India seal semi-final berth with 302 run victory against Sri Lanka
India, led by Rohit Sharma, has won seven straight games to remain the only team undefeated in the ICC Cricket World Cup 2023. The Men in Blue aim to make tournament history by being the first side to advance to the semi-finals.
The Indian squad defeated Sri Lanka by 302 runs in Mumbai on Thursday, becoming the first to advance to the 2023 World Cup semi-finals. India’s victory was their eighth in the competition in as many games, and they are still the only team in the World Cup without a loss under Rohit Sharma. India proved their dominance against Sri Lanka at the Wankhede Stadium, knocking the islanders out for just 55 in a 358-run chase. Similar to their last crushing of Sri Lanka in the Asia Cup final in September, Mohammed Siraj, Mohammed Shami, and Jasprit Bumrah destroyed the Sri Lankan batting order.
Siraj claimed six wickets in India’s victory over the islands in the continental tournament final. It appeared like the Indian bowler had picked up where he left off in Colombo, as he took two wickets in his opening over. Jasprit Bumrah had another good opening over after Siraj’s double-wicket over, as he removed Pathum Nissanka off the first ball of the game.
Even though the Mumbai surface was reasonably accommodating to the batsmen, Siraj and Bumrah nevertheless caused significant movement off the pitch to hamper the Sri Lankan batsmen. Early in the game, Siraj in particular looked very scary and got into a furious fight with Charith Asalanka.
The Indian team’s first-choice spinner, Shami, made matters worse for Sri Lanka by getting rid of Asalanka and Dushan Hemantha in his first over. Ever since he was forced to replace the injured Hardik Pandya in the Indian XI last week, Shami has been in outstanding form. In the end, he recorded amazing figures of 5/18 in 5 overs, his third five-wicket haul in World Cup history and his second in this tournament. For India, Siraj (3/16) was as impressive, while Bumrah (1/8 in five overs) did not bowl after his opening stint.
Earlier, skipper Kusal Mendis of Sri Lanka invited India to bat, and they responded with an outstanding batting performance that saw them score 357/8. Shubman Gill (92), Virat Kohli (88), and Shreyas Iyer (82) were the only Indian hitters to fall short of the three-figure mark during the innings, while Dilshan Madushanka’s five-wicket haul (5/80) was Sri Lanka’s solitary victory.
India has had a great start to the season, having won their first seven games against five-time winners Australia, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Bangladesh, New Zealand, England, and now Sri Lanka. India, who now lead the standings with 14 points, will take on South Africa on Sunday. South Africa is unbeaten in the tournament thus far.
The seasoned Indian opener showed nothing but admiration for Iyer, who came under fire for his lacklustre batting performance in Lucknow against England. Iyer helped India defeat Sri Lanka by scoring 357-8 in 50 overs at Mumbai thanks to a brilliant effort of 82 off 56 balls. “Shreyas is a very strong (in his own view) young man, and he went there and accomplished precisely what we expected of him. Rohit continued, “Shreyas demonstrated that he is prepared to take on the challenge that lies before of him. “Siraj is an excellent bowler.”