In yet another one-sided semi-final of the ICC Champions Trophy 2013, favourites India lost no sweat as they thumped familiar opponents Sri Lanka by eight wickets to set up a title clash with hosts England.
India produced an inspiring effort in bowler-friendly conditions at Cardiff to restrict Sri Lanka to 181 for eight, before their highly efficient batting line-up chased it down with 90 balls to spare.
It was another damp squib of a last-four clash, a day after England had cruised home to a seven-wicket victory over South Africa at The Oval. However, the crowd, which was considerable in number and colourful in both attire and attitude, that had turned up to watch the 45th encounter between the two Asian neighbours in the last five years kept themselves entertained. They danced to popular numbers played out on the stadium boombox and jogged around after forming the human snake. In between, there were a couple of pitch intrusions to provide a few moments of laughter, and Indian captain MS Dhoni drew a few cheers after handing over his wicketkeeping gloves to Dinesh Karthik and rolling his arms over for four overs in seamer-friendly conditions.
Earlier, rain threatened to play a dampener and delayed the start of play by half an hour. Dhoni had no hesitation giving his bowlers a chance to exploit the conditions after winning the toss. (cricketcountry.com)