The winners of Group B, India, were taking on the runner-up of Group A, Sri Lanka, and there was a huge gap in class between the two international sides. India got off to a great start in the Champions Trophy semi-final winning the toss and choosing Sri Lanka to bat first. To India’s delight, Sri Lanka were not on form and struggled to hit the ball for multiple points, but this was also down to the wonderful bowling display from the Indians. Salt was rubbed in Sri Lanka’s wounds as they had to forfeit a wicket due to a calf injury forcing Tillakaratne Dilshan to retire from the game.
Sri Lanka did not open well mainly down to the fact that it looked like they could not adapt to the English weather as the ground was fairly damp. For India’s bowlers, they favoured this type of surface more than the Sri Lankans did as the speed and bounce was favourable to their fast bowlers. Sri Lanka got off to the worst start possible as their opening batsman, Kusal Perera, was caught out after scoring just 4 runs; they knew that this was not going to be their day.
When Sri Lanka’s Dilshan unfortunately picked up a calf injury, there was a boost in form for the Sri Lankans as Angelo Mathews and Mahela Jayawardene made 51 and 38 respectively. This could have acted as a confidence boost for the rest for the team, but India quickly shattered that confidence when Thisara Perera was caught out not making a single run. Eight more runs from Nuwan Kulasekara and Lasith Malinga rounded up the total amount of overs at 50 giving Sri Lanka a final score of 181-8 (50 overs).
India proved that they could easily adapt to the poor English conditions when they got off to a much better start than their opposition did. Rohit Sharma scored 30 runs from 50 balls before he was bowled out by Angelo Mathews, whilst Shikhar Dhawan was stumped out by Kumara Sangakkara after scoring an impressive 68 runs. Those were the only two cricketers to get out for India as Virat Kohli and Suresh Raina sealed the win scoring 58 and 7 runs respectively. India easily finished with the score of 182-2 (35 overs).
Sri Lanka Captain, Angelo Mathews, put the loss mainly down to the toss at the beginning, “If we had won the toss we would have bowled. It was seaming, swinging, the batters were finding it really hard. We didn’t play well but credit should go the Indian bowlers, they bowled really well. All our younger guys need to take responsibility. We choked in the semi-finals but the credit should go to the whole team for the character they showed after we lost the first game.” India will now play the hosts, England, in the final of the ICC Champions Trophy.
Author Daniel Foster.
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