COLOMBO: India’s bowling attack combined to end Sri Lanka’s 13 ODI match unbeaten streak and seal their spot in the final of the Asia Cup 2023 with a game to spare, as the hosts bundled out for 172 chasing a paltry target at the R Premadasa Stadium on Tuesday.
While spinners from either side dominated the game, the pacers, too, played a part in India’s 41-run victory over the co-hosts.
India started proceedings in the second innings, with Jasprit Bumrah dismantling Sri Lanka’s top order.
Pathum Nissanka and Kusal Mendis fell inside the powerplay for scores of 6 and 15 respectively.
Dimuth Karunaratne was a spectator on the other end as wickets tumbled.
With Siraj, too, getting in on the act, India ended the powerplay overs on a high. He dismissed Karunaratne who seemed to have grown impatient with the lack of scoring opportunities.
He tried to cut Bumrah to the fence but ended up looping a catch straight into the hands of Shubman Gill.
Kuldeep Yadav was introduced into the attack and he didn’t waste time to make his impression, Sadeera Samarawickrama fell to the experienced spinner for 17.
Ravindra Jadeja joined the party as he helped Kuldeep dismantle Sri Lanka’s middle order.
Dhananjaya de Silva and Dunith Wellalage drove Sri Lanka’s innings and for a moment, it seemed as if they would guide the co-hosts over the finish line.
But Jadeja came back to haunt Sri Lanka as he claimed Silva’s wicket while Hardik Pandya and Kuldeep swept away the rest of the batters to send India to the final and leave Wellalage unbeaten on 42.
Earlier in the game, Belligerent Dunith Wellalage and Charith Asalanka sliced through India’s top order to help Sri Lanka bundle out Men in Blue for 213 in their Asia Cup 2023 Super Four clash here at R Premadasa Stadium in Colombo on Tuesday.
Youngster Wellalage achieved a remarkable feat as he secured his maiden 5-wicket haul, single-handedly dismantling a formidable Indian batting lineup and bagging the wicket of top batters like Rohit Sharma, Shubman Gill, Virat Kohli, KL Rahul and Hardik Pandya.
Asalanka also troubled India a lot as he finished with the figure of 4/18 while Dhananjaya De Silva kept things quiet from one end while the other bowlers picked up wickets from the opposite end.
After captain Rohit Sharma’s fifty, Mohammed Siraj and Axar Patel fought vigilantly against the Lankan spin, taking India to a decent total with their 27-run partnership stand for the last wicket.
Sri Lanka kept things under control. Meanwhile, India’s progress was almost put to a halt by the Sri Lankan spinners.
Rain interrupted the play with India at 197/9 in 47. After a brief halt, India batters Mohammed Siraj and Axar Patel gathered 27 runs for the last wicket.