Tri-Series: India thrash SL by 81 runs to enter final

Port of Spain, July 10:  India cruised into the final of the Tri-nation ODI series with a crushing 81-run victory over Sri Lanka in yet another rain-hit game in Port of Spain, relying on young Bhuvneshwar Kumar's devastating exhibition of swing bowling.

Seamer Bhuvneshwar Kumar wreaked havoc with a brilliant opening spell as he powered India into the final of the Celkon Mobile Cup Tri Series tournament with a commanding 81-run victory over Sri Lanka via Duckworth Lewis method in another rain-affected match.

The 22-year-old Kumar had career-best figures of 4 for 8 runs in six overs as Sri Lanka were bundled out for a paltry 96 in 24.4 overs in pursuit of 178 in stipulated 26 overs as Virat Kohli, in his maiden stint as captain, guided the 'Men In Blue' into the title round. India will again meet Sri Lanka in the final at the same venue on Thursday.

India thus topped the table with 10 points including bonus points from the last two encounters having lost the first two matches and also eliminated hosts West Indies in the process.

Put into bat, Rohit Sharma contributed 48 as India reached 119 for three in 29 overs when rain halted proceedings. Courtesy Duckworth-Lewis method, Sri Lanka's target swelled upto 178 in 26 overs.

For India, the magic figure was 167 under which they had to restrict the islanders in order to make it to the summit clash.

Kumar's knack of picking up early wickets reaped dividends for India as he rocked the opposition removing Upul Tharanga (6) and Kumar Sangakkara (0) off successive deliveries. Tharanga got one that shaped away after pitching as he edged one to Suresh Raina stationed at wide second slip.

Sangakkara got a raw deal as the delivery from Kumar seemed to be going well above stumps as he was adjudged leg before.

If that wasn't enough, Mahela Jayawardene (11) was also dismissed cheaply to make it 27 for three. Jayawardene slashed hard at a rising delivery only to be holed at third man where Murali Vijay was stationed.

Kumar soon got his fourth wicket when Lahiru Thirimanne (4) offered a simple catch to Virat Kohli at cover as Lanka looked down and out at 31 for four.

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Courtesy:ISTV Imphal


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