The blues have done it again, folks. Chasing the score with what felt like questionable stance from the team, it was with big-hitters like Yuvraj Singh and Dhoni who brought back hope into India’s game. Kohli, as always, was composed under the pressure, and it was the way he handled the game with Raina and Yuvraj which made victory possible for India. With three consecutive win, India moves straight into the final of the Asia Cup.
FOUR again! India has won by 5 wickets, they walk straight into the finals of Asia Cup.
FOUR! Kohli reaches half-century. And with that, India victory is now assured.
SIX from India’s captain. Dhoni hits a beautiful six.
* End of 18th Over: India 125/5. Pandya bowled out by Herath.
That’s a wicket! Hardik Pandya has been ousted after 2 runs. Herath has toppled a crucial wicket for India.
* End of 17th Over: 122/4.
OUT! OUT! Yuvraj Singh has been ousted by Perera. Sri Lanka is cornering the batsmen from all sides now. Field is being tightened up. He’s out for 35.
* Seems like Kohli has heard us. A four for Perera’s ball.
* End of 16th Over: India 112/3. India inching slowly towards victory. Yuvraj Singh is stacking the score for India, but India needs some more boundaries before the 18th over.
* End of 15th Over: India 105/3. One boundary in the over (6).
SIX! Yuvraj Singh hits beautiful six to Perera.
* End of 14th Over: 96/3.
* End of 13th Over: India 92/2. Yuvraj Singh’s two sixes in this over has made India’s path much smoother.
That’s two SIXES! Yuvraj Singh, the man who made six sixes in a row, has give India the much-needed shove.
* End of 12th Over: India 77/3.
FOUR. Yuvraj Singh hits a boundary to Shanaka’s ball.
* Yuvraj Singh comes in for Suresh Raina.
OUT! Shanaka has found the right spot this time. Suresh Raina has been caught out by Kulsekara. It hit high on the bat, but it was too short. Raina out for 25.
* End of 11th Over: India 70/2.
* End of 10th Over: India 66/2. 60 balls left, 73 runs needed.
* Kohli and Raina partnership reaches 50 runs.
* End of 9th Over: India 58/2.
India’s run rate: 6.45 | Required run rate: 7.36
* End of 8th Over: India 50/2. One boundary in this over.
Wonderful drive by Virat Kohli! That’s between the fielders. A beautiful four.
* End of 7th Over: India 42/2. India keeping a slow pace as of now.
* End of 6th Over: India 37/2. Kohli and Raina’s partnership working well. Two boundaries made in this over. Two fours.
* End of 5th Over: India 25/2. One boundary (4) in this over.
* Virat Kohli plays well under pressure; maintaining that certain spirit which India desperately needs in the game right now. The major outcome of the game is hinging upon Kohli and Raina’s partnership for now.
* End of 4th Over: India 20/2. One wicket and a boundary in this over.
* Suresh Raina comes in for Rohit Sharma.
OUT! OUT! Will this mean a different turn for India? Rohit Sharma has been balled out by Kulasekara, he’s been caught behind the wicket as the ball grazed his bat. He’s gone for 15.
* End of 3rd Over: India 16/1.
Four by Rohit Sharma, but that’s too close for comfort. It was almost catch as the bowl went towards the fielder.
* Virat Kohli replaces Shikhar Dhawan.
* End of 2nd Over: India 11/1.
OUT! Kulasekara’s last ball has found it’s target. Shikhar Dhawan is out for 1.
Superb shot by Rohit Sharma! That’s sure to go for four.
* End of 1st Over: India 6/0.
* India need to chase the target with ease instead of scrounging for boundaries as a last resort to win.
* Rohit Sharma and Shikhar Dhawan open the batting line for India.
That was a great attempt by Sri Lanka to boost the scores despite facing some serious threats from the in-form Indian bowlers. Ashish Nehra looked as dangerous and as menacing as he was against Pakistan and Bangladesh. Great performance by Bumrah and Pandya who took two wickets each. Perera’s calling by the umpire was, unfortunately, wrong. India has to put up a strong front for Sri Lanka’s bowlers in the second innings.
Run out! Last run by Kulasekara, but that’s a clear out. Sri Lanka 138/9.
Two consecutive fours by Kulasekara.
* End of 19th Over: Sri Lanka 127/8.
* Replay shows that Perera was clearly inside the ground. Wrong decision taken by the umpire. That was not an out.
OUT! That’s unnecessary by Perera. The ball was too wide. His swing did not reach, and Dhoni is right behind the wicket. That is clever by Ashwin.
SIX! There’s no question in that. A beautiful sweep by Perera, Lankan fans are emphatic.
* End of 18th Over: Sri Lanka 115/7. Two boundaries conceded by India in the over.
* Two consecutive fours by Thisara Perera.
Howzzah!! Kapugedera is out. Caught by Pandya.
* End of 17th Over: Sri Lanka 104/6
OUT! A no ball by Ashwin, but the free hit has proved an unneeded risk for Shanaka. A run out.
* Dasun Shanaka comes in for Siriwardana.
OUT! That’s high in the sky, folks, but Ashwin is in the right spot for the ball. The balls lands in straight. Siriwardana is out for 22.
* End of 16th Over: India 100/4
* That’s a high shot by Siriwardana, but it hasn’t made to the boundary. 2 runs only.
* Kapu and Milinda’s partnership solidifying to a high scoreboard.
* End of 15th Over: Sri Lanka 91/4.
* End of 14th Over: Sri Lanka 84/4. One boundary in the over.
* End of 13th Over: Sri Lanka 75/4.
* A six followed by a four. Dhoni making some changes in the field.
SIX! That’s a break from all the blocking. The ball is goes clear over the boundary
* End of 12th Over: Sri Lanka 62/4
* Srivardana comes in replacement for Angelo Mathews.
* End of 11th Over: Sri Lanka 57/4.
That’s a wicket right there! Pandya will have it no more. Angelo Mathews has been taken out for 18, same as Dilshan.
* Angelo Mathews opening up the field with some beautiful and clever shots. Two boundaries in this over.
* End of 10th Over: Sri Lanka 47/3.
* That’s a beautiful shot Angelo Mathews. A splendid four! This has to be the shot of the day.
* End of 9th Over: Sri Lanka 41/3.
* End of 8th Over: Sri Lanka 35/3.
* End of 7th Over: Sri Lanka 32/3. Only 1 run conceded in the last over.
* Angelo Mathews in for Dilshan.
* Pandya looks menacing in the field.
OUT! OUT! Dilshan has been balled out by Pandya. That’s big wicket for India. Dilshan out for 18.
* End of 6th Over: India 31/2
* End of 5th Over: Sri Lanka 22/2
* That’s a loud appeal by Ashish Nehra, but the umpire disagrees.
* Kapugedera replaces Jayasuriya.
* End of 4th Over: India 15/2
* Sri Lanka seems to be playing in a haste; they have to ensure that they don’t fall into the early pothole as Pakistan. A couple of boundaries for now.
OUT! Bumrah throws a superb bounce, it has made contact with Jayasuriya’s bat. He’s out.
* End of 3rd Over: Sri Lanka 9/1
* Chandimal replaced by Jayasuriya.
OUT! Sri Lanka’s first wicket has fallen, and that too under Ashish Nehra.
* End of 2nd Over: Sri Lanka 5/0
* End of 1st Over: Sri Lanka 4/0.
* India wins the toss again and elected to bowl.
MS Dhoni: “We’ll have to wait and see how the pitch behaves. A bit less grass on this wicket, more suitable for the batsman. Good preparation this tournament (for the World Cup). Fortunate to have so many games before the World T20. But you want to win games, it takes the pressure of the youngsters, they’ll learn to react under pressure. One change, Dhawan back for Rahane.
Angelo Mathews: “Has a bit more grass than the previous match. I wanted to bowl first because of the dew. We have to fire today, and to win we have to score runs. We come in as the underdogs and have nothing to lose. We’ll take this seriously, we are trying to settle down before the World T20. Unchanged team”
Sri Lanka’s squad: DSNFG Jayasuriya, AD Mathews*, TAM Siriwardana, MD Shanaka, CK Kapugedera, NLTC Perera, KMDN Kulasekara, HMRKB Herath, PVD Chameera
India’s squad: RG Sharma, S Dhawan, V Kohli, SK Raina, Yuvraj Singh, MS Dhoni*†, HH Pandya, RA Jadeja, R Ashwin, JJ Bumrah, A Nehra
Due to the strong performances and the impeccable form of the Indian team, there have been no initial hiccups in India’s Asia Cup advent into Bangladesh. Playing against Pakistan, India’s most talked about rival, India displayed some instances of powerful fielding and evoked some brilliant spirit into the match. What we need today is the same spirit with which India defeated both Bangladesh and Pakistan.