India spinner Ravindra Jadeja is congratulated by Dinesh Karthik and Rohit Sharma after picking up the wicket of West Indies batsman Ravi Rampaul in their ICC Champions Trophy 2013 game. Reuters
India spinner Ravindra Jadeja is congratulated by Dinesh Karthik and Rohit Sharma after picking up the wicket of West Indies batsman Ravi Rampaul in their ICC Champions Trophy 2013 gameReuters

India must now be getting used to truncated games and having to go into T20 mode when it was supposed to be a long and grinding 50-over game.

In fact they are becoming masters at assessing the conditions and working accordingly to their advantage.

Against Sri Lanka, needing nothing short of a win -- and a decently big one at that -- India pulled out all the stops with the ball, with Bhuvneshwar Kumar coming to the fore to help his side to a comfortable 81-run win over Sri Lanka by the Duckworth-Lewis method, and with it giving them a place in the final with the same opponents.

India, after a slow start, finished top of the group with 10 points, thanks to two victories with bonus points, with Sri Lanka edging West Indies to the second final spot thanks to a superior nett run rate.

India were on 119 for three from 29 overs on a pitch which was offering all kinds of aid to the bowlers, when rain decided to have its say.

A four-and-a-half hour delay followed and the next thing you know, India's batting innings was over and Sri Lanka were asked to chase down a target of 178 from 26 overs.

Now in a typical T20 game, 178 from 20 overs, would be makeable, so adding another six overs, only seemed to skew the advantage to the batting team.

However, you don't get these kinds of pitches in T20 games anywhere in the world. There was a generous helping of grass on the Queen's Park Oval wicket, while the conditions only helped in making it even more helpful for the bowlers.

Bhuvneshwar Kumar is slowly becoming India's main weapon with the ball - particularly right at the top. And with the ball talking languages previously unknown, even survival for the Sri Lankan batsmen, let alone chasing down the target at nearly seven runs an over, was out of the question.

The Indian pacer finished with brilliant figures of 6-1-8-4, picking up the top four Sri Lankan batsmen and with it snuffing out any chance of an early flight back home.

Upul Tharanga was the first man to go, edging one to Suresh Raina at first slip in the first ball of the third over, before Kumar Sangakkara was on the receiving end of a shocking lbw decision off the very next ball.

The hat-trick did not come about, but two more wickets did with Mahela Jayawardene - caught at third man - and Lahiru Thirimanne - caught at cover giving Bhuvneshwar his third and fourth wickets as Sri Lanka slumped to 31 for four in 8.3 overs.

There was to be no lower middle order revival, as Ishant Sharma and Ravindra Jadeja picked up a couple of wickets each to bowl Sri Lanka out for a measly 96 in 24.4 overs.

Earlier, Rohit Sharma (48, 83b, 2x4, 1x6) showed some Test match patience to anchor India's innings, for whatever it was worth, well. Shikhar Dhawan fell early, edging one off Angelo Mathews' second delivery, before Virat Kohli and Rohit built a decent little 49-run partnership.

Both batsmen were finding it difficult to score against some disciplined Sri Lankan bowling, as India struggled to find any kind of forward momentum in their innings.

Kohli (31, 52b, 4x4) was dismissed by Rangana Herath in the 21st over, with the left-arm spinner trapping the India skipper in front of the stumps with a skidder, before Dinesh Karthik, a few overs later, saw his timber disturbed by another Herath special.

Rohit, for once, refused to give away his wicket cheaply -- of course we will never know how long the elegant right-hander would have stayed at the crease if the rain had not decided to disrupt proceedings, and the opener was dropped on 11 early on - as India looked to be headed to an attritional 50-over score and game.

However, the rain seemed to work in India's favour in the end as Sri Lanka, playing in their third straight day, crumbled under the difficult wicket, giving their neighbours a crucial win.

A rematch now awaits on Thursday, with hosts West Indies, who made a roaring start with two straight victories, forced to look on from their hotel rooms and homes, wondering how on earth they are not one of the teams in the final.