India on top of the table thanks to Sharma, Rahul and Bumrah

By Kersi Meher-Homji

After seven weeks of intense rivalry the Cricket World Cup (CWC) has reached the semi-final stage. India finished on top with 15 points followed by Australia on 14, England 12 and New Zealand 11.

Till yesterday morning the 6th July, Australia was on top but their loss to South Africa and India demolishing Sri Lanka changed the scenario.

India will meet New Zealand at Manchester on Tuesday the 9th and Australia will tussle with traditional rival England at Birmingham on Thursday the 11th. The winners will clash next Sunday in the Final.

India thrashes the Lankans at Leeds

Sri Lanka won the toss and must have regretted batting first as they lost 4 for 55 with Jasprit Bumrah and Ravindra Jadeja the chief destroyers claiming valuable wickets thanks also to MS Dhoni’s immaculate work behind the stumps.

The Indian selectors must be reading the TIDU website as they at long last included Jadeja in their XI!

Sri Lanka recovered through Angelo Mathews (113 runs) and Lahiru Thirimanne (53) adding 124 runs for the fifth wicket and totalled 7 for 264.

India’s magnificent opening pair of Rohit Sharma (103 runs) and Lokesh Rahul (111) continued from where they had left off on Tuesday putting on a record 189 runs. Against Bangladesh the pair had started India’s innings with an equally masterful 180 runs.

India won by 7 wickets with 39 balls in hand to reach the top of the table. Rohit Sharma was once again adjudged Man of the Match. So far he has amassed maximum runs in the current CWC, 647 runs at an average of 92.42, hitting most number of centuries, five.

South Africa beat Australia narrowly

South Africa batted first and scored 6 for 325. Their skipper Faf du Plessis hit 100 and added 151 runs for the third wicket with Hendrik van der Dussen (95).

Australia fought back bravely mainly through opener David Warner’s aggressive 122 to total 315 but lost narrowly by 10 runs. It was a thriller till the last over.

But it was only a consolation win for the South Africans as they had failed to qualify for the semis. Another consolation for them was that Faf du Plessis was made Man of the Match.

Despite their loss the Aussies have qualified for the semi-final.

Team selection for India

I hope India stops her absurd theory of selecting three wicket-keepers in their XI. Why, why? I would pick fast bowler Mohammad Shami to replace Bhuvneshwar Kumar and batsman/ off-spinner Kedar Jadhav to oust spare wicket-keeper Dinesh Karthik. Only then will India continue with her winning

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