Dubai: Defending champions India were pushed to the brink of being knocked out by Sri Lanka by six wickets in a crucial match of the Asia Cup Super Four stage on Tuesday. Now the Indian team will have to depend on the results of other teams to reach the finals. Indian captain Rohit Sharma's innings of 72 runs in 41 balls went in vain and Sri Lanka achieved the target of 174 runs with one ball left. Sri Lanka needed 21 runs in the last two overs but Bhuvneshwar Kumar gave away 14 runs in the 19th over to get the match out of India's JD.
Bhuvneshwar Kumar looted 14 runs in the 19th over
It was Bhuvneshwar Kumar who scored 19 runs in the 19th over against Pakistan on Sunday and India lost that match. If Pakistan beat Afghanistan on Wednesday, India will be out of the tournament. Openers Kusal Mendis (57 runs in 37 balls) and Pathum Nisanka (52 runs in 37 balls) got Sri Lanka off to a great start and added a quick 91 runs. Sri Lanka's fifty was made in the sixth over itself, which put pressure on the Indian bowlers.
Yuzvendra Chahal had made Team India return
Leg-spinner Yuzvendra Chahal, however, tried to curb Sri Lanka's run-rate by taking two wickets in the 12th over. Ravichandran Ashwin sent Dhanushka Guntilaka (1) to the pavilion. Sri Lanka's score was 110 for three in the 14th over. In the next over, Chahal got Mendis out leg before. After this, however, Sri Lankan captain Dasun Shanaka (33 not out) and Bhanuka Rajapaksa (25 not out) won the match with an unbroken partnership of 64 runs for the fifth wicket.
Rohit Sharma's innings of 72 runs in vain
Earlier, Indian captain Rohit Sharma, leading from the front, scored 72 runs off 41 balls, with the help of which India scored 173 runs for eight wickets. After losing the first two wickets early, Rohit played the captaincy innings and hit five fours and four sixes. Suryakumar Yadav supported him well by scoring 34 runs in 29 balls. Both added 97 runs for the third wicket. After the dismissal of Rohit, however, the Indian batsman could only score 63 runs. At one time India's score was 110 for three in the 13th over when Rohit got out.
Sri Lanka showed strength from the very beginning
Sri Lanka got off to a good start, dismissing opener KL Rahul (six) and third-placed Virat Kohli (0) cheaply. India's score was 13 runs for two wickets in the third over. After hitting a boundary at extra cover in the second over, Rahul got leg-before off-spinner Mahish Teekshana. Rahul also took a review but the decision was not in his favor. After that, the star batsman Kohli could not even open the account in four balls and left-arm fast bowler Dilshan Madhushanka sent him to the pavilion.