Patil, Rodrigues seal series for India
India women 137 for 3 (Patil 54*, Rodrigues 52*, Ranasinghe 3 for 33) beat Sri Lanka women 134 for 5 (Siriwardene 40, Atapattu 31, Patil 3 for 36) by seven wickets
Eighteen-year-old Jemimah Rodrigues reeled off her second consecutive half-century, with allrounder Anuja Patil also hitting her maiden fifty in the format at the other end, as India breezed to a target of 135 with seven wickets in hand, in the fourth T20I against Sri Lanka, in Colombo.
In a match shortened to 17 overs due to a wet outfield, Sri Lanka had batted fearlessly, with Shashikala Siriwardene and Chamari Atapattu propelling the hosts with a 52-run third-wicket stand through the middle overs. But they were stymied by offspinner Patil, who took 3 for 36 in her four overs. Ultimately, their 134 for 5 was insufficient against the batting might of India. Although India were 41 for 3 at the end of four overs, thanks to the bowling of Oshadi Ranasinghe, Rodrigues and Patil combined for an electric 96-run fourth-wicket stand, and the team stormed home with eight balls to spare - Rodrigues completing her fifty - her third in T20Is - and hitting the winning runs, with a six down the ground.
The result means India have won the T20I series, as they now lead 3-0 with one match to play. They had also won the ODI series 2-1 earlier on the tour.
Thanks to a slew of early boundaries, India were well ahead of the required rate by the time Rodrigues and Patil came together. Patil, in particular, was able to ease her way into the innings, as the pair ensured the early stutter did not deteriorate into a full-blown collapse. They were busy at the crease, completing several well-judged twos and tight singles, before the boundaries began to come in a heap. Rodrigues led the charge, hitting two fours in the ninth over, bowled by Sharina Ravikumar. Patil soon was hitting ravishing square boundaries of her own, and was especially punishing in the 14th over, bowled by Siriwardene, in which Patil hit three fours - reaching her fifty with the last of those shots, off the 36th delivery she faced. India, by now, were cantering to the target, with only 12 needed off the last three overs. Rodrigues' disdainful winning six summed up India's batting dominance in this match, and indeed, through the major part of the series.
Patil had earlier been expensive in her four overs, but had also made key breakthroughs, having opener Yasoda Mendis caught at the long-on boundary in the third over, before bowling No. 3 batsman Hasini Perera with a ball that skidded and stayed low, in the fifth. Sri Lanka's two senior batsmen - Siriwardene and Atapattu - threatened to take the game away from India at times, but fell within two overs of each other, which substantially dented Sri Lanka's advance. Patil returned in a later spell to remove the dangerous Nilakshi de Silva. With some tight bowling in the closing overs, India ensured that Sri Lanka did not make effective use of the platform Siriwardene and Atapattu had laid down.
Andrew Fidel Fernando is ESPNcricinfo's Sri Lanka correspondent. @afidelf