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Rediff.com  » Cricket » Yuvraj, Kohli power India into Asia Cup final

Yuvraj, Kohli power India into Asia Cup final

Last updated on: March 01, 2016 23:17 IST

kohli

Image: Virat Kohli scored a match-winning half-century against Sri Lanka in the Asia Cup . Photograph: Solaris Images.

India continued their spectacular form in Asia Cup as they edged out Sri Lanka by five wickets in Dhaka on Tuesday to register their third successive victory in the tournament and qualify for the final.

Star batsman Virat Kohli anchored the inning with a half-century, but it was Yuvraj Singh, who showed glimpses of his power-hitting talent by scoring a quickfire 35 off 18 balls as India chased Lanka’s target of 139 runs with four balls to spare.

- Scorecard

Suresh Raina also played a valuable knock (25) in company of Kohli after India had lost both the openers early. 

jasprit bumrah

Image: Indian pacer Jasprit Bumrah celebrates the wicket of Sri Lanka batsman Shehan Jayasuriya during the Asia Cup 2016. Photograph: Solaris Images.

Earlier Indian bowlers once again put up an impressive performance by restricting Sri Lanka to a modest 138 for nine in the third round robin encounter.

Opting to bowl, young guns Hardik Pandya (2/27 in 4 overs) and Jasprit Bumrah (2/26) continued their stellar show as the island nation never really got going during their innings.

Senior off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin (2/26 in 4 overs) also showed brilliant control during the back-10 while veteran Ashish Nehra (1/23) once again showed why he is a class apart.

Such was India's dominance that their bowlers bowled 50 dot balls out of a possible 120 deliveries, which effectively meant 8.2 overs went without any runs being scored.

India's potent new ball pair of Nehra and Bumrah were on target in the Powerplay overs once again.

Dinesh Chandimal (4) tried to make room by pushing towards leg-stump but the wily Nehra followed him by pitching one on the length that took an inside edge to land in Mahendra Singh Dhoni's gloves.

The ever-improving Bumrah then removed Shehan Jayasuriya (3) with a delivery that moved a touch and the resultant snick offered became Dhoni's second catch of the night.

The once dangerous Tillekaratne Dilshan (18 off 16 balls) is having a poor run in the tournament. His miseries were ended at the beginning of the seventh over.

hardik pandya

Image: Indian all-rounder Hardik Pandya celebrates the wicket of Sri Lanka captain Angelo Mathews during the Asia Cup 2016 match played at the Shere Bangla National Stadium in Dhaka, Bangladesh on March 1, 2016. Photograph: Solaris Images.

Pandya, coming in as first change, struck with his very first delivery, as he dug one short. Dilshan went for the pull shot but only managed to hit straight to Ashwin at fine leg boundary. Sri Lanka were struggling at 31 for three when stand-in captain Angelo Mathews joined Chamara Kapugedera.

The duo added 26 runs before Pandya again struck in his third over. Mathews got a full length delivery outside off-stump and played it on trying to go for a cut shot.

At 57 for four, Milinda Siriwardana (22) joined forces with Kapugedera (30) as the duo played some counter-attacking shots.

With a left-hander at the crease, Dhoni introduced Suresh Raina into the attack but it did not yield any immediate result.

The Lankan duo added 43 runs for the fifth wicket before Siriwardana's indiscretion cost him his wicket.

Ashwin flighted one inviting the left-hander to step out. The length was altered and the batsman did not reach to the pitch of the delivery while trying to loft it. Raina took an easy catch at long-on.

Kapugedera, who hit a few shots in between, was not allowed to play his natural game and ultimately perished giving Bumrah his second wicket with Pandya taking a well-judged catch.

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