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ICC World Cup: India enters semifinals threshing Sri Lanka by 302 runs in Mumbai

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In the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup, India entered semi finals thrashing Sri Lanka by 302 runs at Wankhede stadium in Mumbai. Chasing a huge target of 357 runs, Sri Lanka were all out for just 55 in 19.4 overs.

Mohammed Shami took 5 wickets to become India’s highest wicket-taker in ODI World Cup history.  Mohammed Siraj claimed 3 wickets while Jasprit Bumrah and Ravindra Jadeja took one each.

Earlier, put into bat, India had scored 357 runs for 8 wickets in the stipulated 50 overs. Shubman Gill scored 92, Virat Kohli 88 and Shreyas Iyer 82.

India’s pace trio of Jasprit Bumrah, Mohammed Siraj and Mohammed Shami came up with a sensational performance with the new ball to wreck Sri Lanka at the Wankhede stadium on Thursday (November 2). Sri Lanka’s performance with the bat was reminiscent of their showing in the Asia Cup final in September this year where they were bowled out for just 50. In this instance, they managed to get just a few more to roll over for 55 and crash to an embarrassing 302-run loss. India’s seventh straight win guaranteed them a place in the semifinals.

Chasing a daunting 358, Sri Lanka found themselves on the backfoot right from the word go. Bumrah trapped their in-form batter Pathum Nissanka leg-before-wicket first ball for a golden duck and Dimuth Karunaratne endured a similar fate in the second over bowled by Siraj. Sadeera Samarawickrama was the next to be dismissed as he edged Siraj to the slip cordon. 2/3 then became 3/4 as the Sri Lankans were left stunned by Siraj, who had wrecked them with a six-fer in that Asia Cup final.

With three out of the top four registering ducks, there was absolutely no scope for Sri Lanka to stage a comeback. Charith Asalanka took 20 balls to get off the mark and finally in his attempt to break free, he hit Shami straight to Ravindra Jadeja. Shami then took over from Siraj and Bumrah to cash in on Sri Lanka’s plight. Wickets kept tumbling and Sri Lanka at one point were in real danger of registering the lowest total in ODI history when they were reeling at 29/8. Thankfully for them, a boundary each from Maheesh Theekshana and Kasun Rajitha came in handy as they managed to avoid setting a new record. Shami, who had figures of 4/1 at one stage, added a fifth as well to bag the man of the match award and become India’s leading wicket-taker ever in World Cup history.

Sri Lanka definitely wouldn’t have seen this coming when they watched India put up 357 on the board earlier in the day. The surface was definitely gripping a bit, something Dilshan Madushanka made very good use of to end up with a five-fer. However, there was scope for plenty of runs to be scored at the Wankhede, as it is the case usually. India did lose Rohit Sharma in the opening over when Madushanka bowled a slower delivery to breach the Indian captain’s defence but Virat Kohli looked in glorious touch in the powerplay, fetching boundaries regularly.

Shubman Gill made a watchful start initially before getting into the act as India made 60 in the powerplay. The two batters continued to milk the Sri Lankan attack and brought up their respective fifties as well. Once the innings approached the halfway mark, they slowly stepped on the accelerator with Gill finally overtaking Kohli following a couple of sixes.

At one stage, both batters were on course to smash centuries before Madushanka denied them the landmark and ended the 189-run association. Gill, who has had an ordinary tournament so far after recovering from dengue, missed out on the century by eight runs after edging a slower short ball from the left-arm pacer. Kohli, who was chasing his record-equalling 49th ton in the format, was also deceived by the slower delivery by the same bowler as he departed for 88.

The two dismissals didn’t deter Shreyas Iyer though, who looked in great touch right from the outset. With a fair bit of pressure on him, Shreyas took off, smashing three sixes in three overs to race to 26 off just 16 deliveries.. Even though KL Rahul and Suryakumar Yadav didn’t make significant contributions, Shreyas managed to keep going at the other end and stitched a vital partnership with Jadeja to help India go past 300.

Like Kohli and Gill, Shreyas was primed to reach his century as well when he hammered Madushanka for consecutive sixes to race to 82 with 16 balls still left in the innings. However, Madushanka bowled one slow and wide, forcing Shreyas to reach for the ball and mistime it that gave him his fifth wicket. While Madushanka ended up as the leading wicket-taker in the tournament, Jadeja guided India past the 350-run mark. At the end of the day, none of those mattered given what transpired post the innings break.

Brief scores: India 357/8 in 50 overs (Shubman Gill 92, Virat Kohli 88, Shreyas Iyer 82; Dilshan Madushanka 5/80) beat Sri Lanka 55 in 19.4 overs (Mohammed Shami 5/18, Mohammed Siraj 3/16) by302 runs

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