Colombo: India has lifted the Asia Cup trophy for the eighth time in its history, after thrashing Sri Lanka by 10 wickets in a one-sided final on Sunday. India achieved its biggest victory margin in terms of balls remaining in ODI cricket, chasing down the paltry target of 51 runs in just 5.4 overs.
The match, which was delayed by 40 minutes due to rain, saw Sri Lanka win the toss and opt to bat first. However, they were soon reduced to rubble by the fiery bowling of Mohammad Siraj, who claimed six wickets for 12 runs in his six overs. Siraj became only the fourth bowler in ODI history to take four wickets in an over and also matched the record of former Sri Lankan pacer Chaminda Vaas for the fastest five-wicket haul in an innings.
Siraj’s rampage began in the fourth over of the innings, when he dismissed Pathum Nissanka, Sadira Samarawickrama, Charith Asalanka, and Dhananjaya de Silva in quick succession. Nissanka edged a short ball to Ravindra Jadeja at point, while Samarawickrama was trapped lbw by a fuller delivery. Asalanka played a loose drive and was caught by Ishan Kishan at cover, while de Silva nicked a good length ball to KL Rahul behind the stumps. Siraj missed out on a hat-trick but got his fifth wicket in the same over when he had Sri Lankan captain Dasun Shanaka caught by Rahul as well.
Siraj’s sixth and final victim was Kusal Mendis, who was caught by Shubman Gill at mid-on in the ninth over. Jasprit Bumrah, who had given India the first breakthrough by dismissing Kusal Perera in the first over, finished with one wicket for 11 runs in his five overs. Hardik Pandya also chipped in with three wickets for 15 runs in his 3.2 overs, as Sri Lanka were bowled out for 50 runs in 15.2 overs. This was their second-lowest total against India in ODI cricket.
India’s chase was a walk in the park, as openers Ishan Kishan and Shubman Gill made short work of the target. Kishan smashed four fours and a six in his unbeaten 23 off 18 balls, while Gill hit five fours in his unbeaten 27 off 19 balls. The duo added 51 runs in 34 balls, as India sealed the win with 263 balls to spare. This was India’s fourth consecutive Asia Cup title and their eighth overall.