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Sublime India win Asia Cup after thrashing Sri Lanka in final

India chase 51-run target in seven overs, Siraj dismantles Sri Lankan batting line up with four wickets in an over
India’s players celebrate with the trophy after winning the Asia Cup 2023 one-day international (ODI) final cricket match between India and Sri Lanka at the R Premadasa Stadium in Colombo on September 17, 2023. AFP
India’s players celebrate with the trophy after winning the Asia Cup 2023 one-day international (ODI) final cricket match between India and Sri Lanka at the R Premadasa Stadium in Colombo on September 17, 2023. AFP
India’s Shubman Gill (R) and Ishan Kishan run between the wickets during the Asia Cup 2023 final one-day international (ODI) cricket match between Sri Lanka and India at the R. Premadasa Stadium in Colombo on September 17, 2023. AFP
India’s Shubman Gill (R) and Ishan Kishan run between the wickets during the Asia Cup 2023 final one-day international (ODI) cricket match between Sri Lanka and India at the R. Premadasa Stadium in Colombo on September 17, 2023. AFP
India’s Mohammed Siraj (C) celebrates with teammates after taking the wicket of Sri Lanka’s Kusal Mendis during the Asia Cup 2023 final one-day international cricket match between Sri Lanka and India at the R Premadasa Stadium in Colombo on September 17, 2023. AFP
India’s Mohammed Siraj (C) celebrates with teammates after taking the wicket of Sri Lanka’s Kusal Mendis during the Asia Cup 2023 final one-day international cricket match between Sri Lanka and India at the R Premadasa Stadium in Colombo on September 17, 2023. AFP
Indian bowler Mohammad Siraj celebrates after taking a wicket in the Asia Cup final against Sri Lanka at the Premadasa Stadium in Colombo on September 17, 2023. Photo via X/@BCCI
Indian bowler Mohammad Siraj celebrates after taking a wicket in the Asia Cup final against Sri Lanka at the Premadasa Stadium in Colombo on September 17, 2023. Photo via X/@BCCI

Sublime India clinched the Asia Cup title after they outnumbered Sri Lanka in the final at the R Premadasa in Colombo on Sunday. It was an easy chase for the Men in Blue as they chased a low-scoring target of 51 runs in seven overs.

Unlike in the past matches, Ishan Kishan and Shubman Gill were the opening pair in the final. They comfortably led their side to win the match by 10 wickets.

It was pacer Mohammad Siraj’s lethal bowling attack that outclassed the Sri Lankan batting line-up. He got six wickets – out of which four were bagged in just one over. The right-arm fast bowler was seen celebrating in “SIU” style – a style of Portuguese footballer Cristiano Ronaldo – after getting wickets.

“It feels like a dream,” Siraj told Indian commentator Sanjay Manjrekar after Sri Lankan batting line-up crumbled in 16 overs. “I had a similar against Sri Lanka in Trivandrum. I tried to keep it simple and looked to execute my lines and lengths.”

Half of the Sri Lankan team was sent back to the pavilion after scoring 12 runs. Siraj took six wickets in seven overs from 21 runs. He also bowled one maiden over.

The right-arm fast bowled shared that his intention was to make the batter play and draw him forward and added he tried to swing the ball in white-ball cricket.

The co-hosts of the event were all out in 16 over the game. India need 51 runs to clinch the Asia Cup title, which would be a much needed boost for them ahead of the World Cup in October.

Siraj took four wickets in the fourth over of the innings as Sri Lanka lost six wickets on 12. He took a fifer in his three overs by conceding only five runs.

Only Kusal Mendis and Dushan Hemantha could reach double digits while five of their players were out for a duck.

Earlier, Sri Lanka won the toss and opted to bat first in the final of the Asia Cup on Sunday in Colombo. They have brought in legspinner Dushan Hemantha for the injured Maheesh Theekshana.

India have replaced the injured Axar Patel with Washington Sundar, who has been flown in overnight, and the extra fast bowler in Shardul Thakur.

The cricketing giants have 13 Asian titles between them and Sri Lanka have a history of sneaking into the tournament’s final — to the consternation of fans keen for any showdown between arch-rivals India and Pakistan.

Bangladesh ended India’s unbeaten run in the 50-over tournament after edging them out by six runs in Friday’s last Super Four match.

Sri Lanka Playing XI: Pathum Nissanka, Kusal Perera, Kusal Mendis(w), Sadeera Samarawickrama, Charith Asalanka, Dhananjaya de Silva, Dasun Shanaka(c), Dunith Wellalage, Dushan Hemantha, Pramod Madushan, Matheesha Pathirana

India Playing XI: Rohit Sharma(c), Shubman Gill, Virat Kohli, KL Rahul(w), Ishan Kishan, Hardik Pandya, Ravindra Jadeja, Washington Sundar, Jasprit Bumrah, Kuldeep Yadav, Mohammed Siraj

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