India romp past poor Sri Lanka into final

India

India made light work of their Champions Trophy semi-final against Sri Lanka, just as England had done to South Africa the day before, and won by eight wickets and 15 overs to spare in Cardiff on Thursday.

India made light work of their Champions Trophy semi-final against Sri Lanka, just as England had done to South Africa the day before, and won by eight wickets and 15 overs to spare in Cardiff on Thursday.

India restricted the Sri Lankans to 181 for eight in their fifty overs, with Ishant Sharma and Ravi Ashwin taking three wickets each. They then made the chase look easy as Shikhar Dhawan (68) and Virat Kohli (58 not out) wrapped up the game.

The game began later than expected due to bad weather at Sophia Gardens, but India took advantage of the conditions. MS Dhoni won the toss and chose to field first, looking to use the swinging conditions to maximum effect.

The tactic worked well, and opener Kushal Perera was soon back in the hut after edging Bhuvneshwar Kumar to Suresh Raina in the slips.

Sri Lanka then suffered further as veteran Tillakaratne Dilshan had to retire hurt with the score on 17. He limped off the field with what looked like a calf or hamstring injury, and did not return later on.

Ishant then claimed Kumar Sangakkara and Lahiru Thirimanne's wickets for low scores, both also caught by Raina, leaving Sri Lanka on 41 for three. Mahela Jayawardene and Angelo Mathews then combined to push it to 119.

The former and current skippers batted at a sedate pace, but it looked as though they would manage to salvage a decent score. But Jayawardene could only reach 38 before being bowled by Ravindra Jadeja in the 37th over.

Mathews reached his half century soon afterwards, but wasn't able to add much to it as he fell for 51, caught by Kumar after skying it off Ashwin. The wickets tumbled from that point on, as Thisara Perera (0), Nuwan Kulasekara (1) and Jeevan Mendis (25) departed.

India's chase was over without much fanfare, though they lost the wickets of Rohit Sharma for 33 and then Dhawan near the end of the knock. They would probably have reached the score sooner but the soggy outfield saw a number of boundary shots restricted to singles.

Dhawan and Kohli continued their wonderful form, with Dhawan's knock cementing him as the tournament's top run scorer. His 68 saw him hit six boundaries and a six before being stumped off Jeevan Mendis' bowling. The game was wrapped up with ease by Kohli and Raina.

India will face England in the final on Sunday, as many predicted before the tournament began.

India: Shikhar Dhawan, Rohit Sharma, Virat Kohli, Dinesh Karthik, Suresh Raina, MS Dhoni, Ravindra Jadeja, Ravi Ashwin, Ishant Sharma, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Umesh Yadav

Sri Lanka: Kusal Perera, Tillakaratne Dilshan, Kumar Sangakkara, Mahela Jayawardene, Jeevan Mendis, Angelo Mathews, Lahiru Thirimanne, Nuwan Kulasekara, Rangana Herath, Thisara Perera, Lasith Malinga

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