Mohammed Siraj led India to a historic victory in the Asia Cup, securing their eighth title in the tournament's history. On September 17 in Colombo, Sri Lanka faced a nightmare as Siraj demolished their batting lineup, finishing with astounding figures of 6/21 off 7 overs. This magnificent performance made Siraj the joint-fastest bowler to claim a five-wicket haul in one-day internationals, reaching the milestone in just 2.4 overs.
Sri Lanka's woes began after their skipper Dasun Shanaka won the toss and elected to bat. Their batsmen seemed utterly helpless against the fierce pace and precision of Mohammed Siraj, with five of them returning to the pavilion without putting a single run on the scoreboard.
With their spirits crushed, Sri Lanka could only muster a meager total of 50 runs, marking their second-lowest ODI score and the lowest ever recorded against India in one-day internationals. Jasprit Bumrah had set the stage by dismissing Kusal Perera in the very first over of the match, while Siraj went on to dismantle the Sri Lankan batting order.
Siraj's incredible spell included a remarkable feat, as he claimed four wickets in six balls. He dismissed Pathum Nissanka, Sadeera Samarawickrama, Charith Asalanka, and Dhananjaya de Silva in quick succession. In the same over, he sent Sri Lankan captain Dasun Shanaka back to the pavilion. This breathtaking performance earned Siraj the accolade of having the fourth-best ODI figures by an Indian bowler, trailing only Stuart Binny, Anil Kumble, and Jasprit Bumrah in this elite list.
India's victory was a cakewalk, with the team chasing down the paltry target of 51 in just 6.1 overs, boasting a remarkable 263 balls to spare. This dominant performance marked India's largest margin of victory in terms of balls remaining, surpassing their previous record set against Kenya in 2001 when they chased down a target of 91 with 231 balls to spare.
A noteworthy change in India's batting lineup was the promotion of Ishan Kishan to open the innings alongside Shubman Gill, a move that paid off brilliantly. While rain had threatened to disrupt the game, a 40-minute delay was the only hiccup, and the match proceeded smoothly.
As India celebrated their record-extending eighth Asia Cup triumph, Sri Lanka reflected on their impressive journey in the tournament. Despite entering the World Cup after winning the Cricket World Cup Qualifiers in Zimbabwe, Sri Lanka put on a strong show in the Super 4 stage. They narrowly lost to India but shocked Pakistan in a rain-affected match to secure a spot in the final. However, in the title clash, their batsmen succumbed to the fiery pace of Siraj and Hardik Pandya.
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