India who have been the winners from the Group B are ready to meet Sri Lanka who are the runners-up in Group A on Thursday in 2nd semi-final of last Champions Trophy event. The game is scheduled at the Sophia Gardens in Cardiff.
Considering the recent performances from both the sides we can certainly expect a high voltage affair. The match will start at 9:30 GMT and 10:30 local time.
Both the sides will step into the ground with the single aim and that is to play the final after a couple of days on Sunday.
India topped the Group B with 6 points as they won all the league games. They were clearly victorious against all the sides in the pool as no other side seemed to give them tough time. They are the favorites for the final as they go into the contest.
On Monday, the Sri Lankans defeated the two-time champions Australia with a margin of 20 runs as they got their semi-final berth. They got defeated from New Zealand in the opening game but then made a strong comeback by defeating England and Australia in consecutive thrillers. They can be considered as the dark horse that can surprise you on their day.
India boast of their huge batting line and specifically their openers who have been providing them with wonderful starts at the top. Rohit Sharma and Shikhar Dhawan have turned themselves into the strength of Indian batting line with the latter scoring consecutive centuries. They provided good start against the Pakistanis in a rain-shortened match. With in-form skipper Mahindra Singh Dhoni, Suresh Raina, Virat Kohli, Ravindra Jadeja and Dinesh Karthik strengthening their batting order, they constitute the best batting line of the tournament.
In bowling department, Indians have been good this time around quite contrarily to their past reputation. Ravi Jadeja has grabbed 9 wickets to his name and the bowlers like Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Ishant Sharma and Umesh Yadav have also chipped in with some impressive performances. Ashwin seemed to get his form back in last game as he took 2 wickets. As they wrapped up the Pakistanis on just 165 in their last game, Indians will be hoping for a similar bowling performance in the semi-final against well-performing Sri Lankan batting line.
As far as the Sri Lankans are concerned, Kumar Sangakkara seems to be enjoying great form as he smashed a fifty against New Zealand in very first game of group stage and then came the special 134* knock in a crucial game against England who boast of their strong bowling line.
Lahiru Thirimanne scored 57 and Mahela Jayawardene scored 84 in last game for taking their side to a respectable total in the last game against Australia which was a make or break one for them. A fairly good start is what the Sri Lankans expect in semi-final from Tilikaratne Dilshan and Kushal Perera so that the middle order could consolidate by playing the natural game. The Sri Lankans will have to keep it in mind that they have to set a huge target if they have to beat India who boasts of its batting performances.
Lasith Malinga has taken 7 wickets for Sri Lanka and has been their highest wicket taker so far. In the likes of Shaminda Eranga, Nuwan Kulasekara, Angelo Mathews, Tilikaratne Dilshan and Rangana Herath they seem to be a strong bowling unit who has proven their strength couple of times in this very tournament.