Mohammad Siraj hits Sri Lanka for a six as India lift Asia Cup 2023 title

Hosts bundled out for just 50 after stunning opening spell by Siraj as Indians coast to 10-wicket win

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Fast bowler Mohammad Siraj turned the Asia Cup final into a one-sided contest as India dismissed the hosts for just 50 before sealing a 10-wicket win to lift the 50-over trophy in Colombo on Sunday.

Sri Lanka batted first in overcast conditions after the match was delayed due to rain before start of play. However, the conditions soon became almost unplayable as India's new-ball bowlers Mohammad Siraj and Jasprit Bumrah made the ball talk.

Bumrah got opener Kusal Perera out caught behind in the opening over to give India the perfect start. From there, it was the Siraj show.

The right-arm quick settled the contest in the fourth over of the match as he picked up four top order wickets, reducing the hosts to a scarcely believable 12-5.

Siraj was getting late movement in and away from the batsmen, and he made the most of every single ball of a terrific opening spell.

Siraj got Pathum Nissanka caught at point for two and then struck on successive balls to send back Sadeera Samarawickrama (0) and Charith Asalanka (0), but a hat-trick was averted.

Dhananjaya de Silva hit a boundary but Siraj had him caught behind with the next ball, effectively ending the contest.

The hammer blow came in his next over as Siraj bowled a leg cutter to uproot the off stump of Sri Lanka captain Dasun Shanaka.

Siraj equalled the ODI record for a bowler's fastest five-wicket haul from his first 16 balls of the match as the hosts were staring down the barrel at 12-6.

Kusal Mendis hit three boundaries before becoming Siraj's sixth wicket, although Sri Lanka avoided the lowest-ever ODI total of 35 by Zimbabwe.

All-rounder Hardik Pandya then came on to complete the formalities as he took three wickets to wrap up the innings in just 90 minutes of play. Siraj finished with sensational figures of 6-21, four of which were the result of an overthrow for a boundary.

The target of 51 was never going to bother the visitors. The new opening pair of Shubman Gill and Ishan Kishan knocked off the runs in 6.1 overs.

"It's like a dream," Siraj, who became only the fourth bowler to take four wickets in an over in ODIs, said after the Sri Lanka innings.

"I got four early wickets last time I played Sri Lanka [earlier this year] but unfortunately I could not register a five-wicket haul.

"I realised you get whatever is in your destiny. I just tried to bowl my line and length, and wickets kept coming.

"The ball did not swing much in the early matches here but today it swung a lot. My effort was to draw the batters forward and make them play the ball."

Sri Lanka coach Chris Silverwood struggled to explain his team's batting performance. It was the lowest total in an ODI final and Sri Lanka’s second lowest total after its 43 all out against South Africa in Paarl in 2011.

"The way we got dismissed is very disappointing. I think there's a lot of reflection to be done in the dressing room," he said.

"I thought Siraj was superb. The Indian bowlers made our life difficult but, at the same time, I think we made our own life difficult as well."

India host Australia in a three-match ODI series next up before all teams head to India for the ODI World Cup which begins in Ahmedabad on October 5.

Updated: September 17, 2023, 1:43 PM