Sri Lanka's renaissance continues as they beat India by six wickets in Asia Cup 2022

Defeat for defending champions at Dubai International Stadium means they are on brink of being knocked out of competition

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The revival of Sri Lanka as contenders on the world stage continued apace as they beat India in the Asia Cup at the Dubai International Stadium.

The six-wicket win means the Sri Lankans are almost assured a place in Sunday’s final, while India’s title defence is all but over.

They completed it in nervy fashion, scurrying two byes off the penultimate ball of the final over, which included an overthrow by the bowler Arshdeep Singh.

Had either Arshdeep or wicketkeeper Rishabh Pant hit the stumps with the respective throws, each of the batters would have been run out. As it was, they both missed.

Sri Lanka, riding a wave of optimism after beating Afghanistan in the first Super 4 fixture, were deserving winners, even though India had started in formidable fashion.

Rohit Sharma hinted in the previous game against Pakistan he was returning to form, and he underlined the point with a fine innings.

India v Pakistan ratings - in pictures

The India captain made 72 in 41 balls. It was just his second half century in 17 innings in T20 international cricket.

India seemed set for a mammoth total when he was firing and they were 110 for two at the start of the 13th, but their progress stalled.

It started with Rohit’s dismissal, when he could only find Pathum Nissanka at point with an upper cut off Chamika Karunaratne’s slower-ball bouncer.

Dilshan Madushanka, the left-arm swing bowler, was the pick of Sri Lanka’s attack. His figures of three for 24 were impressive enough, but it was the nature of the dismissals that will live longest in the memory.

First of all, he uprooted Virat Kohli’s middle and off stumps, getting the former India captain for a duck. Later on, he accounted for Pant and Deepak Hooda.

From the way Sri Lanka started their pursuit of 174 to win, it appeared they were in a rush to get the job done.

By the end of the power play, they were on 57 for no loss. By the time their openers were parted, they had reached 97 in 11 overs.

Nissanka and Kusal Mendis were equally spectacular in their hitting. Nissanka made 52 in 37 balls, while Mendis made 57 in the same amount.

Each fell to Yuzvendra Chahal, and the leg-spinner threatened to drag India back into it as he took three for 34 from his four overs.

It was not to be for the defending champions, though, as Dasun Shanaka and Bhanuka Rakapaksa then put on 64 in six overs to see their side to the win.

Updated: September 06, 2022, 6:15 PM