Player of the Match
Player of the Match

Kohli, bowlers put India in final

Kolhi Bradmanesque in 2016 (1:31)

Viral Kohli can't stop scoring against Sri Lanka, while Tillakaratne Dilshan is in the middle of a major slump in form (1:31)

India 142 for 5 (Kohli 56*, Yuvraj 35) beat Sri Lanka 138 for 9 (Kapugedera 30, Siriwardana 22, Pandya 2-26, Ashwin 2-26) by five wickets
Scorecard and ball-by-ball details

Virat Kohli stroked his third fifty in as many T20s against Sri Lanka to send his team cruising to the Asia Cup final, after a tight bowling performance had restrained the opposition to 138 for 9. Kohli arrived with India wobbling at 16 for 2 in the fourth over, but soon enlisted Suresh Raina, then Yuvraj Singh, for support, in what was eventually a comfortable chase. The winning runs were hit with four balls and five wickets to spare. Kohli's share was a 47-ball 56 not out.

It had been Ashish Nehra and Jasprit Bumrah who earned India the initial impetus, however, taking out a batsman apiece during their miserly new-ball spells. Sri Lanka coughed and spluttered right through their innings, losing wickets just as a significant partnership seemed to be forming. Chamara Kapugedera top-scored with 30 from 32, before late blows from Thisara Perera and Nuwan Kulasekara propelled the team to what was a half-decent score, given the conditions. Dew would make defending it substantially harder, however.

Bumrah, Hardik Pandya and R Ashwin all took two wickets apiece for India, and Nehra made a customary early breakthrough. Ashwin was typically crafty, but the seamers' scalps were largely the result of good discipline, as Sri Lanka batsmen attempted to manufacture big strokes following long, quiet spells.

Kohli was in good touch from early in his innings, smoking Angelo Mathews through midwicket fifth ball, before pumping Nuwan Kulasekara through point before the end of the Powerplay. He'd hit one more sublime cover-drive off Dushmantha Chameera, in the first half of the innings, but largely laid low after that, mining singles and twos from the outfield instead. He ticked along, and Raina followed suit - the pair putting on 54 together for the third wicket.

When Raina departed in the 12th over, India were marginally shy of the required rate, but Kohli's assured presence warded off panic. He let Yuvraj play himself into some kind of form, and kept India striding confidently toward the total. Memorably bludgeoning huge, consecutive sixes off Herath, Yuvraj also produced his most substantial innings since early 2014 - an 18-ball 35.

Pandya didn't last long against Herath, but MS Dhoni was on hand to assist Kohli with the finish. Kohli crossed fifty in the penultimate over, then lifted Herath over cow corner to reap the winning runs.

Earlier, Dinesh Chandimal creamed a four second ball, then failed to score off the next eight deliveries, before sending an inside edge to the keeper off Nehra. Tillakaratne Dilshan's modest form persisted at the other end, though he pilfered a few runs behind the wicket, before hooking Pandya to fine leg, to end on 18. With Shehan Jayasuriya also having been dismissed cheaply Sri Lanka had slipped to 31 for 3 at the beginning of the seventh over. India's seamers had made good use of the juice in the pitch - Bumrah threatening batsmen's edges, in particular.

Mathews and Kapugedera attempted to set down a platform for Sri Lanka's hitters, but their going was slow. Halfway through the innings, Sri Lanka had mustered only 47. Just when Mathews finally began to find the boundary, hitting three fours from five balls, he got himself out to an innocuous ball. Attempting to run a single to third man, Mathews played Pandya back onto his stumps, to finish with 18 from 19 balls.

There were flashes of aggression from Kapugedera and Milinda Siriwardana, who put on 43 runs off the 31 balls they had together. Siriwardana even launched Ravindra Jadeja into the sightscreen, then nurdled him to the third man fence, in successive deliveries. But, as has often been the case in recent India v Sri Lanka matches, Ashwin dealt a decisive blow, removing Siriwardana in the 17th over, before Dasun Shanaka ran himself out off a free hit, a few balls later.

Kapugedara's departure, though, brought a little acceleration. Thisara Perera bludgeoned two fours and a six in his first five balls, before charging Ashwin one too many times, in the penultimate over. Having anticipated the advance, Ashwin slipped the ball wide of off stump - conceding the extra, but claiming the wicket. Replays would show, though, that Perera shouldn't have been given out stumped. Somehow, the batsman had managed to swing his bat back into the crease before Dhoni snapped the bails off, despite the square-leg umpire having given him out immediately. Late leg-side blows from Kulasekara gave the innings a final, if futile, fillip.

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    Sri Lanka's stand-in T20 captain Angelo Mathews has said that the seniors have not delivered, which has put their Asia Cup final chances in jeopardy

  • Kohli, bowlers put India in final

    Virat Kohli stroked his third fifty in as many T20s against Sri Lanka to send his team cruising to the Asia Cup final, after a tight bowling performance had restrained the opposition to 138 for 9

  • Ashwin lauds India's improved death bowling

    R Ashwin believes Ashish Nehra and Jasprit Bumrah's ability to swing the ball in the Powerplay and hamper the batsmen later in the innings, has given India a whole new dimension to their attack

Half-century, each time


No. of half-centuries for Virat Kohli against Sri Lanka in T20Is, in as many innings. His scores against them: 68, 77 and 56*.

The chasing machine


Virat Kohli's average while chasing in T20Is, before this match. He averages just 35.88 when batting first. 7 of his 12 50s have also come when chasing.

Bowlers striking everytime


Average opening stand in the 7 games of this Asia Cup. Only twice there has been an opening stand of more than 20 runs in 14 innings.

Pathetic first-half


Runs scored by Sri Lanka in the first ten overs - their second-lowest in T20Is when batting first. They were 43 for 7 vs SA, Cape Town, World T20 2007.

Not a good year so far


Dilshan's average in T20Is this year, including today's innings. He has scored 86 runs in 7 innings. In his last two T20Is in 2015, he made half-centuries in both.

No solid starts


No. of innings in this Asia Cup (main round), where the teams lost at least 2 wickets in the powerplays, including today, in 13 innings.

On the toss-winning track


No. of tosses won by India in recent 4 T20Is, including today. Incidentally, they had called it right only once in 13 T20Is before that.