Sri Lanka claim thrilling victory as India lose control of Super Four destiny

By Sports Desk September 06, 2022

India's Asia Cup defence is in ruins after a thrilling six-wicket loss to Sri Lanka on Tuesday left the reigning champions needing a miracle to reach the final.

Defeat to Pakistan last time out left India essentially requiring a victory here, and they fell short as Sri Lanka ultimately held their nerve.

While Rohit Sharma top-scored with 72, India rarely looked in control, with Suryakumar Yadav (34) the only other to go over 17 runs.

With the impressive Dilshan Madushanka (3-24) helping to reduce India to 173-8, Sri Lanka will have been confident going into bat and an opening stand of 97 from Pathum Nissanka (52) and Kusal Mendis (57) had victory looking almost certain.

But Yuzvendra Chahal (3-34) sowed the seed of doubt as he took both openers and Charith Asalanka (0), while Ravichandran Ashwin (1-32) claimed the scalp of Danushka Gunathilaka (1).

Sri Lanka's momentum had dissipated, but Dasun Shanaka (33 not out) and Bhanuka Rajapaksa (25 not out) got them back on track, their two boundaries in each of the 18th and 19th overs proving crucial as they reached 174-4 with a single ball remaining.

Shanaka turns up the heat

Sri Lanka's chase appeared to be petering out – there was a moment when they required a rate of more than 12 runs per over but were averaging just over eight.

Shanaka's haul of 33 may have been outscored by four other players on the day, but his knock came from just 18 balls at a strike rate of 183.3, the highest of anyone to record more than 15 runs, and it was crucial to Sri Lanka claiming victory.

Deadly Dilshan

This was a tremendous bowling display by the 21-year-old, with his dismissal of Virat Kohli for a duck particularly satisfying.

From his four overs with the ball, India hit just one boundary – every other Sri Lankan bowler had at least two against them.

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