Kohli, Yuvraj rattle Sri Lanka as India storm into Asia Cup final
India 142-5 (Kohli 56no) beat
Sri Lanka 138-9 (Kapugedera 30) by five wickets
Seventh match, Asia Cup, Mirpur
Riding on the back of a flamboyant fifty from Virat Kohli and a boundary studded cameo from Yuvraj Singh, India chased down Sri Lanka's target of 139 runs in 19.2 overs to secure a five-wicket in the seventh match of the 2016 Asia Cup which helped them secure a place in the final of the tournament.
India won the toss and opted to field first. Shikhar Dhawan was included in the place of Ajinkya Rahane.
Once again, the Indian opening bowlers Ashish Nehra (1-23) and Jasprit Bumrah (2-27) began well and conceded just five runs in the first two overs of the match.
Dinesh Chandimal (4), in an attempt to ease the pressure tried to slog sweep Nehra but was caught behind. In the next over, Shehan Jayasuriya (3) poked tentatively at a Bumrah delivery, giving MS Dhoni a simple catch.
Sri Lanka were restricted to 31 for two in the powerplay. Tillakaratne Dilshan’s (18) stay at the crease was ended when he pulled a Hardik Pandya (2-26) ball straight to Ravichandran Ashwin (2-26) at fine leg.
Three overs later, Pandya castled Angelo Mathews (18) to leave Sri Lanka struggling at 57 for four.
Milinda Siriwardana (22) and Chamara Kapugedera (30) staged a rescue with their 43-run stand for the fifth wicket.
Just when the partnership seemed dangerous, Sri Lanka lost three wickets in nine balls and were positioned at 105 for seven.
However, cameos from Thisara Perera (17) and Nuwan Kulasekara (13) boosted Sri Lanka’s total to 138 for nine in 20 overs. Ashwin, Pandya and Bumrah shared six wickets equally while Nehra had one to his name.
Sri Lanka began well with the ball and saw the back of Dhawan (1) in the second over as he edged a Kulasekara (2-21) delivery to the keeper.
Rohit Sharma (15) also failed to convert his start and India were restricted to 37 for two in the powerplay phase.
It was the 54-run stand between Suresh Raina (25) and Kohli (56 not out) which prevented India from losing their way in the chase.
While keeping the required rate in check, the pair took India to 66 for two at the halfway mark. The introduction of Dasun Shanaka (1-7) stirred things up slightly with the wicket of Raina, who holed out to mid-off.
However, Singh (35) gave Sri Lanka no respite with an 18-ball knock. Along with Kohli, Singh added 51-runs in 5.4 overs and struck three boundaries and as many sixes before top-edging a Perera (1-32) delivery to fine leg.
Pandya (2) fell in the next over, leaving India to get 14 runs from 13 deliveries. A six from Dhoni (7 not out) eased the pressure while Kohli struck two boundaries to complete the chase and also went past his 13th T20I fifty in the process.
With the five-wicket win, India stormed into the final of the tournament. Kohli was the man of the match for his unbeaten half-century.
© Cricket World 2016