Cricket Australia Items/news/2013/6/21/india-through-to-final

India through to final

UPDATED 21 June, 2013 10:14AM AEST | by Omnisport 1

India will face England in the ICC Champions Trophy final after they beat Sri Lanka by eight wickets in Cardiff on Thursday.

Despite strong performances from batsmen Virat Kohli (58 not out) and Shikhar Dhawan (68), it was Ishant Sharma who stole the show for India, taking 3-33 to limit their opponents to 8-181.

That target was reached with considerable ease, Dhawan top-scoring and Rohit Sharma contributing 33 as India cruised past the required total with 15 overs remaining.
It just did not seem to be Sri Lanka's day, which was typified when star batsman Tillakaratne Dilshan (18) retired hurt after facing just five overs.
India won the toss and elected to field first at Sophia Gardens.
Bhuvneshwar Kumar opened the bowling in cold conditions and he took his only wicket in his second over as he forced Kusal Perera (four) into a mistake that saw his shot land safely in the hands of Suresh Raina.
Sri Lanka's poor start got worse shortly afterwards, as Dilshan hurt his right leg after working one off the pads from Umesh Yadav (0-30).
Despite trying to struggle through, he had to leave the field in the next over, and was replaced by Lahiru Thirimanne (seven).
The new batsmen saw out the next few overs with Kumar Sangakkara before falling victim to Ishant in the 15th over, as he got a thick outside edge on a delivery that was spectacularly caught by Raina.
The star fielder seemed to be everywhere as he took his third consecutive catch shortly after to remove one of Sri Lanka's major threats, Sangakkara (17) nicking another delivery from Sharma.
Wicket-keeper MS Dhoni removed his pads and prepared to bowl in the 23rd over and the skipper almost made an immediate impact when he appeared to have Mahela Jayawardene trapped lbw with his second ball, but a review overturned the decision.
Sri Lanka continued to use their reviews successfully as they kept Jayawardene at the crease again seven overs later following a delivery from Ravindra Jadeja (1-33).
Jadeja got his man soon after though, clean bowling Jayawardene with a pacy delivery for 38.
As partners came and went, Sri Lanka captain Angelo Mathews was ticking over well and he brought up his 50 off 85 in the 44th over, but he made only one more run before being caught by Kumar.
The next two overs saw the tail crumble as Thisara Perera (0) was caught by Shikhar Dhawan off the bowling of Sharma, Nuwan Kulasekara (one) was clean bowled by Ravichandran Ashwin and Jeevan Mendis (25) was stumped by Dhoni.
Dhawan and Rohit Sharma came out to chase the 181 with the latter hammering Kulasekara for four, demonstrating that India did not intend to take long in sealing their progression.
However, the pace bowler thought he had got his own back when he caught Rohit on the back leg, but the appeal was ruled out by the umpire.
The 30-year-old's luck just did not seem to be in as he saw two of his deliveries to Dhawan in the ninth and 11th overs dropped, with both Mathews and Sangakkara not being able to hold on.
Sri Lanka thought they had finally got the breakthrough four overs later as Mathews believed he had Sharma lbw but the review showed a thick inside edge.
Mathews did not have to wait much longer, though, bowling him through the gate for the 30 as Rohit took a wild swipe.
However, Sri Lanka were not able to capitalise on the first wicket as the following overs saw India rack up the runs.

Dhawan brought up his 50 to add to his two centuries in the opening group games.
The 27-year-old added another 16 before being stumped by Sangakkara as a lapse in concentration saw him drag his foot out after a delivery from Mendis.
The final stages of the match saw a dejected Sri Lanka watch as Kohli (58) and Raina (seven) breezed to the victory with 15 overs spare to reach the final.

The opinions expressed here are the views of the writer and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of Cricket Australia

First Posted 21 June, 2013 9:02AM AEST

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