Indian seamers led by Mohammed Siraj breathed fire on a helpful R Premadasa wicket to lead India to their eighth Asia Cup title in a lopsided final against hapless Sri Lanka.
The Indian seamers enjoyed the overcast conditions, with Siraj taking 6 for 21, including his 50th wicket in one-day internationals. There were three scalps for Hardik Pandya and one for Jasprit Bumrah as they combined to fold Sri Lanka to 50, their second-lowest ODI score ever. Sira’s performance is the second-best bowling effort in the Asia Cup behind Ajantha Mendsi’s 6-13 against India recorded in the 2008 final.
This is also the lowest-ever score at the Asia Cup. Sri Lanka’s lowest score was 43 against South Africa in Paarl in 2012.
After Bumrah removed Kusal Janith Perera in the third ball of Sri Lanka’s innings, Siraj fired all cylinders, claiming four wickets in his second over of the match to leave Sri Lanka reeling at five for 12 at the fourth over of the match. The carnage, however, did not stop there as Sri Lankan batters looked like deer caught in the headlights playing into the hands of the Indian bowlers.
After folding Sri Lanka out in the 16th over, India needed just 6.1 overs to lay their hands on the Asia Cup for the eighth occasion, leaving thousands of Sri Lankan fans in a state of shock and disbelief. Sri Lankan batters have themselves to blame for the humiliating defeat as they exposed the lack of depth in their skills and techniques. The defeat will put Sri Lankan selectors under tremendous pressure as they sit down to finalise the 15-man squad traveling to India for the World Cup next month.
Chief scores: Sri Lanka 50 all out in 15.2 overs ( Kusal Mendis 1, Dushan Hemantha 12 not out; Mohammed Sira 6/21, Hardik Pandya 3/3)
India 51 for no loss in 6.1 overs (Shubman Gill 27 not out, Ishan Kishan (23 not out)