Mirpur: Virat Kohli’s unbeaten 56 off 47 deliveries, Yuvraj Singh’s cameo of 35 off 18 balls and a clinical bowling performance helped India beat Sri Lanka by five wickets in match seven of the Asia Cup T20 2016 played at Sher-e-Bangla Stadium in Dhaka on Tuesday.
With the win, India secured their place in the final of the tournament.
Chasing a modest target of 139 runs, India lost their openers cheaply but Kohli had a solid stand with Suresh Raina (25) and then Yuvraj to help India surpass Sri Lanka’s total in 19.2 overs.
In the second over of the innings, Nuwan Kulasekara gave the Lankans their first breakthrough when an angled delivery was too good for Shikhar Dhawan (1). Kulasekera then sent the dangerous looking Rohit Sharma back to the hut. Rohit scored 15 runs.
Raina then joined Kohli in the middle and the duo steadied the Indian ship. The duo added a 54-run stand for the third wicket. Raina scored 25 with the help of two fours before getting out to Dasun Shanaka.
Raina wanted to loft the drive straight down the ground but the ball hit the outside half of the bat and went straight up in the air and he gave a simple catch to mid-off.
Yuvraj, who replaced Raina, made his intentions clear from the word go. He hit two back-to-back sixes off Rangana Herath. Yuvraj hit three fours and three sixes in his innings of 35.
Meanwhile, Kohli showcased his growing maturity as he dominated the bowlers when Raina was at the crease and took the back seat while Yuvraj was smashing the bowlers all over the park.
In the end, India’s Test captain remained not out on 56, while skipper MS Dhoni applied the finishing touches to the innings.
Earlier, it was the Sri Lankan middle order that helped the team to post a respectable total on the board. The team from the island nation scored just 47 runs in the first 10 overs, but some good hitting by the lower order helped them score 91 runs in the remaining 10 overs.
Sri Lanka’s woe started early in the innings when the Indian pace duo of Ashish Nehra and Jasprit Bumrah got them off to a good start. Dinesh Chandimal was the first wicket to fall, when he tried to attack Nehra but only managed to get a bottom edge through to MS Dhoni. Next to go was Shehan Jayasuriya – when he was done in by a beauty from Bumrah.
Tillakaratne Dilshan (18) looks a pale shadow of his old self. Hardik Pandya struck with his very first delivery, as he dug one short. Dilshan went for the pull shot but only managed to hit it straight to R Ashwin at the fine leg boundary. Sri Lanka were tottering at 31 for 3 when Angelo Mathews joined Chamara Kapugedera (30).
The duo added 26 runs before Pandya again struck in his third over – Mathews got a fullish delivery outside off-stump and was played on trying to go for a cut shot. Milinda Siriwardana came in next and put on an important 43 with Kapugedara. However, from 100 for 4, Sri Lanka fell to 105 for 7. Siriwardana hit Ashwin to Suresh Raina, Dasun Shanaka was run out, while Kapugedara hit Bumrah straight to Pandya in the deep.
The Sri Lanka lower order then helped team post a respectable total thanks to Thisara Perera, who smashed 17 off 6 deliveries and Nuwan Kulasekara scored 13 off 9 balls.
Scoreboard of the Asia Cup Twenty20 match between India and Sri Lanka at the Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium in Dhaka on Tuesday:
D. Chandimal c Dhoni b Nehra 4
T. Dilshan c Ashwin b Pandya 18
S. Jayasuriya c Dhoni b Bumrah 3
C. Kapugedera c Pandya b Bumrah 30
A. Mathews b Pandya 18
M. Siriwardana c Raina b Ashwin 22
D. Shanaka run out 1
T. Perera st Dhoni b Ashwin 17
N. Kulasekara run out 13
D. Chameera not out 2
Extras (lb 5 w4 nb 1) 10
Total (nine wickets; 20 overs) 138
Fall of wickets: 1-6 (Chandimal), 2-15 (Jayasuriya), 3-31 (Dilshan) 4-57 (Mathews), 5-100 (Siriwardana), 6-104 (Shanaka), 7-105 (Kapugedera), 8-125 (Perera) , 9-138 (Kulasekara)
Did not bat: R. Herath
Bowling: Nehra 4-0-23-1(w2), Bumrah 4-0-27-2, Pandya 4-0-26-2, Yuvraj 1-0-3-0, Jadeja 2-0-19-0, Ashwin 4-0-26-2 (nb1 w2), Raina 1-0-9-0
S. Dhawan c Chandimal b Kulasekara 1
R. Sharma c Kapugedera b Kulasekara 15
V. Kohli not out 56
S. Raina c Kulasekara b Shanaka 25
Yuvraj Singh c Kulasekara b Perera 35
H. Pandya b Herath 2
MS Dhoni not out 7
Extras (w1) 1
Total ( five wickets; 19.2 overs) 142
Fall of wickets: 1-11 (Dhawan), 2-16 (Sharma), 3-70 (Raina) 4-121(Yuvraj), 5-125 (Pandya)
Did not bat: R. Jadeja, R. Ashwin, J. Bumrah, A. Nehra Bowling: Mathews 3-0-16-0, Kulasekara 3-0-21-2, Perera 4-0-32-1, Chameera 4-0-27-0 (w1), Herath 3.2-0-26-1, Shanaka 1-0-7-1, Siriwardana 1-0-13-0
Result: India won by five wickets
Umpires: Anisur Rahman (BAN) and Shozab Raza (PAK) TV umpire: Sharfuddoula Ibne Shahid (BAN)
Match referee: Jeff Crowe (NZ)