Mohammed Siraj's record-breaking Colombo show hands Sri Lanka unwanted 23-year-old Asia Cup low in final vs India
Such was the destruction from Siraj that while he completed his 5-wicket haul in 16 balls en route to his record six-fer, Lanka were bundled in just 15.2 overs.
If the fear was about the rain, that caused an early delay, or spin dictating the proceedings, Mohammed Siraj emerged as a nightmare for the defending Asia Cup champions Sri Lanka in the final on Sunday at the R Premadasa Stadium as he single-handedly wreaked havoc to fold the hosts for the lowest ever score in the history of the continental event. Such was the destruction from Siraj that while he completed his five-wicket haul in just 16 balls en route to his record six-fer, Sri Lanka were bundled in just 15.2 overs. (India vs Sri Lanka Live Score, Asia Cup 2023 Final)
It started with Jasprit Bumrah providing the breakthrough in the very first over of the match after Sri Lanka had opted to bowl first. After that it was all about Siraj. He began with a maiden over before picking four wickets in his second over where at one point he even stood on the verge of picking up a hat-trick and became the first ever Indian bowler to scalp four wickets in a single over.
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Siraj completed his five-wicket haul in his next over, in just 16 balls, the joint-fastest by a bowler alongside Sri Lanka legend Chaminda Vaas in ODI cricket. And later completed his six-fer in the 12th over by dismissal Kusal Mendis. The right-arm pacer eventually finished with 6 for 21, the best figure by an Indian bowler in an Asia Cup (ODI) match and second-best overall after Ajantha Mendis' 6 for 13 against India in Karachi in 2008. It is also the best figures against Sri Lanka in an ODI match, surpassing Waqar Younis' 6/26 in Sharjah in 1990.
After Siraj was taken off the attack, Hardik Pandya picked the remaining three wickets to fold Sri Lanka for just 50 runs. It is the lowest score for an ODI team in Asia Cup, surpassing Bangladesh's total of 87 against Pakistan in 2000.
This is also their second-lowest score in an ODI match after 43 against South Africa in Paarl in 2012. The total of 50 also made it to the top in the lowest ever score by a team in an ODI final, breaking India's feat of 54 against Sri Lanka in Sharjah in 2000, and lowest ODI totals against India.
Siraj's match-winning show helped India script a stunning 10-wicket win and claim their maiden trophy haul in a multi-nation event in five years having last won in 2018 in Asia Cup.
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