Cricket-Spinners, top order help Sri Lanka avoid whitewash against India

Cricket - Third One Day International - Sri Lanka v India - R. Premadasa International Cricket Stadium, Colombo, Sri Lanka - July 23, 2021 Sri Lanka's Dasun Shanaka celebrates taking the wicket of India's Prithvi Shaw with teammates REUTERS/Dinuka Liyanawatte

COLOMBO (Reuters) - Sri Lanka avoided a series whitewash against a second-string India side after half-centuries by Avishka Fernando and Bhanuka Rajapaksa led them to a three-wicket victory in the rain-hit third and final one-day international on Friday.

Opener Fernando made a patient 76 and number three batsman Bhanuka Rajapaksa made a breezy 65 as Sri Lanka prevailed with eight overs to spare via Duckworth-Lewis method after the match had been reduced to 47-overs-a-side contest.

Shikhar Dhawan is leading a depleted India team with several of their frontline players in England preparing for a five-test series against Joe Root's men starting on Aug. 4 in Nottingham.

Having taken an unassailable 2-0 lead going into the final match, India made six changes to their playing XI, blooding five debutants at the R Premadasa Stadium.

Electing to bat, the tourists lost Dhawan early but Prithvi Shaw (49) and Sanju Samson (46) chipped in with run-a-ball knocks to prop up the innings.

Suryakumar Yadav contributed 40 but India lost five wickets for 38 runs and were eventually bowled out for 225 in 43.1 overs.

Spinners Akila Dananjaya (3-44) and Praveen Jayawickrama (3-59) were the pick of the Sri Lankan bowlers.

The teams will now clash in a three-match Twenty20 series in Colombo beginning on Sunday.

(Reporting by Amlan Chakraborty in New Delhi; editing by Pritha Sarkar)

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