Asia Cup 2022, Super 4, SL vs Ind: SL peaking ahead of WC; beat India to get a step closer to Final
Asia Cup 2022, Super 4, Sri Lanka vs India: Rohit Sharma's 72 off 41, Dilshan Madushanka's 3-24 and Kusal Mendis-Pathum Nissanka's 97-run stand are top performances. Sri Lanka beat India by six wickets in Super 4.
Brief Scores: Sri Lanka 174/4 (Mendis 57, Nissanka 52, Shanaka 33*, Chahal 3/34) beat India 173/8 (Rohit 72, Suryakumar 34, Madushanka 3/24) by six wickets
Player of the Match: Dasun Shanaka - 2/26 & 33*(18)
India who began their super four stage with a last over defeat at the hands of Pakistan, locked horns with Sri Lanka who were coming in this game with a massive victory over Afghanistan.
Sri Lanka’s prime batters click at the right time
At the beginning of the tournament, Sri Lanka were struggling with their top order, especially with the opening partnership not being able to put a good score in the powerplay. But they seem to have clicked at the right time together with the T20 World Cup 2022 in Australia just around the corner.
Opener Pathum Nissanka is taking on the bowlers from the very first over which is allowing Kusal Mendis to spend some time in the middle. After being set, Mendis too is putting up some excellent match-winning knocks. Later in the order, they are also receiving the advantage of in form Bhanuka Rajapaksa and skipper Dasun Shanaka.
So, all in all, Sri Lanka are looking stable before their biggest assignment.
Two successive defeats put India on the edge of early exit
India have won 17 games and lost only seven with one no-result in T20Is against Sri Lanka. The only time these two faced each other in an Asia Cup T20 was in 2016 where India came away victorious by five wickets.
Sri Lanka captain Dasun Shanaka on winning the toss opted to field first on a track which has helped the chasing sides. India brought in Ravichandran Ashwin replacing Ravi Bishnoi given the number of left-handers in the opponent’s side while Sri Lanka retained their same playing eleven.
Put in to bat first, India didn’t have a great start being reduced to 22/2 in four overs before Rohit Sharma showed his class and power as he carried his side to 79/2 at the halfway stage. However, after Rohit’s wicket on the last ball of the 12th over, India seemed to lose track. From 127/4 in 15 overs even with some destructive batters to finish the innings, India could reach only 173/8 in their allotted 20 overs.
Chasing 174, Sri Lanka went off to a flying start with an opening partnership of 97 in 11 overs. India’s spinners pulled the game back for a little phase as the opponents lost four wickets for just 13 runs in four overs but the unbeaten 64-run stand between Shanaka and Bhanuka Rajapaksa carried Sri Lanka over the line with six wickets in hand.
Let’s take a look at the top three performances from the game between India and Sri Lanka in Asia Cup 2022.
Captain Rohit Sharma played a crunchy knock of 72 runs
India captain Rohit Sharma hasn’t been in great touch in the ongoing Asia Cup 2022; even though he got starts in a few games, he wasn’t able to convert them into big scores but in a crucial affair against Sri Lanka, he turned the table on its head.
Rohit got to play just five balls in the first three overs before picking his first boundary over the mid-wicket region. In the next over against Asitha Fernando, Rohit first cleared deep backward square leg for a six before beating the point fielder for a beautifully timed boundary.
After a boundary in the backward square leg region against Maheesh Theekshana, he took on Fernando. First, he cracked a six over deep backward square leg for a six before reaching his 28th T20I fifty in just 32 balls with a boundary to the wide of short fine leg fielder.
The opener took on Sri Lanka’s best bowler, Wanindu Hasaranga in the 12th over; first, he cleared long on for a maximum before getting an inside edge as the ball raced to extra cover for a boundary while he finished the over with another maximum slapped over the long off boundary. Rohit Sharma has now scored 25 runs against Hasaranga in just 13 balls with two maximums and one boundary without getting dismissed.
Finally, he was dismissed on 72 in 41 delivery that was arranged with five boundaries and four maximums. Rohit Sharma who now has 3,620 T20I runs in 136 games has the most T20I runs (411) for India against Sri Lanka. With 944 runs in Asia Cup, Rohit Sharma sits just behind Sachin Tendulkar (971) as the highest run-scorer for India in this tournament. Rohit Sharma also becomes the first Indian and sixth batter overall to hit 450 sixes in the T20 format.
Read More: How Ravindra Jadeja’s extended absence impact balance of India’s T20I squad?
Young Dilshan Madushanka impressed with 3/24 to puncture India
The 21-year-old Dilshan Madushanka has been decent with ball in hand for Sri Lanka picking up wickets and especially bowling with variations in the right channel.
Madushanka started off giving just four runs in the first over of the game and kept on bowling with a set plan of not offering much room to the batters to free their arms. Coming in his second over, on the fifth ball he broke the furniture of an in form Virat Kohli on a four-ball duck who after watching the mid off fielder in the ring went for a huge whack off the wrong line as the ball came back sharply to disturb the stumps. Madushanka finished his powerplay spell with 1/8 in two overs.
In his last and the 19th over of India’s innings, the left-arm pacer sent back Deepak Hooda who was bowled behind his legs on a personal score of 3. Two balls later with a slower delivery directed towards the body, Madushanka got rid of Rishabh Pant who in an attempt to pull found the deep mid-wicket fielder.
Madushanka who now has six wickets in four T20I games, finished with figures of 3/24 in his four overs.
Read More: Asia Cup 2022, Super 4, AFG vs SL: Afghanistan bowlers leak vital runs; Sri Lanka win by 4 wickets
Expressive opening partnership laid the platform for a Sri Lankan victory
Chasing 175, Sri Lanka were required to put up a good score in the opening stages but there were questions over their weak looking opening stand which hasn’t performed regularly. Kusal Mendis and Pathum Nissanka offered them the best start in this vital encounter.
Even though they weren’t scoring a lot of runs, they were not giving away their valuable wickets too. With a four over mid-off and a six over the leg side, Sri Lanka were going at a decent pace. The fifth over saw Mendis freeing his arm against Arshdeep for a boundary over extra cover and a six pulled over mid-wicket. Nissanka took on Yuzvendra Chahal for a four slapped through covers and a six over long off as Sri Lanka brought up a fifty-run opening partnership in successive games.
The duo was playing sensibly; putting the balls in the gaps for changing the strike along with hitting a few big shots in between. Nissanka celebrated a 33-ball fifty before being sent back by Chahal to bring close to a 97-run opening stand. Mendis too later on registered