India Wins 8th Asia Cup Title After Siraj’s Staggering Six-Wicket Haul
India has won its eighth Asia Cup title after defeating Sri Lanka by 10 wickets in Colombo on Sunday, with Mohammed Siraj’s stunning six-wicket haul the highlight of the one-sided final.
After Siraj’s brilliant spell of 6-21, which included four wickets in an over, ripped the heart out of Sri Lanka’s top order at R Premadasa Stadium, the hosts were crushed for 50 in just 15.2 overs. With five Sri Lankan players retiring for a duck, it was the second-best bowling performance in Asia Cup history.
India required only 6.1 overs to chase down the low goal, instilling confidence in Rohit Sharma’s side ahead of the 2018 World Cup. With 129 deliveries, it was the third-shortest ODI in history.
The tournament finale was delayed owing to rain, but Indian seamer Jasprit Bumrah just needed three deliveries to get the first breakthrough when play resumed. Kusal Perera of Sri Lanka was out for a second-ball duck after edging Bumrah’s exquisite outswinger through to wicketkeeper KL Rahul, who took a brilliant catch low to his left.
But Sri Lanka’s worst was yet to come.
Siraj’s masterclass began in the fourth over, when opener Pathum Nissanka chipped a wide delivery to Ravindra Jadeja at point for 2. Siraj trapped Sadeera Samarawickrama on the pads for a second-ball duck two deliveries later, with the right-hander wasting a review before walking off.
Siraj completed his hat-trick after removing Charith Asalanka for a golden duck the next delivery, with the Sri Lankan No. 5 driving a full delivery towards point, where Ishan Kishan swallowed a regulation catch. Dhananjaya de Silva defended the hat-trick ball through mid-on for a boundary, but he was dismissed the next delivery after fishing outside off stump and edging through to Rahul.
India’s Best Bowling Performance in Men’s ODIs
- 6/4 – Stuart Binny vs BAN, 2014
- 6/12 – Anil Kumble vs WI, 1993
- 6/19 – Jasprit Bumrah vs ENG, 2022
- 6/21 – MOHAMMED SIRAJ vs SL, 2023
- 6/23 – Ashish Nehra vs ENG, 2003
Sri Lanka had sunk from 1-8 to 5-12 in six deliveries, deafening the stunned home crowd. Siraj’s devastation began in the next over, when the right-armer produced a magnificent outswinger that knocked opposing captain Dasun Shanaka’s off stump. The 29-year-old had his first ODI five-wicket haul in only 16 deliveries.
“The plan was to keep it simple and execute my line and length, and I kept getting wickets,” Siraj chuckled during the intermission.
“When I play white-ball cricket, my only strategy is to swing the new ball at the start.” However, there wasn’t a lot of swing available in the early matches. I tried to make the batter play as much as possible today because it swung.
“I like it when it catches the edge. I haven’t taken many wickets with my outswing, but today I took a lot of wickets with my outswing, which felt great.”
The carnage was briefly halted when Kusal Mendis and Dunith Wellalage combined for a 21-run seventh-wicket stand. Siraj, on the other hand, took his sixth wicket in the 12th over, rattling Mendis’ middle stump for 17 (34).
In the 13th over, Hardik Pandya joined the party, with Wellalage gloving a bouncer through to Rahul for 8 (21) to expose Sri Lanka’s tail.
Dushan Hemantha (13 not out) led Sri Lanka above their lowest ODI total before Pandya finished the job, dismissing Pramod Madushan and Matheesha Pathirana in consecutive deliveries to finish with figures of 3-3.
Ishan Kishan (23 not out) and Shubman Gill (27 not out) made quick work of the 51-run mark, chasing it down in 37 deliveries. In terms of balls remaining, it was India’s greatest victory in men’s ODIs.