| GEO Sports|
| India beat SL to play them again in final, Pakistan out|
| Updated at: 0114 PST, Friday, July 04, 2008|
KARACHI: India easily achieved a seemingly difficult target of 309 runs against Sri Lanka to qualify for the final of the ninth Asia Cup here at the National Stadium on Thursday.
With winning this match by India, hosts Pakistan’s chances of reaching the final have ended. However, they will play their last match of the Super-4 on Friday against Bangladesh who were already out of this race.
India defeated Sri Lanka by six wickets with 19 balls to spare.
All of their batsmen who came at the crease made significant scores: Gautam Gambhir (68 off 61 balls, 11 fours), captain Mahindra Singh Dhoni (67 off 62 balls, five fours, one six), Suresh Raina (54 off 66 balls), Virender Sehwag (42 off 34 balls, six fours, one six), Yuvraj Singh (36 not out from 31 balls, three fours, one six) and Rohit Sharma (22 not out from 28 balls).
For Sri Lanka, off-spinner Muttiah Muralitharan claimed two wickets and Kulasekera took one wicket.
Earlier after winning the toss, Sri Lanka captain Mahela Jayawardene decided to bat first and his batsmen hammered 308 runs for the loss of eight wickets in the allotted 50 overs.
Chamara Kapugedera top scored with 75 runs off 78 balls. He hit seven fours and one six. During the innings, he was involved two valuable partnerships – 78 runs with his captain Mahela Jayawardene for third wicket and 68 with Chamara Silva for fourth wicket.
Veteran opener Sanath Jayasuriya also made a significant contribution, scoring 43 off 37 balls with eight boundaries.
Right-arm fast bowler Ishant Sharma was the most successful bowler from India, taking two wickets for 55 runs while other wicket-takers were RP Singh, Irfan Pathan and Pragyan Ojha. They all took one wicket each.
Sri Lanka made two changes to their line-up, dropping Chaminda Vaas and Ajantha Mendis for Dilhara Fernando and Kaushalya Weeraratne.
India also made two changes: they dropped Yusuf Pathan and Piyush Chawla and brought in RP Singh and Pragyan Ojha.
Sri Lanka: Kumar Sangakkara (wk), Sanath Jayasuriya, Mahela Jayawardene (captain), Chamara Kapugedera, Chamara Silva, Tillakaratne Dilshan, Kaushalya Weeraratne, Thilan Thushara, Nuwan Kulasekara, Muttiah Muralitharan, Dilhara Fernando.
India: Gautam Gambhir, Virender Sehwag, Suresh Raina, Yuvraj Singh, Mahendra Singh Dhoni (captain, wk), Rohit Sharma, Irfan Pathan, Pragyan Ojha, Praveen Kumar, RP Singh, Ishant Sharma.