Team India was on a high of a 228-run win against Pakistan but the Sri Lankan spinner brought them to the ground in their second Asia Cup 2023 Super Fours match in Colombo on Tuesday, September 12. Skipper Rohit Sharma began from where he left off in the game against Pakistan, hitting his third half-century in a row in the ongoing tournament. Shubman Gill was slow but he stayed with Rohit to stitch an 80-run opening stand.
However, once the partnership was broken, it all came downhill for India with Dunith Wellalage being the star. Since it was a fresh wicket, it was dry and it turned ferociously. Wellalage utilised the surface to the fullest as Indian batters couldn't negotiate the turn the left-arm spinner got. From 80/0, India went down to 91/3 with Rohit, Gill and Virat Kohli all getting dismissed to Wellalage.
KL Rahul and Ishan Kishan forged a 63-run partnership, however, the momentum was always with Sri Lanka after those three quick wickets. Wellalage came back to pick a couple of more wickets while part-timer Charith Asalanka ran through the lower order as if not for Axar Patel's late 26-run knock, the Men in Blue could have been skittled around 180.
Even though India are also playing three spinners, there's every chance that they could lose this game and that would really hurt their qualification chances for the Asia Cup final. Currently, India, Pakistan and Sri Lanka all have two points in their kitty.
Pakistan after that 228-run loss against India are the most disadvantaged side as their net run rate is -1.8. So, even if they beat Sri Lanka in their last Super Fours match, they will have to win by a very huge margin.
Sri Lanka with a win against Bangladesh has a net run rate of +0.4 and if they beat India, they will qualify with four points as India also can reach only four points after the result of Tuesday's match. India's net run rate at +4.5 is really good and a win against Bangladesh should be enough for them to reach the final.
If India defend a 213-run total, they will qualify for the final anyway but yes, if they lose, they will be playing a do-or-die encounter against Bangladesh as they will have to win at any cost to book a spot in the summit clash.