India Internet Governance Forum 2023 (IIGF-2023) will be held in the national capital on Tuesday.
W 0 W W 4 W…. those were the magical figures for pacer Mohammed Siraj as he brought Sri Lanka down to their knees to bowl the Islanders out for 50 runs which the new Indian opening pair of Shubman Gill (27 not out) and Ishan Kishan (23 not out) hunted down with ease to clinch their eighth Asia Cup title with a 10-wicket win.
The story panned out in the first six overs for both teams. While Sri Lanka looked down and out in the first six with Siraj, claiming a career-best 6 for 21, India coasted to a handsome win in the same duration to tick all their boxes ahead of the ICC World Cup.
Touted as the final preparatory tournament in the build-up to the World Cup, next month, Sri Lanka’s batting performance in Sunday’s Asia Cup final at the R Premadasa Stadium in Colombo, will certainly haunt them with hardly a handful of warm-up games to regroup and work on their shortcomings.
From a Sri Lankan perspective, only two of their batters managed to reach the double digits with Kusal Mendis getting a top score of 17, even as half of the batting unit perished without opening their accounts.
After Jasprit Bumrah gave India a dream start with the wicket of Kusal Perera in the opening over, Siraj left Sri Lanka in all sorts of trouble with a deadly spell that saw four wickets fall in a span of six deliveries. It appeared that the Sri Lankan batters were in a rush to get back to the pavilion as wickets continued to tumble even after the collapse.
Siraj, who started off his spell with a maiden over, blew the top off the opposition’s batting line-up with the unplayable spell that reduced the home side to 12 for 6 inside the first six overs. The Hyderabadi right-armer started the onslaught by bowling seven straight outswingers and the seventh one fetched him the wicket of opener Pathum Nissanka (2), and one ball later, the wobble-seam delivery did the trick as Sadeera Samarawickrama was trapped for a duck. On the fourth ball of the over, Charith Asalanka holed out a simple catch to Ishan Kishan to make his way back without opening his account. Dhananjaya de Silva (4) did everything to survive the hat-trick delivery but got an outside edge off the final ball of the over to take the long walk back to the dressing room.
The Hyderabad pacer then returned to dismiss Sri Lanka captain Dasun Shanaka for a duck, thus completing his five-wicket haul in just his third over, and later picked Kusal Mendis (17) to register the second best figures by a bowler in Asia Cup finals. Siraj’s 6 for 21 is only behind Ajantha Mendis’ 6 for 18 taken during the 2008 edition.
“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 outswinger. Wanted to make the batters drive,” Siraj said after the end of the Sri Lankan innings.
Hardik Pandya then removed the tail with three quick wickets to end Sri Lanka’s innings in a touch over 15 overs.
Earlier, the start of the match was delayed by 40 minutes due to a drizzle just after the toss.