India pip Sri Lanka to win ACC Asia Cup 2023 Final
The 2023 Asia Cup looked set for an electrifying conclusion after a string of nail-biting matches. However, the final fell short of expectations as Mohammed Siraj, representing India, singlehandedly took down the Sri Lankan team in an astounding performance. This victory marked India’s seventh triumph in the 50-over Asia Cup and complements their T20 win in 2016.
Playing under overcast skies, Siraj leveraged the new ball’s movement, registering a spectacular 6 for 21. This feat places him fourth in India’s ODI record books. Remarkably, he bagged his first five wickets in just 16 balls, tying him with Sri Lanka’s Chaminda Vaas and USA’s Ali Khan for the quickest five-wicket haul in ODIs, according to ESPNcricinfo‘s records.
Sri Lanka was dismissed for a mere 50 runs, marking their second lowest ODI score ever, with only two players reaching double figures. Their innings spanned just 15.2 overs, placing it as the fifth-shortest ODI innings. India’s openers, Shubman Gill and Ishan Kishan, who stepped in for Rohit Sharma, effortlessly secured the win in 6.1 overs, striking nine boundaries between them – compared to Sri Lanka’s team total of five.
Rohit Sharma, upon losing the toss, expressed his desire to bat first on a pitch he assessed as dry. Yet, an unexpected downpour minutes before kickoff perhaps shifted the game’s dynamics.
Once the rain subsided and play resumed after a 40-minute delay, Jasprit Bumrah’s bowling sent shockwaves through the Sri Lankan team. Siraj, however, stole the spotlight, beginning with a maiden over. He soon clinched four wickets in quick succession.
His fiery spell saw him join an elite group of bowlers like Vaas, Mohammad Sami, and Adil Rashid, all known to have taken four wickets in a single ODI over where records exist. Siraj’s onslaught continued, taking a fifth wicket soon after.
With Sri Lanka teetering at 12 for 6, the threat of a record-low score loomed. They narrowly avoided this embarrassment thanks to a partnership between Mendis and Dunith Wellalage. Yet Siraj had more in store, claiming another wicket in the 12th over. Hardik Pandya subsequently ended the Sri Lankan innings by securing three rapid wickets.
In their chase, Gill and Kishan displayed their prowess against the Sri Lankan bowlers. Gill made an emphatic statement by hitting a boundary off Pramod Madushan, while Kishan responded with consecutive fours. Gill further dazzled by hitting three consecutive boundaries in the following over. The win was sealed by Kishan with a single, capping off a dominant display by the Indian team.