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4.6 overs (0 Run) Full and quick on off. Kusal Mendis edges it to the fielder at point. A maiden over for Jasprit Bumrah.
4.5 overs (0 Run) On a good length and way outside off swinging back in. Kusal Mendis doesn’t offer a shot for this one. Five dots in a row in this over.
4.4 overs (0 Run) Fuller, and an outswinger this time outside off. Kusal Mendis drives it to the fielder at cover.
4.3 overs (0 Run) Full again and angling down leg. Kusal Mendis misses his flick as the ball hits his pads.
4.2 overs (0 Run) Fuller, and in line outside off with some inswing. Kusal Mendis shoulders arms and lets the ball carry to the keeper. A good ball from Jasprit Bumrah.
4.1 overs (0 Run) Short and straight over middle. Kusal Mendis blocks it solidly down the ground.
Sri Lankan skipper Dasun Shanaka walks out to bat with his side in dire straits.
3.6 overs (0 Run) OUT! CAUGHT! Mohammed Siraj has FOUR wickets in the same over! Unbelievable from Mohammed Siraj! He bowls this fuller and swinging away from the outside off. Dhananjaya de Silva tries to reach for it but feathers it on the outside edge. KL Rahul behind the stumps takes an easy catch to give India another breakthrough. Sri Lanka are in deep trouble here as half the team walks back. What an over from Mohammed Siraj.
3.5 overs (4 Runs) FOUR! On a hat trick ball! What a way to get off the mark. Mohammed Siraj bowls this on the hard length and over middle. Dhananjaya de Silva has just driven it towards mid on. The field is set on the off side and the area near long on is left vacant. Mohammed Siraj has a long run towards the fence to stop the ball but fails to do it. A much-needed boundary for Sri Lanka.
Dhananjaya de Silva is the new man in and will face the hat-trick ball.
3.4 overs (0 Run) OUT! CAUGHT! Back-to-back wickets for Mohammed Siraj! He is on a hat-trick. He bowls this one fuller and in line with the off stump. The new man in, Charith Asalanka slices it away in the air towards point. Ishan Kishan, there takes a simple catch to give India another wicket. That is the third batter for Sri Lanka to be dismissed for a duck in this match. Mohammed Siraj is on fire here.
Charith Asalanka walks in now with Sri Lanka reeling at 8-3.
3.3 overs (0 Run) OUT! LBW! Mohammed Siraj strikes again in the same over. This one was fuller and in line with the stumps with some outswing. Sadeera Samarawickrama is beaten as he tries to play it with a straight bat. The ball hits his pads and the players appeal. The umpire straight away raises his finger. Sadeera Samarawickrama has decided to review it. The big screen shows a clear gap between the bat and ball and the Ball Tracking confirms the wicket with three reds. Sadeera Samarawickrama is dismissed for a duck. What a start for India.
3.2 overs (0 Run) Short and outside off with a hint of outswing. Sadeera Samarawickrama doesn’t offer a shot for this one.
Sadeera Samarawickrama walks out to the centre.
3.1 overs (0 Run) OUT! CAUGHT! What a catch! India are off to a solid start in the final! Mohammed Siraj bowls it on the hard length and swings away from off. Pathum Nissanka slices it as the ball is lofted towards backward point. The fielder there is Ravindra Jadeja who has shown excellent reflexes diving to his right and taking a stunning low catch to dismiss Pathum Nissanka. Sri Lanka are 2-wickets down now.
2.6 overs (0 Run) On the hard length swinging away from outside off. Kusal Mendis shoulders arms and lets the keeper collect the ball. Another good over from Jasprit Bumrah giving away just a run.
2.5 overs (0 Run) Short and swinging in onto the pads. Kusal Mendis had no idea how to play it as the ball hit his thigh pads.
2.4 overs (0 Run) Fuller and straight on off. Kusal Mendis slices it towards Ravindra Jadeja at backward point.
2.3 overs (0 Run) On a very good length again swinging away from off. Kusal Mendis is again left confused by the swing.
2.2 overs (0 Run) On length and nipping away outside off. Kusal Mendis tries to play it safe but misses the connection.
2.1 overs (1 Run) Fuller and straighter on leg. Pathum Nissanka pats it to square leg and sets off for a quick single.
1.6 overs (0 Run) A maiden over from Mohammed Siraj. He bowls this one fuller and just outside off with a hint of outswing. Kusal Mendis is again beaten as he looks to play a defensive shot.
1.5 overs (0 Run) On the hard length and nipping away just outside off. Kusal Mendis looks to block it but is beaten again. Mohammad Siraj is unplayable out in the middle.
1.4 overs (0 Run) Shorter now and straight outside off. Kusal Mendis tries to block it but is beaten by the bounce.
1.3 overs (0 Run) On the good length and swinging away outside off. Kusal Mendis doesn’t offer a shot this time and lets it go to the keeper. Three dots in a row.
1.2 overs (0 Run) Beaten! Fuller now from Mohammed Siraj and another outswinger outside off. Kusal Mendis looks for the drive but is beaten by the swing.
1.1 overs (0 Run) On length and nipping away from off. Kusal Mendis shoulders arms and lets the ball carry to the keeper.
It will be Mohammed Siraj to steam in from the other end.
0.6 over (0 Run) On the good length and over middle. Pathum Nissanka has blocked it down the ground. A very eventful first over comes to an end.
0.5 over (1 Run) Fuller and quicker on middle. Kusal Mendis tries to block it but catches an outside edge making the ball roll towards deep third for a single.
0.5 over (1 Run) Shorter now and swinging away outside off. Kusal Mendis leaves it alone as the ball is away from the tram line. The umpire signals a wide.
0.4 over (4 Runs) FOUR! What a way to get off the mark! Jasprit Bumrah has erred his length as he bowls a juicy full toss outside off. Kusal Mendis drives it with good timing wide of mid off. The ball runs away to the fence for the first boundary of the match.
Kusal Mendis comes in at number 3.
0.3 over (0 Run) OUT! CAUGHT BEHIND! Jasprit Bumrah has struck in the first over. Kusal Perera has been dismissed for a duck. Jasprit Bumrah bowls this on a very good length and another outswinger. Kusal Perera reaches for the ball this time but with no foot movement. The ball nicks the outside edge and goes towards the fielder at slip. It is the keeper, KL Rahul with the catch as he dives to his left. Brilliant bowling from Jasprit Bumrah as he gives India their first breakthrough.
0.2 over (0 Run) On the hard length from Jasprit Bumrah now and swinging away from outside off. Kuldeep Yadav tries to block it but is beaten by the swing.
0.1 over (1 Run) Jasprit Bumrah bowls this full and straight on the stumps. Pathum Nissanka manages an outer edge and is off the mark right away as the ball rolls away to third man for a single to begin the match.
All in readiness for the grand final to begin as the two umpires make their way out to the middle. The Indian players are in a huddle near the ropes before they disperse. They are followed by the two openers of Sri Lanka, Pathum Nissanka and Kusal Mendis. Jasprit Bumrah has the new ball in hand and will start the proceedings for India. Off we go…
UPDATE – 3.26 pm IST (9.56 am GMT) – We have a start time, folks! The final of the 2023 Asia Cup will commence at 3.40 pm IST (10.10 am GMT) with no overs lost. The Indian players are already out there, going through the fielding drills. With skies still overcast, the Sri Lankan openers have a stern test ahead of facing the new ball in testing conditions.
UPDATE – 3.13 pm IST (9.43 am GMT) – As we had hoped, it was indeed a passing shower but the majority of the covers are still on. Live visuals show the match officials having a discussion the one of the members of the ground staff. Huge cheers from the crowd as the rest of the covers begin to come off now. More promising signs as there will be an inspection at 3.30 pm IST (10.00 am GMT) with a possible start at 3.45 pm IST (10.15 am GMT). We will keep you posted.
UPDATE – 2.54 pm IST (9.24 am GMT) – Uh oh! Not the best of starts to the final, as a light drizzle has forced the ground staff to bring the covers on. It had gotten overcast after the toss, and we had the ground staff lurking near the covers in anticipation of the rain. More covers are being brought on to cover the entire ground but let’s hope that this is just a passing shower. Stay tuned for further updates.
India’s Head coach, Rahul Dravid, is in for a chat. He says that he is worried about the weather but says that the pitch looks great. Expects a good game of cricket today. Mentions that he was impressed by the effort against Sri Lanka and to clinch a win owing to an all-round performance. He adds that whichever team plays good cricket is at the advantage and says that Sri Lanka has the home conditions as well and hopes his players play well under pressure. He reckons that injuries can cost you the win in big tournaments especially. Also says that there is a long schedule after this tournament with the Australia series coming up.
India’s skipper Rohit Sharma says that he would have batted first as well as it looks like a dry pitch. He adds that they will be confident for the chase and it is a good opportunity to be aggressive with the ball and try to exploit the conditions. He mentions that last game they came close to the target and on the pitch anything over 230 is a good score. Mentions that their aim will be to restrict the opposition to a low score. He appreciates the crowd for their support towards both teams and says that it is a good ground to play on. He ends by saying that Axar Patel is out due to injury and Washington Sundar is in along with the guys who were left out in their last match.
Dasun Shanaka, the captain of Sri Lanka says that they will bat first. Adds that the surface looks good and there might be some turn in the afternoon as well. On the crowd support, he says that the support has been phenomenal. Mentions that the youngsters have done really well for them and reckons that the current squad is a competitive one and the team is looking forward to the World Cup. Ends by informing that they have just a single change, with Dushan Hemantha coming in for Maheesh Theekshana.
Sri Lanka (Playing XI) – Pathum Nissanka, Kusal Perera, Kusal Mendis (WK), Sadeera Samarawickrama, Charith Asalanka, Dhananjaya de Silva, Dasun Shanaka (C), Dunith Wellalage, Dushan Hemantha (In for Maheesh Theekshana), Pramod Madushan, Matheesha Pathirana.
India (Playing XI) – Rohit Sharma (C), Shubman Gill, Virat Kohli (In for Tilak Varma), KL Rahul (WK), Ishan Kishan, Hardik Pandya (In for Suryakumar Yadav), Ravindra Jadeja, Washington Sundar (In for Axar Patel), Jasprit Bumrah (In for Mohammad Shami), Kuldeep Yadav (In for Shardul Thakur), Mohammed Siraj (In for Prasidh Krishna).
TOSS – Dasun Shanaka calls “heads” and heads it is. Sri Lanka have opted to BAT first.
PITCH REPORT – Sanjay Manjrekar is near the deck. He informs that it is a nice and fresh pitch for the final. Adds that there will be help for the pacers at the start with some turn later on for the spinners. Mentions that it also looks like all the previous pitches. Dominic Cork joins him and says that there are some cracks and it looks like a dry surface. He feels batting first will be helpful.
On the other hand, India did suffer a blip against Bangladesh in the last outing, but they have by far been the most clinical team on display. Coming into the Asia Cup, Rohit Sharma’s men had more questions than answers, but through their performance, they have ticked most boxes. Shubman Gill and Rohit Sharma have consistently provided solid starts, while KL Rahul has been impressive on his return from an injury layoff. Kuldeep Yadav has successfully spun a web with his variations, whereas premier pacer Jasprit Bumrah may not have been among the wickets much but has posed a potent threat. The stage is set for what should be a cracker of a final that you wouldn’t want to miss. Stick around, as the toss and team news is not far away.
Before the start of the tournament, not many would have tipped Sri Lanka to make it to the final due to their long injury list. Thanks to different individuals putting their hands up throughout, they are in their second successive final. Their openers haven’t clicked, but it has been more than made up for by Kusal Perera in the top order and the duo of Sadeera Samarawickrama and Charith Asalanka in the middle order. In what has come as a huge blow to them, ace spinner Maheesh Theekshana has been ruled out due to a hamstring strain. In his absence, prodigy Dunith Wellalage will be expected to fill that void. The tournament’s leading wicket-taker, Matheesha Pathirana, has risen to the occasion in his first multi-nation event, which has also augured well for Sri Lanka.
After 12 games between six teams across four venues in two countries, we have arrived at the final showdown. Hello and a warm welcome, folks! It is time for India and Sri Lanka to square off in the grand finale of the 2023 Asia Cup at the R. Premadasa Stadium in Colombo. Two deserving teams have reached the summit clash, with India on the hunt for their eighth Men’s Asia Cup title, whereas Sri Lanka are in their quest to clinch back-to-back titles.
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