CWC 2023: ‘Miyan Magic’, Shami’s lethal spell powers India to semi-final after 302-run win against SL

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MUMBAI: In a repeat of the Asia Cup final, Mohammed Siraj’s sensational spell was shadowed by Mohammed Shami who took the onus to send India to the semi-finals of the World Cup after a thumping 302-run victory at the Wankhede Stadium on Thursday.

Since Shami’s arrival in India’s playing XI, the pace trio has been unstoppable and once again, the batters succumbed in front of their prowess. Bumrah, on the very first ball, sent Pathum Nissanka back for a golden duck with a delivery that swung away sharply, found an edge on its way and hit the pads right in front of the stumps.

Nissanka tried to overturn the decision with a review, but the umpires’ call favoured Bumrah and brought an end to Nissanka’s night. In the next over, ‘Miyaan Magic’ took the entire Sri Lankan team by storm. On his very first ball of the night, he sent Dimuth Karunaratne for a golden duck. Karunaratne made an attempt to flick the ball but missed it completely and got stuck right in front of the stumps.

Sadeera Samarawickrama was next to fall in the same over as he tried to punch the ball looking to ease off the pressure, but found a thick outside edge which went straight to Shreyas Iyer. He struck once again on the first ball of his second over by rattling skipper Kusal Mendis’s stumps and sending him back for a score of 1 (10). As soon as the umpire’s finger went up in the air, he hit Cristiano Ronaldo’s iconic ‘Siu’ celebration.

A couple of overs passed by within a blink of an eye as Charith Asalanka and Angelo Mathew started the repair work. But Shami’s introduction in the attack unravelled the entire middle order. In his first over of the night, he claimed two consecutive wickets, sending Charith Asalanka and Dushan Hemantha back to the dugout on back-to-back balls.

Shami stayed in the attack keen to take more wickets and wrap up a quick victory for the Men in Blue. K L Rahul’s brilliant call behind the stumps took India a step closer to the semi-final spot. Dushmantha Chameera tried to flick the ball and it seemed as if he had missed the shot.

Rahul completed the catch and was the only one to ask for a review. Rohit decided to trust Rahul’s instincts and the DRS showed a spike as the ball passed the gloves. Even the outcome of DRS left umpire Chris Brown baffled.

Shami claimed his fourth victim of the night by breaching Mathews’ defence and clipping the bails of the stumps ending his night on a score of 12. With the way Shami was bowling another wicket was somewhere around the corner.

Four overs later, Shami’s hunt for a wicket came to an end as Kasun Rajitha departed for 14(17) claiming his second five-for in the ongoing World Cup. Ravindra Jadeja claimed the final wicket to end the game with a remarkable 302-run victory.

Earlier in the innings, Virat Kohli (88), Shreyas Iyer (82) and Shubman Gill (92) took the game against Sri Lanka producing action-packed performances to power India to a score of 357/8. Dilshan Madhushanka claimed a five-wicket haul, but it wasn’t enough to restrict the Indian team from putting a massive total on the board.

Brief score: India 357/8 (Shubman Gill 92, Virat Kohli 88; Dilshan Madushanka 5-80) vs Sri Lanka 55 (Kasun Rajitha 14; Mohammed Shami 5-18, Mohammed Siraj 3-16). (ANI)

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