A Mohammed Siraj magical spell demolished Sri Lanka in the big-ticket final as India clinched the Asia Cup 2023 title with a commanding one-sided 10-wicket win in Colombo on Sunday, Sept 17.
With the easiest of wins that came in just about 2 and a half hours of play, India grabbed their 8th Asia Cup title.
The win also meant India broke their five-year title drought -- their last title was won in 2018 in Asia Cup as well, by beating Bangladesh in Dubai.
Wreaking havoc with the new ball, Siraj bowled a spell of a lifetime as Sri Lanka skittled out for a lowly 50 in 15.2 overs. Breaking a plethora of records, Siraj singlehandedly decided the outcome of the match right at the start of the contest itself.
After the Lankans folded for 50 in just 15.2 overs, India openers Shubman Gill and Ishan Kishan went all guns blazing as they chased down the 51 target in just 6.1 overs.
Here's a look at the key moments of the India-Sri Lanka final at the R Premadasa Stadium in Colombo:
Sri Lanka's wrong call at the toss
When Sri Lanka won the toss and elected to bat first, despite heavily overcast conditions, it came as a surprise to many. Soon after the toss, heavens opened up and the match start was delayed by 40 minutes. Although there wasn't much rain, the conditions became almost perfect for the Indian seam attack. Pace spearhead Jasprit Bumrah gave India the start they wanted as he got rid of opener Kusal Perera for a 2-ball duck third-ball of the first over. As Perera chased a wide one from Bumrah outside off, KL Rahul grabbed the easiest of catches as Lanka suffered an early blow.
Under pressure Sri Lanka, who lost their first wicket in the very first over of the final, had absolutely no idea that a Mohammed Siraj storm was on its way. The lanky pacer started off beautifully with a maiden first over and then went completely berserk in his second. Siraj grabbed four wickets in the fourth over, putting Sri Lanka out of the game then and there. Pathum Nissanka (2) became Siraj's first victim off the first ball of the fourth over when he hit a length ball outside off straight to Ravindra Jadeja at backward point.
A ball later, Sadeera Samarawickrama was trapped in front for a two-ball duck. Then the very next ball saw Charith Asalanka playing a horrendous shot straight to Ishan Kishan at covers for a golden duck. With 3 wickets in 4 balls and two in a row, Siraj was on a hat-trick. Dhananjaya de Silva did hit the hat-trick ball to the fence but on the last ball of the over, edged it straight to KL Rahul behind the stumps. The 4-wicket fourth over from Siraj meant, Lankans found themselves reeling at 12 for 5.
Lankans narrowly avoided lowest ever ODI total
With 4 wickets in an over, Siraj had his tail up and when he came out for his next over, he bowled a dream ball to skipper Dasun Shanaka. A length ball on off that just darted enough away, it missed the outside edge of Shanaka's bat and hit his off stump. As Shanaka took the long walk back for a 4-ball duck, it became clear that there was no bouncing back for the Lankans from the unprecedented collapse.
Kusal Mendis became Siraj's next victim in the 12th over when he went for an expansive drive and missed the ball completely as it crashed onto his stumps. But before departing, Kusal's 17-run knock did allow Lanka to go past the lowest ever total of 35 in ODIs. Dushan Hemantha added 13 runs to the scoreboard but Hardik Pandya joined the party just in time, ensuring that the Lankans folded pretty quickly. With wickets of Dunith Wellalage, Pramod Madushan and Matheesha Pathirana, Hardik helped India to bundle out Lanka in just 15.2 overs and their lowest ODI total against India.