• Tuesday, November 28, 2023

CRICKET

India hammer Sri Lanka by 302 runs to qualify for World Cup 2023 semi-finals

India’s pacers rattled the Lankans and Mohammed Shami continued with his wicket-picking habit and ended with a five-fer, the second in three matches.

India’s Jasprit Bumrah celebrates the wicket of Sri Lanka’s Pathum Nissanka during their match in the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup 2023, at Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai on Thursday, November 2, 2023. (ANI Photo)

By: Shubham Ghosh

HOSTS India qualified for the semi-finals as the first team of World Cup 2023 on Thursday (2) by hammering Sri Lanka by 302 runs at the Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai. Both their batters and bowlers rose to the occasion as the Men in Blue skittled out the opponents for a paltry 55 after posting a massive total of 357 for 8 in 50 overs.

This was their seventh win on the trot while the heavy defeat put the islanders on the brink of getting knocked out in the tournament.

India lost in-form batter Rohit Sharma, their captain, in the second ball of the innings when Dilshan Madusanka clean bowled him for four. But his fellow opener Shubman Gill (92) and Virat Kohli (88) added 189 for the second innings but none could reach the three-figure mark. Shreyas Iyer, who was facing criticism over his poor form in the tournament, blasted 82 off only 56 balls to power India to their big total. Ravindra Jadeja made 35.

For the Sri Lankans, Madusanka was the most successful bowler with five wickets although he conceded 80 runs.

It would always be a difficult task for the Lankans to chase such a target against India’s in-form bowling attack and under the lights and the fears came true when Jasprit Bumrah dismissed Pathum Nissanka in the very first ball of the innings. Mohammed Siraj, who single-handedly destroyed Sri Lanka in the final of the Asia Cup in September by taking six wickets for 21 runs, continued from where he had left and half of the Lankan batting line-up was back to the pavilion with the team score reading only 14. Shami then took over and took a five-fer for only 18 runs, his second in the tournament after that against New Zealand.

The five-wicket haul saw Shami’s wicket haul at the World Cup reaching 45, eclipsing Javagal Srinath and Zaheer Khan, both of whom have 44. He also became the India bowler with most five-wicket hauls in one-day internationals — four, going past Srinath.

Jadeja took the last Sri Lankan wicket.

It was Sri Lanka’s lowest total and the heaviest defeat in the World Cup.

Shami was adjudged the player of the match.

India next play South Africa in Kolkata on Sunday (5). Their final game will be against the Netherlands in Bengaluru on November 12.

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