contributors.
In total, the lower order (6 or below) batters scored 404 runs at a strike rate of 164.9 with two 50+ scores. In a bilateral series between two full member nations, only in the series between England and West Indies in 2022 in the West Indies they scored more runs (422).
Out of the 61 sixes hit in this series, 28 belonged to the lower-order batters. Under the same criteria, those 28 sixes are the joint most in a bilateral series alongside England and West Indies.
In terms of strike rate, this was the third-best series win in which 200+ runs were scored. In the series between Afghanistan and Ireland in 2017, their lower-order batters struck at 177.4, and between Pakistan and Sri Lanka in 2015, they had a strike rate of 168.2.