In a stunning display of dominance, India clinched their eighth Asia Cup title on a memorable Sunday, handing Sri Lanka one of their most crushing home ODI defeats.
India’s extraordinary performance saw them obliterate Sri Lanka by 10 wickets, efficiently chasing down a paltry target of 50 runs in a mere 6.1 overs. The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) lauded the team’s remarkable display as a “clinical show.”
The Sri Lankan batting order crumbled under the relentless onslaught of Mohammed Siraj, who claimed six crucial wickets, leaving them all out for a mere 50 runs. The Sri Lankan side lost six wickets in rapid succession, with the scoreboard showing just 12 runs.
The spotlight of the day belonged firmly on Siraj, as the fast bowler dismantled the Sri Lankan batting line-up in just six overs, leaving Sri Lanka reeling at 12 for six. In the final of the 2023 Asia Cup held at Colombo’s Premadasa Stadium, Sri Lanka won the toss and chose to bat first.
This match marked the second encounter between these two teams in the tournament, with India previously defeating Sri Lanka by 41 runs during the Super 4 stage.
Notably, the Sri Lanka team was missing key players, with Theekshana and Axar absent from their respective squads, adding to the challenges of this high-stakes clash.
The Asia Cup tournament had been marred by persistent rain, serving as a precursor to the ODI World Cup. Weather forecasts had hinted at more precipitation on Sunday evening. Despite entering the tournament as underdogs, Sri Lanka managed to edge out Pakistan in their last Super Four encounter, securing a place in the 50-over tournament final against India.
It’s worth mentioning that Sri Lanka had won the previous Asia Cup, which was contested in the T20 format. A significant lineup change saw Washington Sundar stepping in to replace Axar Patel, who had suffered an injury during India’s loss to Bangladesh in a Super Four match at the same venue.
The Indian team received a boost with the return of key players, including Virat Kohli and Jasprit Bumrah, who had previously been rested.
Under the leadership of Dasun Shanaka, Sri Lanka aimed to defend their Asia Cup champion title, backed by an enthusiastic home crowd. Sri Lanka had earned their place in the final by defeating Pakistan by two wickets in the Super 4 stage. The home team made one change, with all-rounder Dushan Hemantha replacing the injured Maheesh Theekshana.