India crush Sri Lanka to win Asia Cup 2023
COLOMBO: Mohammed Siraj’s six-wicket demolition job underlined his utter dominance of an inept Sri Lanka as India raced up to win the Asia Cup 2023.
Set to chase a meagre 51, India comfortably completed the pursuit in 6.1 overs without losing a single wicket to lift their eighth Asia Cup title. India’s new opening pair of Shubman Gill and Ishan Kishan carried the momentum and dominated the Sri Lankan bowlers to script a statement victory for the former champions. Gill top-scored for India in the Asia Cup 2023 final with a 19-ball 27 which featured six boundaries while Kishan scored 23 not out in 18 balls.
Opting to bat first, the Sri Lankan batting lineup failed completely and was bundled out for a paltry 51 in the 16th over. The home side lost their opener Kusal Perera (0) in the first over with just one run on the board.
What followed was a total annihilation by Mohammed Siraj who picked up four wickets Pathum Nissanka (2), Sadeera Samarawickrama (0), Charith Asalanka (0) and Dhananjaya de Silva (4) in the fourth over to leave Sri Lanka reeling at 12/5. Sri Lanka failed to recover from Siraj’s demolition and he came back to add further to their misery by dismissing skipper Dasun Shanaka in his next over and completing his five-fer.
Wicketkeeper batter Kusal Mendis, who hung on for Sri Lanka then put on the highest partnership of the Asia Cup 2023 final for the home side with Dunith Wellalage before Siraj struck again. Kusal Mendis remained the top-scorer for Sri Lanka with a 34-ball 17 which featured three boundaries. Following Siraj’s dominance, Hardik Pandya put the final nail in the coffin by getting rid of the Sri Lankan batting tail.
He removed Dunith Wellalage (8) before wrapping up Sri Lanka’s dismal innings in his next over by dismissing Pramod Madushan (1) and Matheesha Pathirana (0). Young all-rounder Dushan Hemantha remained unbeaten with a 15-ball 13 and remained the only Sri Lankan batter to amass double figures beside Kusal Mendis.
Notably, Sri Lanka’s 50-run total is now the lowest total in the Asia Cup history, breaking the previous record held by Bangladesh, who were dismissed for 87 runs against Pakistan in 2000. Furthermore, Sri Lanka’s 50-run total is the lowest in men’s ODI history in a tournament final. It is also the third time this year that Sri Lanka have been bowled out for less than a hundred in ODIs. Mohammed Siraj led the bowling attack for India in the Asia Cup 2023 final with a 6/21, followed by Hardik Pandya’s 3/3 while Jasprit Bumrah had a wicket to his name.
Published in The Daily National Courier, September, 18 2023