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Dominant India cruised to the final

Zia Rana June 20, 2013

India 2-182 (Shikhar Dhawan 68, Virat Kohli 58, Rohit Sharma 33, Angelo Mathews 1-10) beat Sri Lanka 8-181 (Angelo Mathews 51, Mahela Jayawardene 38, Ishant Sharma 3-33, Ravichandran Ashwin 3-48) by eight wickets.

The most prominent and unbeaten side in the 2013 ICC Champions Trophy, India, maintained their rhythm in the second semi-final while crushing Sri Lanka easily.

The Islanders managed 181 runs for the loss of 8 wickets in the allocated 50 overs and the Blue Shirts plundered 182 with eight wickets remaining and 90 balls to spare.

Ishant Sharma (India) was declared ‘Player of the match’ for his excellent bowling figures of 3-33.

The second semi-final of the ICC Champions Trophy was played on Thursday, June 20, 2013, at Sophia Gardens, Cardiff.

MS Dhoni won the toss for India and preferred to bat second as the field was relatively wet because of rain. The Islanders lost their first wicket at six as Kumar Sangakkara walked in the park and the other opener, Tillakaratne Dilshan, got two fours. The latter was unable to continue in the fifth over, he was replaced by Lahiru Thirimanne and the batsmen crept to 36 after 15 overs. Thirimanne was gone for seven and Mahela Jayawardene took guards in the center as Sangakkara was caught superbly by Suresh Raina off Ishant Sharma for 17.

Ishant Sharma - 'Player of the second semi-final'

Ishant Sharma – ‘Player of the second semi-final’

The skipper of the Lankan Lions, Angelo Mathews hit the first six of the innings in the 22nd over and Jayawardene got two boundaries in the coming overs. The fourth wicket partnership was broken at 119 in 36.1 overs when Mahela Jayawardene was clean bowled by Ravindra Jadeja for 38 off 63 with 3 fours. Jeevan Mendis was the next batsman in as Angelo Mathews posted his 14th ODI fifty in the 45th over. Mathews was finally caught by Bhuvneshwar Kumar off Ashwin for 51 off 89 deliveries with 1 six and 1 four. Mendis scored 25 as the Islanders scored 181 with two wickets remaining after 50 overs.

Ishant Sharma and Ravichandran Ashwin were the supreme bowlers with three wickets each whereas Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Ravindra Jadeja shared one wicket each.

India started off nicely with their reliable openers, Rohit Sharma along with Shikhar Dhawan and scored 21 runs in five overs. The latter hit the first six in the next over and was dropped at 18 by Mathews at first slip off Nuwan Kulasekara. Dhawan was let down again at 19 by the wicket keeper, Kumar Sangakkara, off Kulasekara in the 11th over. Rohit Sharma added a couple of fours two overs later and became the first victim when his stumps were dislodged by Angelo Mathews for 33 off 50 with 4 fours. The first wicket fell at 77 as Virat Kohli joined in with Shikhar Dhawan who dispatched his second ODI half century in the 26th over with a four.

Kohli remained watchful while scoring 18 runs in the first 38 balls he faced and tasted his first four in the 29th over. Shikhar Dhawan was dropped at 62 for the third time during his innings on the first ball of the 31st over. He was finally stumped brilliantly by Sangakkara off Jeevan Mendis for 68 off 92 comprising 1 six and 6 fours as the total touched 142 in 31.5 overs. Virat Kohli took over and accumulated 11 runs in the 33rd over with 2 fours as the score went past the 150 runs mark. He smashed his 23rd ODI fifty in the following over with a grand six as the Men in Blue hammered 182 in 35 overs. Virat Kohli remained unbeaten for 58 off 64 with 1 six and 4 fours and Suresh Raina was at the other end for seven.

India grabbed the important game with a hefty margin of eight wickets and will meet England in the final at Edgbaston, Birmingham, on Sunday, June 23, 2013.

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