A rejuvenated Sri Lanka firmly pushed the Indian cricket team towards the exit door with a six-wicket victory in their Asia Cup Super Four match in Dubai on Tuesday. This is India's 2nd successive defeat in the Super 4 stage and it puts the Rohit Sharma-led side in serious danger of losing out on a semi-final berth.
Captain Sharma's valiant 72-run knock went in vain as the Dasun Shanaka-led side chased down the 174-run target to seal their second successive win in the Super 4 stage. Sri Lanka exposed the Indian team's inadequacies, mostly poor mindset and atrocious shot selection, something that was exploited to the hilt by Pakistan just two days back.
Now India have to wait for other results to go their way to qualify for the final of the Asia Cup. India would be hoping that either Sri Lanka or Pakistan go on to win all their remaining matches and they beat Afghanistan on Thursday. Net Run Rate will once again come into play to decide the tie-break.
Earlier, Captain Sharma led from the front and smashed a scintillating 41-ball 72 as India settled for 173 for eight against Sri Lanka in their Asia Cup Super Four match. Rohit's innings came at a time when India was pushed back in the game by Sri Lanka's bowling attack, who got two early wickets in the powerplay.
India got off to a terrible start in the powerplay as Maheesh Theekshana cleaned up KL Rahul with a low full toss, while Dilshan Madushanka bowled Virat Kohli in the third over of the match. Rohit then hit five fours and four sixes during his entertaining knock and was well supported by Suryakumar Yadav (34 off 29 balls) during a stand of 97 runs for the third wicket. However, Rohit's dismissal triggered a slide as India added 63 runs after being 110 for three in the 13th over when the skipper got out.
Bhanuka Rajapaksa and Dasun Shanaka kept Sri Lanka ahead in the hunt towards the end to take them through. Earlier, Yuzvendra Chahal and Ravichandran Ashwin brought India back in the game. While Chahal has claimed three wickets so far, Ashwin has got one wicket. This happened after the opening partnership between Kusal Mendis and Pathum Nissanka kept India at bay for long. Dilshan Madushanka claimed three wickets, while Chamika Karunaratne and Dasun Shanaka claimed two wickets apiece.
Pak beat India
For the second time, the outcome of an India-Pakistan match was decided in the final over. While in the first outing, India won the match, but in the second time, Pakistan beat India by five wickets, in the second Super Four stage match.
For Pakistan, left-arm spin all-rounder Mohammad Nawaz played a decisive role. On India’s first innings after Rohit Sharma and K L Rahul came out all guns blazing in a 54-run opening stand, Virat Kohli top scored with 60 off 44 balls. Chasing a competitive 181/7, Mohammad Rizwan anchored the chase with a 51-ball 71. But the game turner was Nawaz who struck 42 off 20 balls, including six fours and two sixes, giving a much-needed impetus to Pakistan’s chase.