India win Asia Cup for record-extending 8th time

(LANKAPUVATH | COLOMBO) – India chased down a paltry target of 51 against Sri Lanka to win the Asia Cup for the 8th time. The result was a foregone conclusion after Mohammed Siraj had destroyed Sri Lanka’s batting line-up with figures of 6 for 21 off 7 overs on Sunday in Colombo after Dasun Shanaka won the toss and decided to bat.

Sri Lanka’s batters were clueless and as many as five of them were dismissed without scoring.

India reached their target in just 6.1 overs, winning the final with 263 balls to spare and all 10 wickets intact. This was India’s biggest winning margin in terms of balls remaining. The previous best was against Kenya in 2001, where they chased down a target of 91 with 231 balls to spare.

Ishan Kishan was promoted up the order to open the innings with Shubman Gill.

There was no hint of rain at the toss but the start of play was delayed by 40 minutes thanks to a drizzle. Jasprit Bumrah was the first to strike when he dismissed Kusal Perera in the first over before Mohammed Siraj produced one of the greatest ever displays of fast bowling in the sub-continent.

Mohammed Siraj took four wickets in six balls to leave the Sri Lankan innings in tatters. In his second over and the third over of the Sri Lankan innings, Siraj dismissed Pathum Nissanka, Sadeera Samarawickrama, Charith Asalanka and Dhananjaya de Silva. In his next over, Siraj dismissed Sri Lankan captain Dasun Shanaka to become the joint fastest bowler to take a five-wicket haul in one-day internationals, reaching the landmark in just 2.4 overs.

Mohammed Siraj‘s 6 for 21 is also the fourth best ODI figures by an Indian bowler after Stuart Binny (6 for 4), Anil Kumble (6 for 12) and Jasprit Bumrah (6 for 19). Meanwhile, Sri Lanka’s 50 all out is now their second lowest total in ODIs and the lowest ever recorded by any team against India in one-day internationals.

Sri Lanka have been very impressive in the Asia Cup despite entering the World Cup after winning the Cricket World Cup Qualifiers in Zimbabwe. In the Super 4, Sri Lanka lost a closely-fought match against India before shocking Pakistan in a rain-hit match to reach the final. In front of cheering home fans, Sri Lanka’s batters showed poor commitment and paid the price for questionable shot-selection against two of the best pacers in the world.

While Mohammed Siraj rocked the Sri Lankan top-order, Hardik Pandya also got into the act and picked the last three wickets, including two off two balls.

Source: Sportstar

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