The fate of Team India in the ongoing Asia Cup 2022 tournament hangs by a thread following their second consecutive defeat against Sri Lanka on Tuesday. The nail-biting India vs Sri Lanka encounter saw Dasun Shanaka-led team eke out a commanding win over the Men in Blue by six wickets with one ball to spare. As it stands out at the moment, Sri Lanka all but secured a spot in the Asia Cup final.
Having trounced the mighty Indians in a feisty encounter, Sri Lanka is currently leading the Asia Cup 2022 points table. By virtue of their twin wins against Bangladesh and Team India later, the Lankan Lions have amassed four points with an impressive net run rate of 0.351.
Pakistan, however, after its victory against India are seated second with two points bearing a net run rate of 0.126. India are third after two consecutive defeats with a negative net run rate of -0.125. Afghanistan is last on the points tally with a negative run rate of -0.589.
Having won the toss, Sri Lanka opted to field first. Despite losing KL Rahul and Virat Kohli early, Team India skipper Rohit Sharma dominated the Sri Lanka bowlers registering his first half-century of the tournament. He was eventually dismissed for 72 runs off 41 balls. Rohit had the backing of Suryakumar Yadav (34 off 29 balls) as the duo put up 97 run stand for the third wicket. After losing their skipper, Team India’s batting lineup could only add 63 runs after being 110 for three in the 13th over. India eventually put 173 runs on board after losing 8 wickets.
Sri Lankans started their run chase in positive fashion with openers Kusal Mendis (57 off 37 balls) and Pathum Nissanka (52 off 37 balls) putting on 91 runs for the opening wicket. Leg-spinner Yuzvendra Chahal struck twice in the 12th over to slow down Sri Lanka’s scoring rate.
Ravichandran Ashwin dismissed Danushka Gunathilaka on just 1 run to leave Sri Lanka on the rocks at 110 for three. Chahal later provided a major breakthrough by trapping Mendis, in front of the wicket. Needing 21 in 12 balls, Sri Lanka, in a dramatic fashion, scored 14 runs off the penultimate over bowled by Bhuvneshwar Kumar, almost sealing it in their favour. Sri Lanka skipper Dasun Shanaka remained unbeaten on 33 runs, while Bhanuka Rajapaksa stayed unfazed on 25 runs. However, it is pertinent to note that India will be out of the tournament if Pakistan beat Afghanistan on Wednesday.