It was yet another disappointing night for India at the Asia Cup on Tuesday as they lost to Sri Lanka in the Super 4 to be perilously close to elimination from the continental event. India skipper Rohit Sharma’s scintillating 41-ball 72 went in vain, as the islanders completed a chase of 174 with a ball to spare. Needing 21 in 12 balls, Sri Lanka scored 14 runs off the penultimate over bowled by Bhuvneshwar Kumar, almost sealing it in their favour. India will be out of the tournament if Pakistan beat Afghanistan on Wednesday.
After the match, former India allrounder Irfan Pathan said that Arshdeep Singh should have bowled the 19th over. The young left-arm pacer bowled the last over with Sri Lanka needing seven runs. He fought on till he end but Sri Lanka won in 19.5 overs.
“If you look at the ground, there is no dew. The bowling actually makes it easier. There was a little help for the spinners as well. The wickets that fell, all came from the spinners. The ball was at least holding a bit. No fast bowlers got a wicket. I think Rohit Sharma missed a trick, couple of times – Deepak Hooda did not bowl, second Arshdeep should have bowled the 19th over because of the left armer’s angles the ball was going away nicely. That could have been so much better. I was saying that during commentary as well not just saying after the game,” Irfan Pathan on Star Sports.
“These two things could have done better. The bowling in the first 10 overs, you definitely expect better from Team India.”
Chasing what looked like a par score at the innings break, the Sri Lankans were off to a blazing start with openers Kusal Mendis (57 off 37 balls) and Pathum Nissanka (52 off 37 balls) putting on 91 runs at a brisk rate.
The fifty was up in the sixth over with both batters regularly finding the gaps and the boundaries with consummate ease, putting tremendous pressure on the Indian bowling attack that looked clueless against the positive approach adopted by the two Lankan batters.
However, leg-spinner Yuzvendra Chahal had other ideas as he struck twice in the 12th over to put the brakes on Sri Lanka’s march.
Ravichandran Ashwin sent back Danushka Gunathilaka (1) to leave Sri Lanka in a spot of bother at 110 for three in the 14th over.
In the first ball of the next over, Sri Lanka suffered a body blow as Chahal got the big wicket of Mendis, who was trapped lbw in front of the wicket.
But Sri Lanka skipper Dasun Shanaka and (33 not out) and Bhanuka Rajapaksa (25 not out) remained till the end to complete the task for their team with a match-winning, fifth-wicket partnership of 64 runs.
(With PTI inputs)
Topics mentioned in this article