Asia Cup 2023 final | Siraj storm blows away the Sri Lankans, India sprints to title – The Hindu

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September 17, 2023 03:24 pm | Updated September 18, 2023 06:45 am IST – Colombo
Indian players celebrate with the trophy after winning the Asia Cup 2023 final match against Sri Lanka in Colombo on September 17, 2023. | Photo Credit: AFP
The bright and sunny afternoon turned overcast 10 minutes before the scheduled start. Once the Asia Cup final finally got going 40 minutes late, a capacity crowd at the R. Premadasa Stadium had one eye on the sky, with a thunderstorm predicted to hit the Sri Lankan capital, on September 17.
While the dark clouds stayed away, the Siraj-storm struck Sri Lanka so hard that it literally blew the home team away. Riding on Mohammed Siraj’s sensational opening burst, India bundled out Sri Lanka for 50 in just 89 minutes.
It took India just 37 balls to overhaul the lowest team total in the Asia Cup’s four-decade history to seal an emphatic win and lift the trophy in style.
Sri Lanka’s captain Dasun Shanaka congratulates Subhead Gill after India thrashes Sri Lanka by 10 wickets in the Asia Cup 2023 final in Colombo on September 17, 2023. | Photo Credit: AP
Minutes before the toss, when captain Rohit Sharma had a close look at the surface, sensing its dryness, he pointed to the dressing room with three spinners. It meant Washington Sundar, having been added to the squad in place of injured Axar Patel, was included in the XI.
But Washington virtually had no role to play in the game with India’s three pacers spoiling a Lankan band. The papare band hardly had a reason to cheer for the home team, with India’s pacers coming to the party right away.
Jasprit Bumrah struck off the third ball, thanks to K.L. Rahul stretching to his left to accept an edge off Kusal Peera’s willow. Siraj started off with a maiden to Kusal Mendis but the Hyderabad hurricane was unstoppable in his second over.
Mohammed Siraj in action during the Asia Cup 2023 final against Sri Lanka in Colombo on September 17, 2023. | Photo Credit: AP
The fourth over saw Siraj sealing the fate of the game by picking four wickets. The pacer landed the ball in the perfect channel, and bowled perfect outswingers at will. He also jagged the ball occasionally to leave Sri Lanka batters dumbfounded.
Pathum Nissanka (caught by a lunging Ravindra Jadeja at point), Sadeera Samarawickrama (beaten on inside-edge to be adjudged lbw), Charith Asalanka (caught at covers by Ishan Kishan) and Dhanajaya de Silva (caught behind off an outswinger) all fell prey to Siraj’s masterclass.
De Silva, despite saving a hat-trick with a flick off the fifth ball, perished off the next. Siraj returned in the next over to straighten up captain Dasun Shanaka to uproot his off-stump to complete his maiden ODI five-wicket haul in just 16 balls.
At 12 for six, the writing was on the wall. In his extended spell of seven over, Siraj added Kusal Mendis’ wicket, with the batter missing a wild heave to be bowled. Hardik Pandya then wound up the tail even before the spinners came into any real action. That Kuldeep Yadav could bowl a solitary over and only two Sri Lanka batters reached double-digit scores underlined India’s pace pack’s domination.
Rohit preferred to let Ishan Kishan have a hit in the middle along with in-form Shubman Gill. And the duo hardly dropped guard, with Kishan tapping the first ball of the seventh over to long-off for a single to complete the formalities just 27 minutes into the innings.
Sri Lanka Innings: Pathum Nissanka c Ravindra Jadeja b Siraj 2 Kusal Perera c Rahul b Bumrah 0 Kusal Mendis b Siraj 17 Sadeera Samarawickrama lbw b Siraj 0 Charith Asalanka c Ishan Kishan b Siraj 0 Dhananjaya de Silva c Rahul b Siraj 4 Dasun Shanaka b Siraj 0 Dunith Wellalage c Rahul b Hardik Pandya 8 Dushan Hemantha not out 13 Pramod Madushan c Kohli b Hardik Pandya 1 Matheesha Pathirana c Ishan Kishan b Hardik Pandya 0 Extras: (LB-2, W-3) 5
Total: (10 wkts, 15.2 Overs) 50
Fall of Wickets: 1-1, 2-8, 3-8, 4-8, 5-12, 6-12, 7-33, 8-40, 9-50, 10-50.
Indian bowling: Jasprit Bumrah 5-1-23-1, Mohammed Siraj 7-1-21-6, Hardik Pandya 2.2-0-3-3, Kuldeep Yadav 1-0-1-0.
India Innings: Ishan Kishan not out 23 Shubman Gill not out 27 Extras: (LB-1) 1
Total: (0 wkts, 6.1 Overs) 51
Sri Lanka bowling: Pramod Madushan 2-0-21-0, Matheesha Pathirana 2-0-21-0, Dunith Wellalage 2-0-7-0, Charith Asalanka 0.1-0-1-0.
One-day cricket
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