Kohli guides India into Asia Cup final


Virat Kohli hit a fluent half-century as India booked their Asia Cup final place with a five-wicket win over Sri Lanka in Mirpur.

After falling for seven in the opening match of the tournament Kohli has bounced back with two crucial innings, his 56 not out on Tuesday coming on the back of 49 against Pakistan three days prior.

The number three was ably assisted by the flamboyant Yuvraj Singh, who struck 35 off 18 balls to help India to their victory target of 139 with four deliveries to spare.

Victory puts India into their ninth Asia Cup final on Sunday with one game to play in the group stage, but Sri Lanka's hopes of meeting them there appear slim.

Without skipper and strike bowler Lasith Malinga they struggled to contain the aggressive Indian batsmen, but there were more encouraging signs with the bat.

Sri Lanka made a cautious start to their innings having been put in by MS Dhoni, but they upped their scoring rate in the second 10 overs to lift them to a competitive 138-9.

Chamara Kapugedera top scored with 30 in the middle-order, while valuable late runs from Thisara Perera (17) and Nuwan Kulasekara (13) looked to have given them a chance.

But in reply, Yuvraj set the tone for his innings with a slash through backward point for four, and he took the game to Sri Lanka's bowlers with an impressive display of hitting - Rangana Herath (1-26) going for successive sixes in the 13th over.

Another maximum followed before Perera (1-32) forced him into a top edge, however the damage was done and Kohli - who brought up his 13th Twenty20 half-century with a six over cover - ensured they coasted to their target.