Rohit Sharma's excellent knock went in vain as Sri Lanka produced a clinical performance to beat India by six wickets and top the Super Four table in the ongoing Asia Cup 2022 at Dubai International Cricket Stadium, here on Tuesday.
It was the second consecutive loss for India and they are on the brink of elimination. India will be officially out of the tournament if Pakistan beat Afghanistan on Wednesday.
An attacking knock by captain Rohit Sharma (72 off 41) lifted India to a challenging 173-8 in 20 overs. After Rohit, Suryakumar Yadav (34 off 29) was the second top-scorer for India, who would have wanted more contributions from their lower-order batters.
For Sri Lanka, Dilshan Madushanka (3/24), Chamika Karunaratne (2/27) and Dasun Shanaka (2/26) were the main wicket takers.
Chasing a challenging total, Kusal Mendis (57 off 37) and Pathum Nissanka (52 off 37) gave Sri Lanka a flying start. It was smart batting from both Nissanka and Mendis. They played cautiously in the first two overs when both Bhuvneshwar and Arshdeep found some swing. Thereafter they played freely and took Sri Lanka to 57-0 in the first six overs.
Even after the powerplay, they continued the good work, stitching a 97-run opening stand before Nissanka got out to leg-spinner Yuzvendra Chahal in 11.1 overs with a reverse sweep. The out-of-form Asalanka then top-edged a slog sweep and suddenly India found themselves still in the game.
With three overs to go, Rohit had a call to make with one over each of Hardik, Arshdeep and Bhuvneshwar left. He gave the 18th to Hardik, who gave 12 runs off the over. With Sri Lanka needing 21 off 12, they had an advantage and Bhuvneshwar was once again entrusted to bowl the 19th over for India but he couldn't nail his wide yorkers and the 14-run over left Arshdeep to defend seven.
The young left-arm seamer did well to take the game to the penultimate ball, unfurling a slew of yorkers but Dasun Shanaka (33 not out off 18) and Rajapaksa held their nerves and led Sri Lanka to win in 19.5 overs.
After Team India's defeat, fans called for a boycott of IPL,
Many fans felt that only winning the domestic league is what matters for Indian cricketers. Some said that the cash-rich league is ruining the national team.