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Sri Lanka all but through to final – trounce India by 6 wkts – Dasun Shanaka Player of the Match

Sri Lanka was all but through to the Asia Cup final after trouncing India by 6 wickets in yesterday’s Super Four crunch showdown against the reigning champions at the Dubai International Cricket Stadium. In a continuation of their fine tournament run, the Lankans sped to 174 chasing India’s 173 for 8 from 20 overs to win with a ball to spare with skipper Dasun Shanaka leading from the front with a typical Player of the Match 2 for 26 and a cameo unbeaten 33 off 18 after 21-year old Dilshan Madushanka had ploughed through the Indian line up having clean bowled star batsman Virat Kohli for a duck for figures of 3 for 24.

After India had been put into bat in a charged up decisive clash, Madushanka removed Kohli off the fourth ball of the third over as India slid from 1 for 11 to 2 for 13 following the early strike by Maheesh Theekshana who had trapped Rahul leg before wicket for 6 off the fifth ball of the very first over. Sri Lanka came thumbs up in a dominating surge from the third ranked team to virtually oust favourites India from contention as openers Kusal Mendis 57 off 37 and Pathum Nissanka 52 off 37 posted 97 off 67 deliveries to put the host nation well on course to victory. Mendis slammed 3 over the top and 4 across the ropes and Nissanka 4 boundaries and 2 over the top in putting the Indian attack spearheaded by Bhuvaneshwar Kumar to the sword.

In the rut Indian skipper Rohit Sharma’s attacking 72 off 41 studded with 4 sixes and 5 boundaries could not stave off defeat as the Lankans rode victory in a throbbing finish applied by the fifth wicket pair of Bhanuka Rajapaksa, 25 off 17 smashing 2 over the top, and Shanaka. The duo reeled off 64 off the final 34 deliveries in negating the loss of three quick wickets in the space of 13 balls. Charith Asalanka and Dhanushka Gunathilaka fell without scoring at 97 and 110 and Mendis’ run coming to an end at the same score.

CHIEF SCORES: India 173/8 (20 Overs) (Rohit Sharma 72,.Suryakumar Yadav 34, Hardik Pandya 17, Rishabh Pant 17, Dilshan Madushanka 3/24, Dasun Shanaka 2/26, Maheesh Theekshana 1/29) Sri Lanka 174/4 (19.5 Overs) (Kusal Mendis 57, Pathum Nissanka 52, Dasun Shanaka n.o. 33, Bhanuka Rajapaksa n.o. 25, Yasvendra Chahal 3/34, Ravichandran Ashwin 1/32).

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