India Clinches 8th Asia Cup Title with Dominating Victory over Sri Lanka

It was the most dangerous fast-bowling second over by an Indian bowler in the opening spell of ODI. The 29-year-old Mohammed Siraj decimated the six-time Asia Cup-winning champion six balls and 4 wickets.
In a one-sided showdown at the R. Premadasa Stadium, India displayed a masterful performance to dismantle Sri Lanka and seize their 8th Asia Cup championship impressively. It was a forgettable day for Sri Lanka as they were dismissed for a mere 50 runs, setting up an attainable target for India.
Sri Lanka’s decision to bat first after winning the toss quickly turned into a regrettable one. Their innings turned into a nightmare as Indian bowlers, led by Mohammed Siraj, wreaked havoc. Under relentless pressure from the Indian bowlers, Sri Lanka’s top order crumbled. Kusal Mendis was the highest scorer for Sri Lanka with just 17 runs. Ultimately, Sri Lanka was bowled out for a paltry 50 runs in 15.2 overs.
Five Sri Lankan batsmen failed to open their account, while four others couldn’t even reach double figures.
India’s victory in this final also established a new record for the largest margin of victory in an ODI final in terms of balls remaining, with 263 balls left in their innings, surpassing the previous record of 226 balls.
This victory marked India’s 8th Asia Cup triumph. Previously, India clinched the title in 1984, 1988, 1990–91, 1995, 2010, 2016, and 2018. India has won this prestigious tournament seven times in ODIs and once in T20, while the Sri Lankan team has secured this title six times. Sri Lanka has won the title five times in ODIs and once in T20. Pakistan’s team has been crowned champions twice.
The Sri Lankan team’s decision to bat first in the title match, held at R. Premadasa Stadium in Colombo, backfired severely in the face of the blistering bowling attack led by Mohammed Siraj, Hardik Pandya, and Jasprit Bumrah. Sri Lanka was bundled out for just 50 runs in 15.2 overs. Siraj shone with six wickets, while Hardik claimed three, and Bumrah secured one wicket. In response, India chased down the target in a mere 37 balls, winning the final by 10 wickets. Shubman Gill remained unbeaten with 27 runs off 19 balls, while Ishan Kishan remained unbeaten with 23 runs off 18 balls.
With this victory, India broke a five-year trophy drought in multinational tournaments. Their last Asia Cup title was in 2018, and once again, under the captaincy of Rohit Sharma, they clinched the coveted title. India has faced disappointment in significant matches and events since the 2018 Asia Cup, including the 2019 ODI World Cup, 2022 T20 World Cup, and the 2021 and 2023 World Test Championship finals. The team had also underperformed in the previous year’s Asia Cup, where Sri Lanka emerged as champions. The 2022 Asia Cup was played in T20 format.
Sri Lanka’s total of 50 runs in 15.2 overs was their lowest score against India in ODIs. Earlier this year, India had bowled out Sri Lanka for 73 runs in 22 overs. Moreover, this 50-run total was the lowest score by any team against India in ODIs, surpassing Bangladesh’s 58 runs in 2014. Notably, Sri Lanka’s 50 runs also marked the lowest total in any ODI final, surpassing India’s score of 54 runs against Sri Lanka in the 2000 Asia Cup in Sharjah. In closing, India’s triumph at the Asia Cup 2023 marked a dominant display of cricket prowess. Captain Rohit Sharma proudly hoisted the trophy as the India team celebrated their victory. India will now return home to face Australia in a three-match ODI series starting on September 22, while Sri Lanka’s next assignment will be the ODI World Cup, commencing with their first warm-up match against Bangladesh on September 29. The cricket action continues with the series decider between Australia and South Africa underway in Johannesburg. Stay tuned for updates on that match. Cheers!
Biggest wins in an ODI final (balls remaining)
263: IND vs. SL – Colombo, 2023
226: AUS vs. ENG – Sydney, 2003
179: AUS vs. PAK – Lord’s, 1999
Biggest ODI wins for India (balls remaining)
263 vs. SL, Colombo – 2023
231 vs. Kenya, Bloemfontein – 2001
211 vs. West Indies, Trivandrum – 2018
188 vs. England, The Oval – 2022
Biggest men’s ODI win against a team at their home (by balls remaining) 263 – India v SL, 2023
244 – Sri Lanka v ZIM, 2004
241 – Pakistan v ZIM, 2018
236 – Netherlands v CAN, 2013
234 – Australia v IND, 2023
Indian captains to win most men’s ODIs by 10 wickets
3: Rohit Sharma
1: MS Dhoni
1: S Venkataraghavan
1: Sunil Gavaskar
1: Sachin Tendulkar
1: Mohammad Azharuddin
1: Sourav Ganguly
1: KL Rahul

(Sunil Yash Kalra is a Women’s Cricket Historian and founder of Indian Sports Fans.)

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