Birmingham [UK]: India continued their love affair with the ICC Champions Trophy as they registered a resounding nine-wicket win over Bangladesh in the second semi-final of the 50-over marquee event to set up another mouth watering, high-octane summit clash against arch rivals Pakistan.
After restricting Bangladesh to 264, the defending champions chased down the target riding on the brilliant innings of Rohit Sharma (123 not out off 129 balls) and skipper Virat Kohli (96 not out off 78 balls) with 59 balls to spare at the Edgbaston Cricket Ground on Thursday.
After opener Shikhar Dhawan got out at his individual score of 46, Sharma and Kohli shared an unbeaten 187-run partnership to help India cross the line, that too with ease.
The duo was just immaculate with their timing and shot selection during the course of the partnership as they smashed the Bangladeshi bowlers to all the parts of the ground and hampered their confidence so and so that they could not never get the edge in the match.
During the course of the innings, Kohli became the fastest batsmen to score 8,000 runs in ODIs.
Dhawan also surpassed former skipper Sourav Ganguly to become the highest scorer in the Champions Trophy event.
Earlier put in to bat, the Mashrafe Mortaza-led side put in a below par score.
Opener Tamim Iqbal (70) and Mushfiqur Rahim (61) scored blistering half-centuries to help their side end up with 264-7 in the quota of 50 overs.
At one stage though, Bangladesh did look to cross the 300 mark with Tamim and Mushfiqur sharing a very good partnership. However, they lost their way with part-timer Kedar Jadhav taking wickets of both the batsmen and put the brakes on the Bangladeshi scoring.
Sharma was adjudged the Man of the Match for his brilliant knock.
With the win, the Men in Blue have entered their fourth Champions Trophy final (twice in 2002, 2013 and 2017).
They will now face Pakistan in the summit clash at The Oval on Sunday.
One can expect a cracker of a game on Sunday with the two arch-rivals facing each other for the second time in the tournament.
Going into the match, India would be high on confidence having comprehensively defeated their Asian neighbour by 124 runs in the group stage. However, it would not be an easy one for the Men in Blue to defend their title as they would face a charged-up and equally confident Pakistan, who surprised everyone by beating favourites England in the first semi-final at Cardiff on Wednesday.