Cricket World Cup: India secure semi-final spot after skittling Sri ...

2 Nov 2023

India secured their place in the Cricket World Cup semi-finals after skittling Sri Lanka for just 55 to seal an emphatic 302-run victory in Mumbai.

Cricket World Cup - Figure 1
Photo Sky Sports

Sri Lanka collapsed to 3-4 by the fourth over as their top four batters mustered just one run between them, with openers Pathum Nissanka and Dimuth Karunaratne both out for golden ducks.

Their nightmare continued against Mohammed Shami (5-18), who picked up his third five-wicket haul in World Cup matches, and Mohammed Siraj (3-16) as they fell to 14-6 within the powerplay.

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Ninth-wicket pair Kasun Rajitha (14) and Maheesh Theekshana (12no) shared Sri Lanka's highest partnership worth 20 runs as they passed the record low ODI score of 35, before they were all out for 55 - the team's third-lowest ODI score.

Earlier, India had a shaky start after skipper Rohit Sharma (four) was bowled by Dilshan Madushanka (5-80) from the second ball of the day.

However, Virat Kohli (88) and Shubman Gill (92) put on a 189-run partnership for the second wicket to help India post 357-8 after they lost the toss and were inserted in to bat.

India are the first team to qualify for the semi-finals and reclaim their position at the top of the World Cup table, while Sri Lanka stay in seventh place.

India's winning streak continues

Image: India's Jasprit Bumrah removed Pathum Nissanka for a golden duck with the first ball of his opening spell

For a brief moment, it seemed there might be a twist in India's fairytale when their skipper Sharma was removed with an off-cutter from left-arm seamer Madushanka, but they proved to be invincible once again.

Kohli brought up his 70th half-century in ODI cricket off 50 balls while Gill reached his second of the tournament. The milestones were particularly frustrating for Sri Lanka as the Indian duo had both been dropped earlier on in their innings.

Cricket World Cup - Figure 2
Photo Sky Sports

Gill was dropped on eight in the fifth over as he drove Madushanka in the air, but the ball burst through the hands of a leaping Charith Asalanka at backward point. Kohli was dropped on 10 in the following over after a caught and bowled chance off Chameera proved to be too difficult.

It was the first time Gill had been dismissed in the nineties in his career after he attempted to guide Madushanka to third man, but instead, the slower ball deceived him and he hit it to wicketkeeper Kusal Mendis to leave India 193-2.

Image: India's Virat Kohli and Shubman Gill shared a partnership of 189 off 179 balls against Sri Lanka

Kohli fell short of a record-equalling ODI century and remains behind Sachin Tendulkar who is at the top of the list with 49 tons in one-day cricket.

Kohli drove another off-cutter from Madushanka straight to Nissanka at short cover leaving India 196-3 as the pace bowler ripped through a formidable top order.

Chameera toiled hard and eventually picked up a well-earned wicket of KL Rahul (21) who drove straight to Hemantha at short extra cover. Madushanka completed his five-for with the wicket of Suryakumar Yadav (12) who gloved behind to Mendis, moving him to the top of the tournament wicket-taker's list.

Woeful Sri Lanka crumble against top side

Image: Sri Lanka's captain Kusal Mendis is bowled out by India's Mohammed Siraj on one

Sri Lanka's top five batters contributed two runs - the fewest runs ever in a men's ODI innings.

They had an abysmal start after fast-bowler Jasprit Bumrah (1-8) trapped Nissanka (0) lbw for a golden duck and Siraj removed Karunaratne (0) lbw too.

Siraj struck again in the same over, this time with a wide ball, that tempted Sadeera Samarawickrama (0) into a loose shot and flew to Shreyas Iyer at third slip.

Cricket World Cup - Figure 3
Photo Sky Sports

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Mohammed Siraj breaks out the Cristiano Ronaldo celebration after cleaning up Kusal Mendis.

Angelo Mathews (12), Maheesh Theekshana (12no), Kasun Rajitha (14) were the only Sri Lanka players to make it into double digits, but their outings didn't last too long as Shami skittled the middle order and then mopped up the tail.

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India's Shreyas Iyer hits the biggest six of the Cricket World Cup so far as his massive shot clears 106 metres

An inswinger from Shami invited Mathews for a drive but smashed into his stumps and Rajitha, who attempted to play a similar shot, was caught at second slip as Sri Lanka slumped to 49-9.

Shami's five-for saw him become the highest wicket-taker in World Cups for India.

Though Madushanka was impressive with the ball, asking for a similar performance with the bat from the tailender was always going to be a big ask, as Sri Lanka still required 309 runs from 32 overs.

Madushanka attempted to slog sweep Jadeja but instead caught got a top edge and as the ball ballooned up over Shreyas Iyer at mid-on, the crowd at Wankhede Stadium had already burst into celebration.

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India bowl out Sri Lanka for just 55, winning by a massive 302 runs in the Cricket World Cup.
Shami: The bowling unit has done really well

Player of the match, India’s Mohammed Shami:

“The bowling unit has been doing really well. I don’t think there’s anyone who isn’t enjoying it and this is the result of it. I’m always trying to bowl in a good area and stay in a good rhythm and we’re getting good results from it."

Mendis: I hope we come back strong

Sri Lanka’s captain, Kusal Mendis:

“I am very disappointed, India bowled really well with the seam and swing in the night. The wicket was a little bit slow. Siraj, Shami and Bumrah were really good.

"We have another two matches and I hope we come back strong.”

Sharma: 'A good effort from the entire squad'

India’s captain, Rohit Sharma:

"We're very happy knowing we have officially qualified.

"It's been a good effort from the entire squad, when we started off in Chennai, this was the goal. The way we have approached the seven games has been clinical.

"It was a good challenge for us to bat first and put runs on the board, 350 on any pitch is a very good score.

“Siraj is a quality bowler and he has a lot of skills when he is operating with the new ball. When things are going your way, it’s pretty pleasing to watch and I hope it continues that way.”

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