India defeated a low lying Sri Lanka by 7 wickets to confirm their spot at the numero uno position in the points table. The Dimuth Karunaratne led team posted a total of 264/7 runs at the end of 50 overs courtesy Angelo Mathews brilliant 113 off 128 balls to take his team to a fighting total. Jasprit Bumrah was the star for India in the bowling department with three wickets.
Lot was expected from Lasith Malinga in his farewell world cup game for the Islanders but he failed to make a mark as Indian openers looked in the sublime touch right from the word “go”. They added 189 runs for the first wicket to consolidate take India in a dominant position. Both KL Rahul(111 off 118 balls) and Rohit Sharma(103 off 94 balls) struck a century followed by an unbeaten 34 by Virat Kohli to give India a 7 wickets victory and finish the league stage with 16 points in 9 games that includes a rain washed game against New Zealand.
On the other hand, Australia lost a high scoring thriller against a low lying South Africa by 10 runs to finish at number two spot in the points table. South Africa posted a total of 325/6 courtesy Faf Du Plessis 100 off 94 balls and Rassie van der Dussen’s 95 off 97 balls.
In reply, Australian openers failed to fire and the untested middle order failed to perform that became the reason for their demise. Wicket-keeper batsman Alex Carey and lower order batsman showed some intent but it was not enough to win the game for the Australian team. Kagiso Rabada was the highlight in the bowling department as he scalped three crucial wickets.
Nasser Hussain predicts the winner
After the conclusion of league stage, we have our four semi-finalists- India(1), Australia(2), England(3) and New Zealand(4). Virat Kohli’s side will face a depleted New Zealand in the first semi final on 9th July at Manchester while an in form England will clash against their Ashes rivals Australia in the second semi-final on 11th July at Birmingham.
Meanwhile, veteran Sri Lankan pacer has predicted that India has all the fire power to win the world cup. Malinga said that India possess the experience of a world cup winning captain in MS Dhoni and the current captain- Virat Kohli was also part of that team.
“They have the quality to win the world cup because they show their characters. They have experienced world cup winning captain(MS Dhoni) and Virat Kohli also played in that tournament(2011 world cup). They have that experience and they have bowlers also. Then Rohit, we know how good he is playing, i think that match winning ability players, they have. The competition is tough but they have that ability to win,” Malinga told reporters after the conclusion of India vs Sri Lanka clash.
India will face New Zealand in the first semi-final at Manchester on 9th July.