Sri Lanka's on-field embarrassment became their off-field shame, as a bottle-flinging Pallekele crowd caused a 35-minute disruption before India were allowed to knock off the final eight runs that won them the match and sealed the series. Plastic bottles began to be flung from the two grass embankments during the 44th over. Riot police were eventually required to clear those areas before play could continue.
The incident came at the end of another one-sided match, even if it did have one tense period. For 40 minutes, after the seamers had struck, and Akila Dananjaya
was threatening to make a charge, Sri Lanka were in the hunt - India hemmed in at 61 for 4. But as has been the case right through the tour, the visitors needed to only withstand that brief period of pressure. Their batsmen soon broke the siege, and then set about cruising, risk-free, towards the target. Having sewed up the series now, India are free to trial new combinations, or pursue a 5-0 result to go with their whitewash from the Tests.
On Sunday, it was Rohit Sharma
who made short work of another modest target, hitting an unbeaten 124 off 145 balls, and forging a 157-run unbeaten fifth-wicket partnership with MS Dhoni
in the process. Earlier in the day, it had been Jasprit Bumrah
- full, fast and deceptive - who made the greatest dents in Sri Lanka's own innings, claiming 5 for 27 - his first five-wicket haul in internationals. All this added up to another thumping. India sauntered to the target of 218 with six wickets and 4.5 overs to spare. The last seven balls - which were played out after the crowd had been dealt with - were little more than mere formality.
Sri Lanka will rue their batting most - their score seeming perhaps as many as 70 too few - but when their bowlers began with a little menace, they inspired a little hope. Lasith Malinga got a short ball to dart back into Shikhar Dhawan - the ball rebounding off the under-edge into the stumps. Three overs later, Vishwa Fernando had Virat Kohli out by a diving Dushmantha Chameera at long leg. When Dananjaya removed KL Rahul and Kedar Jadav in his first seven balls, Sri Lanka were ascendant; India in danger of suffering another big middle-order collapse.
But at the crease was Dhoni - the master defuser - who picked Dananjaya's variations perfectly, and Rohit, who appeared almost as assured. There was a period of 32 balls that cost two wickets and brought only 11 runs, but soon enough, the tough times ended. Rohit slapped Chameera for three consecutive leg-side boundaries in the 19th over. After that, even Dananjaya didn't seem so much of a threat.
The pair collected canny runs into the outfield, reserved their big strokes only for the bad balls for the most part, and it was not until after the 35th over that Rohit's effortless boundary-hitting made an appearance. He reached his century - his 12th in ODIs - off the 118th delivery he faced, and struck 16 fours and two sixes in all. Dhoni progressed to an unbeaten and unflustered 67 off 86 balls. He was even seen sleeping near the pitch while the authorities tried to calm fans down during the delay towards the end of the match.
In their own innings, Sri Lanka coughed, spluttered, tripped and stumbled their way through 50 overs, and like a two-stroke trishaw trying to scale a Kandy hillside, at no stage were they able to build momentum. Their progress was forever frustrated by another indiscreet stroke, and the latest misjudgement of line and length. Only Lahiru Thirimanne
managed to rise above mediocrity, hitting 80 off 105 balls, relying largely on placement and field manipulation over ambitious stroke-making or power. That he seemed the top order's most natural accumulator of runs was an indictment on his team-mates: this was Thirimanne's first ODI innings since January 2016.
While Bumrah's lines and lengths were often good, the menace in his bowling was enhanced by his mixing of pace. His first wicket, in fact, had come under somewhat strange circumstances. Niroshan Dickwella missed a full, straight delivery in the fourth over, and was adjudged lbw, only for the ball to have been proved to pitch outside the leg stump when the batsman reviewed. Three balls later, Bumrah pitched another full ball on the stumps, Dickwella missed again, and though given not out initially, India overturned that decision with a review of their own.
Kusal Mendis soon edged Bumrah to a diving Rohit at second slip. The two-stroke trishaw had backfired twice in quick succession, and though Dinesh Chandimal would join Thirimanne for a third-wicket stand worth 72, no one else could muster a partnership. Towards the end of the innings, Bumrah bowled Dananjaya and Milinda Siriwardana in successive overs, as both batsmen attempted to play aggressive strokes. In between, he had had Thirimanne caught at short cover.