Asia Cup Final 2023: India’s Revenge Story

Asia Cup Final 2023 Story
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Asia Cup Final 2023 Story: All it took at the end was 21.3 overs in total for India to win yet another Asia Cup title. Sri Lanka made it to the finals on the back of a thrilling win over Pakistan. India, on the other hand, beat both Pakistan and Sri Lanka, on the way to the finals. They lost to Bangladesh in their last league game which robbed some sheen off their near-perfect campaign. It was expected to be an evenly contested final as the home team looked set to retain its Asia Cup title. 

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Asia Cup Final 2023 Story

Rain spices up the game:

The weather Gods decided to have a say for one last time in the tournament during the finals. A brief spell of rain meant that the game started 40 minutes late. The brief spell of showers spiced up the pitch and with overcast conditions enveloping the air, the wicket was going to test the batters. 

Jasprit Bumrah sets the tone:

India was back to its first-choice playing XI for the finals. This meant Jasprit Bumrah and Mohammad Siraj returned to lead India’s pace attack. Bumrah set the tone for the finals in the opening over itself. It took Bumrah just 3 deliveries to dislodge Kusal Perera with an away-going delivery. KL Rahul grabbed an easy chance behind the stumps. 

The game-changing over:

Mohammad Siraj shared the new ball with Bumrah. He bowled a testing second over of the innings beating Kusal Mendis four times. Siraj wasn’t rewarded immediately though. It was his second and the innings’ fourth over that proved to be the game-changer. Siraj bowled an away angler to get rid of Pathum Nissanka in the first ball of the fourth over. 

He bowled a top nip-backer to catch Sadeera Samarawickrama plumb in front. Siraj bowled a curler to Charith Asalanka off the very next ball to catch him at covers. Dhananjaya de Silva negated the hattrick ball pushing it mid-on boundary for a four. But Siraj got his man off the next ball eking out an edge to Rahul. He became the first Indian to pick 4 wickets in a single over. At 12-5, Sri Lanka was blown away!

An embarrassing scoreline:

Sri Lanka managed to take their score past their lowest-ever ODI total. Only a single batter crossed double digits. Hardik Pandya’s 3-wicket burst bundled Lanka out for just 50. India finished the chase in just 6.1 overs and with 10 wickets to spare. It was a colossal win in terms of what was at stake. India won a multination tournament after 5 years. They couldn’t have asked for a better result ahead of the home World Cup.

Did the final remind Indian fans of something?

India’s annihilation of Sri Lanka helped fans avenge a two-decade-long battle. In the Coca-Cola Cup finals of 2000, Sri Lanka had bowled India out for just 54 handing them a drubbing. The morale of the Indian fans was at an all-time low then. 8 years later, Ajantha Mendis spun a web in the 2008 Asia Cup finals to bamboozle India. Siraj and India ensured that they hit two targets with a single stone. It was a performance for the ages!

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