India march into Asia Cup final with 41-run win over Sri Lanka
STATE TIMES NEWS
COLOMBO: Indian bowlers produced a splendid collective effort to carry their team to a 41-run win over a spirited Sri Lanka in a Super 4 match, and into the Asia Cup final here on Tuesday.
Rohit Sharma’s fifty (53 off 48 balls) was the cornerstone of India’s sub-par 213 after Lankan spinners Dunith Wellalage (5/40) and Charith Asalanka (4/18) bamboozled them.
But India, guided by Kuldeep Yadav’s 4 for 43, bowled out Sri Lanka for 172.
India, who entered the final with four points, will either face Sri Lanka or Pakistan in the summit clash on Sunday. The hosts will face Pakistan in a crunch match on Thursday.
The insipid effort of their batsmen made it mandatory for the Indian bowlers to be on the money from ball one, and Jasprit Bumrah led the way.
Bumrah took the ball away from Pathum Nissanka and the healthy edge was snaffled behind the wicket by a diving KL Rahul.
Kusal Mendis looked in fine touch but he failed to keep his drive off a slow, full delivery from Bumrah down.
Substitute fielder Suryakumar Yadav took the catch at covers and umpires gave Mendis out after a quick check with the TV umpire for bump ball.
Mohammed Siraj soon got into act, cramping Dimuth Karunaratne for room and his cut did not go beyond Shubman Gill at second slip.
Sri Lanka were 25 for 3 at that stage and Kuldeep took a couple of quick wickets to further dent their chase, reducing them to 99 for six.
However, Wellalage (42 not out) and Dhananjaya de Silva (41 off 66 balls) added 63 runs for an enterprising seventh wicket alliance to revive Lankan hopes.
But a moment of indiscretion ended the stand as De Silva tried to clear the infield off Jadeja only to give a simple catch to Gill at the edge of the circle.
From that point, Wellalage, who batted exceptionally well under pressure against a fancied opponent, tried to bridge the gap.