Red-hot Siraj scorches Sri Lanka in lopsided Asia Cup final


India 51 for 0 (Gill 27*, Kishan 23*) beat Sri Lanka 50 (Siraj 6-21, Pandya 3-3) by 10 wickets

After a couple of tight games, it seemed like the 2023 Asia Cup was heading towards an exciting finale but the title bout turned out to be an anti-climax as Mohammed Siraj singlehandedly demolished Sri Lanka in the blink of an eye. It was India’s seventh 50-over Asia Cup title, to go with one in the T20 format in 2016.

In overcast conditions, Siraj got the new ball to move around and picked up 6 for 21, the fourth-best ODI figures for India. He took just 16 balls for his first five wickets – the joint-fastest five-for in ODIs (where ESPNcricinfo has the data recorded) alongside Sri Lanka’s Chaminda Vaas and USA’s Ali Khan.

As a result, Sri Lanka were all out for a mere 50, their second-lowest ODI total. Their innings lasted just 15.2 overs, the fifth-shortest overall. In response, Shubman Gill and Ishan Kishan, opening the innings in place of Rohit Sharma, took just 6.1 overs to complete the formalities.

After losing the toss, Rohit Sharma said that he too had wanted to bat first on what he called “a dry wicket”. But ten minutes before the scheduled start, it started raining. Perhaps that changed the whole situation.

When the match finally started after a delay of 40 minutes, Jasprit Bumrah got the ball to move in both directions. With his third delivery, he had Kusal Perera caught behind. Sri Lanka were in for an even ruder shock from the other end.

Siraj started with a maiden, beating Kusal Mendis’ outside edge four times in the over. In his next, he had four wickets. Pathum Nissanka was the first to depart, pushing a length delivery uppishly towards backward point, where Ravindra Jadeja dived low to his right to pouch it with both hands.

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