London: Sri Lanka will play India in the Champion Trophy semi-finals after ousting defending champion Australia by 20 runs and overtaking New Zealand in the group standings on Monday.
Sri Lanka posted 253-8 on a turning pitch at The Oval due to Mahela Jayawardene's 84 from 81 deliveries and Lahiru Thirimanne's 57.
That meant Australia needed to eclipse the target in 29.1 overs to advance, a prospect that always seemed unlikely and proved increasingly so when they lost four wickets inside the opening nine overs. However, the Australian middle order and tail fought a thrilling rearguard action to finish on 233 from 42.3 overs.
While the Sri Lankans missed a chance to edge England to win Group A, the victory delivered a double knockout in eliminating both finalists from the previous Champions Trophy in 2009, Australia and New Zealand. The Kiwis would have advanced with a Sri Lanka loss. Instead, Sri Lanka plays on Thursday in the second semi-final in Cardiff, Wales. England meets South Africa a day earlier at The Oval....more
01:13 AM, Jun 18, 2013