India defeat Sri Lanka to reach Asia Cup final

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  • Post published:September 12, 2023

India booked their place in the final of the Asia Cup after ending Sri Lanka’s 13-match winning streak in ODI cricket with a 41-run victory in Colombo on Tuesday.

Kuldeep took four wickets, including the final two, as India defended 213, bowling out Sri Lanka for 172 to silence a large home crowd at R. Premadasa Stadium in Colombo.

India won their second consecutive Super Four tournament, a warm-up for the upcoming ODI World Cup, and ended Sri Lanka’s 13-match winning streak in ODIs.

Wellalage, who took his first five-wicket haul in an ODI, was unbeaten on 42 when he ran out of partners as left-arm wrist spinner Kuldeep bowled out the opposition in 41.3 overs.

It was India’s third day on the pitch after crushing Pakistan by 228 runs on Monday in a match that had to be played over two days due to rain.

The next Super Four match between Sri Lanka and Pakistan on Thursday will determine the two teams’ second finalists.

India captain Rohit Sharma scored 53 to get his team off to a fast start, but Wellalage responded.

The 20-year-old finished with 5-40, including key wickets of Rohit and Virat Kohli, and was helped by part-time spinner Charith Asalanka, who claimed four victims for 18 runs.

Rohit joined a select group of players with over 10,000 ODI runs with his second consecutive fifty.

Wellalage struck with his first ball of the match, bowling Shubman Gill for 19, and the young spinner never looked back.

The wicket of Kohli, who fell for three a day after an unbeaten 122 against Pakistan at the same venue, made the home fans erupt.

Wellalage, who took his third wicket in three overs, also bowled Rohit.

With a 63-run stand, Ishan Kishan and previous-match centurion KL Rahul attempted to rebuild the innings.

Wellalage ended that partnership when he caught and bowled Rahul for 39 and then took his fifth wicket.

Asalanka kept chipping away from the other end and was on a hat-trick with India on 186-9, but after a nearly 45-minute rain break, Axar Patel took the total past 200 and hit 26.

India responded with regular wickets, including two from Jasprit Bumrah.

Asalanka attempted to increase the run-rate but was bowled by Kuldeep.

Dhananjaya de Silva and Wellalage fought back in a threatening seventh-wicket stand of 63, but Ravindra Jadeja broke the partnership by dismissing De Silva for 41.