India lift Asia Cup after Siraj takes six wickets against Sri Lanka in final

Mohammed Siraj became the second bowler in a men’s ODI Asia Cup final to take six wickets, after Ajantha Mendis. He claimed a career-best 6/21 in a devastating spell that paved the way for India to secure their eighth title with a 10-wicket win over Sri Lanka at the R Premadasa Stadium.

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The match was delayed due to rain, but once it began, Siraj made good use of the movement off the pitch. He skilfully exploited the conditions, generating swing in both directions, leaving the Lankan batters baffled. He also took four wickets in his second over.

Hardik Pandya also contributed with three wickets, while Jasprit Bumrah scalped one. India’s fast bowlers collectively dismantled the Sri Lankan batting lineup, dismissing them for a paltry 50 runs. This marked Sri Lanka’s second-lowest ODI total and their lowest against India in the format, as well as in the history of the Asia Cup.

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Jasprit Bumrah set the tone for India’s dominance by forcing Kusal Perera to chase a wide, away-swinging delivery that nicked behind to wicketkeeper KL Rahul.

In his first over, Siraj consistently bowled outswingers, beating the batters time and again. His nagging line and length combined with variations posed a constant challenge to the Sri Lankan batsmen.

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In his second over, Siraj delivered another outswinger which Pathum Nissanka drove to backward point for a fielder to complete the catch. In the same over, he dismissed Sadeera Samawickrama LBW with a delivery that beat the inside edge and hit the stumps.

On the very next ball, Charith Asalanka chipped the first delivery he faced straight to cover point. Dhananjaya de Silva managed to survive the hat-trick ball by guiding Siraj past mid-on for four. However, Siraj soon had his revenge, as de Silva edged an outswinger behind to be caught.

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Siraj secured his five-wicket haul in just 16 balls, inducing late movement with a fuller delivery that swung past Dasun Shanaka’s outside edge and sent the off-stump tumbling.

Meanwhile, Kusal Mendis attempted to salvage Sri Lanka’s innings from a dire position of 12/6 by hitting two boundaries square of the off-side against Bumrah.

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However, Siraj claimed his sixth wicket, producing inward movement from outside off and dismantling Mendis’ stumps, achieving the best figures by a fast bowler in a men’s ODI Asia Cup.

Pandya joined the list of wicket-takers, dismissing Dunith Wellalage with a bouncer that resulted in a straightforward catch for Rahul. Pandya went on to take the remaining two wickets, bringing Sri Lanka’s innings to a close at 50 runs in 92 legal balls.

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Chasing a modest target of 51, India sent in Ishan Kishan to open alongside Shubman Gill. The two completed the chase easily with 263 balls remaining. Gill first smashed Pramod Madushan for four, while Kishan hit back-to-back boundaries by ramping and slashing Matheesha Pathirana.

Gill capitalised on Madhushan’s deliveries, dispatching three boundaries off him with a drive, a punch past point, and a powerful pull, ensuring India an easy win.

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