India crush Lanka, win 8th Asia Cup crown

Wednesday 20th September 2023 06:34 EDT

India lifted the Asia Cup for a record eighth time after routing defending champions Sri Lanka by 10 wickets with Mohammed Siraj claiming a career-best 6-21, including four wickets in one over, at the R Premadasa Stadium in Colombo on Sunday.

Electing to bat in front of a full house of 35,000 fans, Sri Lanka were bundled out for a paltry 50 in 15.2 overs with five batters getting ducks in their sorry-looking scorecard with Siraj the wrecker-in-chief.

Siraj’s fiery display of pace bowling was best illustrated in his second over when the right-armed bowler quickly dismissed Pathum Nissanka, Sadeera Samarawickrama, Charith Asalanka and Dhananjaya de Silva.

Hardik Pandya also bagged three wickets while Jasprit Bumrah claimed one as Sri Lanka registered their second-lowest total in one-day internationals (ODIs), lasting only 92 balls.

India needed 6.1 overs to achieve the target for a timely boost before their home World Cup beginning next month. Bumrah removed Kusal Perera in the first over to trigger a collapse and the Sri Lanka batters looked helpless as Siraj breathed fire with the new ball.

Only Kusal Mendis (17) and Dushan Hemantha, who made 13 not out, managed double digits for the home side.
India skipper Rohit Sharma held himself back and sent out Ishan Kishan to open the innings with Shubman Gill, opting for a left-right opening stand. The openers scored freely to ensure there was no drama and Kishan, who made 23 not out, scored the winning run of the summit clash, which lasted only 21.3 overs. Gill remained unbeaten on 27.

Sri Lanka and India had progressed to the Asia Cup finals while Pakistan and Bangladesh were knocked out in the Super Four stage. Afghanistan and Nepal failed to get beyond the first round.

India miss chance to be No1

Defeat against Bangladesh in the Asia Cup Super Four match cost India a golden chance to rule the rankings charts across formats. Before the Asia Cup clash against Bangladesh, India held the No.2 position on the ICC Men’s ODI Team Rankings with 116 rating points, just slightly trailing top-ranked Australia, who led with 118 points. India, currently dominating the Test and T20I rankings, had a golden opportunity to claim the top spot in ODIs if two conditions had been met: defeating Bangladesh in the Super Four clash of the Asia Cup and having South Africa emerge victorious against top-ranked Australia in the penultimate ODI of their five-match series. However, only one of the two scenarios went India’s way with the Proteas claiming a massive 164-run victory over Australia while India suffered a narrow defeat against Bangladesh, falling short by just six runs. The loss to Bangladesh meant India slipped to No.3 in the rankings table with a 114 rating behind Pakistan and Australia.

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