Revenge is a dish best served cold. The Indian cricket team might be thinking on these lines after they dismissed Sri Lanka for 50 in the Asia Cup 2023 final in Colombo on Sunday. This is the lowest total in an ODI tournament final. Sri Lanka broke the forgettable record held by India for 23 years. India were dismissed for 54 by Sri Lanka in Sharjah in 2000 in the final of the Champions Trophy. This is also the lowest ODI total by any team against India. Till Sunday, Bangladesh’s 58 at Mirpur in 2014 was the lowest total against India.
India chased down the 51-run target win just 6.1 overs. As India won with 263 balls remaining, this is India’s biggest ODI win for India. Their previous record was a win against Kenya in 2001 with 231 balls remaining. This is also the biggest win in an ODI tournament final in terms of balls remaining. Before Sunday, the record was held by Australia, who had beaten England in 2003 with 226 runs remaining.
The architect of the miserly total was Mohammed Siraj, who became the fourth Indian to take six wickets in an ODI. He finished with figures of 6/21 – the second-best figures in Asia Cup history. He also took five wickets in 16 balls – the joint-quickest five wickets haul in ODIs. He also took four wickets in the fourth over – thus becoming the record-holder for most wickets in an over in ODIs.
“Feels like a dream. Last time I did the same against Sri Lanka at Trivandrum. Got four wickets early, couldn’t get the five-for. Realised you get what’s in your destiny. Did not try too much today. I have always looked for swing in white-ball cricket. Did not find much in the previous games. But today it was swinging, and I got more wickets with the out-swinger. Wanted to make the batters drive,” Siraj said after the Sri Lanka innings ended.
Talking about the match, Mohammed Siraj produced a magical spell, 6 for 21, to decimate Sri Lanka for 50, and place India on the brink of a victory in the Asia Cup final on Sunday. Sri Lanka elected to bat first after winning the toss, despite heavily overcast conditions, and the match started 40 minutes after the scheduled 3 PM beginning.
But a storm of a different kind was awaiting Sri Lanka – a peak Siraj. His spell ensured that Lanka batted just 15.2 overs, and this was also their lowest ODI total against India.
The pacer became only the fourth bowler in ODI history to take four wickets in an over, and he matched former Lankan pacer Chaminda Vaas as the fastest to a five-wicket haul in one-dayers.
However, the beauty of Siraj bowling was beyond mere numbers. He got into action after Jasprit Bumrah jettisoned Kusal Perera in the third ball of the first over – a regulation caught behind.
In conditions that resembled more London than Colombo, Siraj just had to pitch the ball in the right areas.
Siraj made his dance of destruction in the 4th over – 3.1, 3.3, 3.4 and 3.6 balls. The victims were Pathum Nissanka, Sadeera Samaraiwickrama, Charith Asalanka and Dhananjaya De Silva.
With PTI inputs
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