Men in Blue produced an astonishing performance to crush Sri Lanka and seal the semi-final berth
MUMBAI, INDIA - NOVEMBER 02: Mohammed Siraj of India celebrates the wicket of Sadeera Samarawickrama of Sri Lanka during the ICC Men's Cricket World Cup India 2023 between India and Sri Lanka at Wankhede Stadium on November 02, 2023 in Mumbai, India. (Photo by Alex Davidson-ICC/ICC via Getty Images)

Men in Blue exhibited an astonishing and dominating performance to record their seventh straight win in the ongoing World Cup tournament. Chasing a massive 358, Sri Lankan batters never got into the game as Indian bowlers completely outplayed them with destructive pace bowling. Mohammed Shami and Mohammed Siraj produced a sensational effort and bowled out the Lankans for a mere 55, second lowest ODI total against India. Senior pacer Shami yet again impressed everyone with a five-wicket haul and became the first Indian to record three five-wicket hauls in the ODI World Cup event. With a 302-run win, the fourth-largest ever, India became the first team to qualify for the semi-finals.

Bowling first, Dilshan Madushanka gave the Lankans an excellent start by dismissing the in-form Rohit Sharma (4) in the very first over. Sri Lankan players fumbled on the field and dropped a few catches for both Shubman Gill and Virat Kohli. Gill and Kohli used the given chances to great effect and went on to hit their respective half-centuries. The top-order batters added 189 runs for the second wicket.

Madushanka gave the Lankans a much-needed breakthrough by dismissing Gill, who batted brilliantly for his 92. In his next over, he got rid of Kohli, who played a battling knock of 88. KL Rahul and Ravindra Jadeja chipped in 21 and 35 respectively. Shreyas Iyer played a blistering knock of 56-ball 82 and helped India to reach a mammoth 357/8 in 50 overs.

Sri Lanka’s chase got off to a worst start as Jasprit Bumrah trapped Pathum Nissanka LBW in the very first delivery. In the second over, Siraj dismissed both Dimuth Karunaratne (0) and Sadeera Samarawickrama (0) to stun the Lankans. Siraj then cleaned up Kusal Mendis for just 1. From then on, it was Shami’s show as he threatened the opponents with superb pace bowling and took wickets quickly. Finally, Jadeja grabbed a wicket to finish off things in style.

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