ICC World Cup 2023: India remain unbeaten

Pacer Mohammed Shami’s exceptional performance, securing a five-wicket haul, was instrumental as India convincingly defeated Sri Lanka by a margin of 302 runs. This marked India’s seventh consecutive win to reach the semifinals of the ICC World Cup 2023.

India’s strong all-around performance throughout the game saw them achieve the fourth-largest victory in ODI history by dismissing Sri Lanka for a mere 55 runs in 19.2 overs. Their strong batting display, led by Shubman Gill (92), Virat Kohli (88), and Shreyas Iyer (82), propelled India to a commanding total of 357/8 in 50 overs.

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With this win, India have 14 points from seven matches, confirming their place in the last-four. Shami (5-18) shattered Sri Lanka’s batting lineup.

He also set a new milestone by becoming India’s highest wicket-taker in ICC World Cup history. His tally of 45 wickets surpassed Zaheer Khan’s previous record of 44 wickets in 23 matches. Interestingly, Shami accomplished this feat in just 14 matches.

Shami’s inclusion in the playing XI, following Hardik Pandya’s injury, has proved to be a significant asset for India. In the current ICC World Cup 2023, he has 14 wickets in just three matches.

India once again displayed their dominance by dismissing Sri Lanka for 55 runs in 19.4 overs, securing a resounding victory margin of 302 runs.

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The bowling attack led by Shami, supported by Mohd Siraj, made a formidable impact as Sri Lanka’s innings encountered early turmoil. After 12 overs, the 1996 World Cup champions found themselves at a precarious 22/7. At 22/7 after 12 overs, Sri Lanka was teetering on the brink of a record low all-out total in ODIs, which stands at 35.

Eventually, Shami claimed his five-wicket haul by dismissing Angelo Mathews (12) and Kasun Rajitha. The only respite for Sri Lanka was a ninth-wicket partnership between Maheesh Theekshana (12 not out) and Kasun Rajitha (14). Ravindra Jadeja wrapped up the innings, dismissing Madushanka for five. Sri Lanka only managed 55 runs.

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Sri Lanka struggle on the field

Earlier, Sri Lanka secured an early breakthrough, but bowled inconsistently, missed catches, and fielded poorly. Their performance in the ICC World Cup 2023 has been anything but impressive.

Shubman Gill and Virat Kohli put up a 189-run partnership for the second wicket after skipper Rohit Sharma was dismissed for just four. Shreyas Iyer stitched two half-century partnerships with KL Rahul and Ravindra Jadeja, setting Sri Lanka a massive target.

Kohli came to the crease in the first over of the match following Rohit Sharma’s early dismissal. Gill and Kohli, particularly, played a significant role in rescuing India with their superb partnership. Although they started cautiously, they did not hesitate to punish the numerous poor deliveries bowled by the Sri Lankan team, resulting in consistent boundary strikes. The first Powerplay concluded with India at 60/1.

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Kohli had a lucky escape when Chamika Karunaratne dropped a return catch after getting his hand to a lofted drive. However, after a slow start, he began letting loose. The batting stalwart completed his 70th half-century in the process.

Gill and Kohli were dismissed in quick succession, but India posted a formidable total, thanks to Shreyas Iyer’s performance.

Iyer maintained a brisk scoring rate, hitting boundaries and launching a massive six straight over Hemantha’s head. He hit a boundary to reach his half-century in just 36 balls.

His brilliant innings of 82 off 56 balls ended, with India close to the 350-run mark. However, Sri Lanka fell short of the target, as the hosts claimed another win in the ICC World Cup 2023.

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