India won its eighth Asia Cup title as well as their first multi-team tournament win in five years as they beat Sri Lanka at the jampacked R. Premadasa Stadium in Colombo, Sri Lanka last 17 September.
Led by eventual Player of the Match Mohammed Siraj, Team India crushed the defending champion Sri Lanka in a match watched by a sold-out crowd, a final that was part of an exciting tournament officially hosted by Pakistan but with several matches held in Sri Lanka due to tensions between India and the former.
An Amazing Performance by Team India
India won by 10 wickets, led by Siraj with a career-best 6-21, including 4 wickets in a single over. This was followed by Hardik Pandya with 3 wickets, and Jasprit Bumrah with 1.
Sri Lanka crumpled from the get-go despite winning the opening toss. After choosing to bat, it pretty much went all downhill as India removed Sri Lankan Kusal Perera in the first over, the first of five ducked batters for the Sri Lankan team which obviously struggled throughout the match.
Siraj dispatched four Sri Lankan bowlers in the second over in an astounding performance, recording his 50th wicket as well as his first five-wicket haul in ODIs.
A Disappointing End for Sri Lanka
It only took 92 balls for India to claim the Asia Cup in dominating fashion as the Sri Lankan team only scored 50 runs. On the home team, only Kusal Mendis and Dushan Hemantha were able to score double digits, a disappointing performance for a team that bagged the title just last year.
On the other hand, India only needed 6.1 overs to overcome the defending champions. Only two batsmen were required to beat the number of runs made by the entire Sri Lankan team as Ishan Kishan scored 23 runs while Shubman Gill led with 27.
New Records Broken for the Asia Cup 2023
Gill’s score during the championship match also solidified his position as the player with the highest run scores in the tournament with a total of 302 runs, followed by Sri Lanka’s Kusal Mendis with 270.
Unfortunately, Sri Lanka also ended the tournament having the record of the lowest total runs in ODIs in the Asia Cup’s history, followed by Bangladesh’s total of 87 runs way back in the year 2000.
Perhaps this poor performance by the Sri Lankan team was accentuated by their dejected coach Chris Silverwood who pointed out his team’s subpar performance in this all-important match.
“It has been a below-par performance. To get bowled out the way we did was very disappointing”, Silverwood said while being interviewed after the crushing defeat.
What’s Next for Team India?
The road to the finals was strenuous for both teams as they had to compete with Bangladesh and Pakistan in the Super Four Stage. Both Nepal and Afghanistan were knocked out and failed to advance after having the lowest NRR in their respective groups.
As Indian national team captain Rohit Sharma was given the Asia Cup and celebrations started for the country bagging its eighth title, Team India now prepares for the World Cup which they will be hosting in October.
With 10 different teams participating and with England defending the crown that they won in 2019, India aims to replicate their most current victory and to take back the championship that they held last in 2011.