Fiery Siraj hands India Asia Cup victory

Fiery Siraj hands India Asia Cup victory

India demolished Sri Lanka in the final of the 2023 Asia Cup in Colombo as Mohammed Siraj blazed through the home side’s top order with a fiery spell of fast bowling. The pacer picked up career-best figures of 6 for 21, including a five-fer in a joint-record 16 balls to punish a hapless batting performance from Sri Lanka, who were skittled for 50 all-out – their second-lowest total in ODI history.

The Men in Blue chased down the measly total in just 6.1 overs, with Ishan Kishan and Shubman Gill adding 51 for the opening stand to give India a record-extending 8th Asia Cup title win.

After a delayed start caused by showers, the Sri Lankan batting line-up imploded against the new ball, with the home side losing six wickets inside the first six overs of the powerplay. The Indian pacers found plenty of movement early on and made full use of the helpful conditions. Bumrah kicked things off by nicking off Kusal Perera to KL Rahul off the second ball of the innings before Mohammed Siraj tore through the top order in the fourth over, picking four wickets in six deliveries.

Pathum Nissanka chipped Siraj to Jadeja at point to kickstart the slide before Sadeera Samarawickrama and Charith Asalanka departed off successive deliveries without troubling the scorers. Dhananjaya de Silva survived the hat-trick delivery, pushing one through the vacant mid-off region for four, but nicked off a ball later to KL Rahul.

Siraj completed his maiden ODI five-wicket haul in his next over, cleaning up the skipper Dasun Shanaka with an outswinger to leave Sri Lanka in tatters at 12 for 6 after just 5.4 overs. The hosts survived the rest of the powerplay without further damage, but Kusal Mendis lost his middle stump in the 12th over to give Siraj his sixth scalp and compile Sri Lanka’s misery.

Hardik Pandya wrapped up the hosts’ innings in a hurry after Siraj’s heroics, removing Wellalage with a sharp bouncer before picking up the final two wickets off consecutive deliveries to bowl Sri Lanka out for just 50 – their second-lowest total in ODI history.

In reply, it took India just 37 balls to complete the chase. Ishan Kishan opened alongside Shubman Gill, and the pair carted nine boundaries between them to finish of the formalities in the second innings, giving team India their biggest win in ODIs in terms of balls remaining – 263.