India, winner of Group B will take on Group A runner-up Sri Lanka in the 2nd semi-final of the International Cricket Council (ICC) Champions Trophy 2013. The match will be played at Sophia Gardens, Cardiff on Thursday.
Both India and Sri Lanka will come into the contest with their eyes firmly set on the final on Sunday.
India are on top of Group B with six points after winning all the three matches played in the tournament. They beat South Africa by 26 runs in the opener before defeating West Indies by eight wickets and arch-rivals Pakistan by eight wickets to book a place in the semi-final. They come into the contest as the favourites to enter the final on Sunday.
Sri Lanka on Monday beat two-time champions, Australia by 20 runs to book a place in the semi-finals. They conceded a one-wicket defeat to New Zealand in their opener before bouncing back by beating England by seven wickets and packing off Australia in a thriller. They are dark horse who can surprise any team in the tournament.
India have 75-52 win-loss record against Sri Lanka in 139 ODI meetings that include one tie and 11 no-results. They played against each other twice in the Champions Trophy 2002 final but both the matches ended in no-results.
In their last 10 ODI meetings, India have 7-2 advantage with one match tied.
India: Openers - Shikhar Dhawan and Rohit Sharma - have turned into India's strength with the former scoring back-to-back centuries and the latter scoring back-to-back half centuries. They also gave a good start in the match against Pakistan that was shortened due to rain. With skipper MS Dhoni, Virat Kohli, Suresh Raina, Dinesh Karthik and Ravindra Jadeja in the line-up, they are a strong batting side.
On the bowling front, Ravindra Jadeja has taken nine wickets and other bowlers like Umesh Yadav, Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Ishant Sharma have been impressive. Ravichandran Ashwin also bounced back in the last game by taking two wickets. After packing off Pakistan for 165 in the previous game, they will be expected to deliver a similar performance in the upcoming matches.
Sri Lanka: Kumar Sangakkara is in good form, scoring a half century in the first match before belting 134 (not out) in the crucial second match against England. It was Mahela Jayawardene (84) and Lahiru Thirimanne (57) who performed in the previous game against Australia. Openers Kushal Janith Perera and Tillakaratne Dilshan will be expected to give a good start, thus opening up avenues for middle order to play their natural game.
Lasith Malinga is the leading wicket taker for the team with seven wickets. With Shaminda Eranga, Rangana Herath, Nuwan Kulasekara, Angelo Mathews and Dilshan in the line-up, they are a strong bowling side. Their performance this tournament has been impressive, and will be expected to continue the momentum.
India are favourites to win the second semi-final on Thursday.
India: Mahendra Singh Dhoni (Captain), Shikhar Dhawan, Virat Kohli, Suresh Raina, Dinesh Karthik, Murali Vijay, Rohit Sharma, Ravindra Jadeja, Ravichandran Ashwin, Irfan Pathan, Umesh Yadav, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Ishant Sharma, Amit Mishra and R Vinay Kumar
Sri Lanka: Angelo Mathews (Captain), Dinesh Chandimal, Tillakaratne Dilshan, Shaminda Eranga, Rangana Herath, Mahela Jayawardene, Nuwan Kulasekara, Lasith Malinga, Jeevan Mendis, Kushal Janith Perera, Thisara Perera, Kumar Sangakkara, Sachithra Senanayake, Lahiru Thirimanne, Chanaka Welegedara
Where to Watch Live:
The match will kick off at 03:00 PM IST on Wednesday and it will be telecast live on Star Sports and Star Cricket channels in India.