Asia Cup Cricket 2023 Final
India VS Sri Lanka Played at Premadasa Stadium, Colombo, Sri Lanka on 17/09/2023.
India 51/0 in 6.1 Overs (Shubman Gill 27*, Ishan Kishan 23*)
Sri Lanka 50 All Out in 15.2 Overs (Kusal Mendis 17, Dushan Hemanta 13, Mohammad Seraj 6/21, Hardik Pandya 3/3)
India won the match by 10 wickets and became Champion of the 16th Asia Cup
Player of the Match: Mohammad Seraj
Player of the Series: Kuldeep Yadav
Cricket Superpower India creating a Tsunami at Premadasa engulfed Sri Lanka and swept Lankans in what world cricket very rarely experienced before. Sri Lanka got badly bruised, shocked, and awed as well as humiliated getting all out for a mere 50 runs in only 15.2 Overs. India raced to yet another championship, its 8th in 16 Asia cup scoring 51/0 in only 6.1 overs.
Indian pacer from Kashmir rocked Lankans taking 6/21 in 7 overs. Hadik Pandya took 3/3. There was no venom in Premadasa wicket. It was all like a bolt from the blue. India unleashing such a performance gave a strong warning to the rest of the teams that will participate in the ICC World Cup scheduled to start in India in a couple of weeks.
Start of the match was delayed a bit for a spell of rain. Sky had cloud cover as Dasun Shanaka won the toss and elected to bat. None expected that Indian bowlers would create Tsunami in the Indian Ocean without any warning. Seraj (6/21) appeared with almost unplayable mode. Bumrah was rather less threatening. Hardik Pandya appearing in his usual penetrative self-joined the party taking 3 wickets for three runs. 9 of the Lankan batsmen could not even reach double figures and four even did not open their account. Only Kusal Mendis scoring 17 and Dushan Hemanata scoring 13 could reach double digit.
It was a horror, a bad dream for the Islanders which they did not experience. Even the earlier encounter between the teams at the same venue witnessed mouth watering contest. Indian openers raced across the victory target scoring 51 runs in only 6.1 overs. India registered their 8th Championship in 16 Asia Cup event.
Looking back in retrospect India was the hot favorite in the Championship any way. Many forecasted an India -Pakistan final as Pakistan was also looking in good shape prior to the tournament. Sri Lanka was not much in the contention. Even Bangladesh was expected to fare well. But as tournament advanced Sri Lanka appeared as consistent team prevailing over Bangladesh, Afghanistan and even Pakistan. India rather made a quiet start. Their batting looked a bit rusty when they first met Pakistan. That match however was rain ruined. They however bounced back with vengeance in their second match against Pakistan destroying much vaunted Pakistan pace attack. However, India losing consistency against Sri Lanka just managed to overcome Lankan resistance. In the last group match appearing with a relatively weaker XI lost to Bangladesh.
On the day young Lankans appeared a bit panicked as their first 7 wickets were swept away by the tidal surge unleashed by Seraj and Bumrah. A team down at 7/33 in 11.2 could not recover. Hardik Pandya served the killer punch taking 3 wickets for 3 runs as Lankan innings got wrapped up for 50 runs in 15.2 overs. Kuldeep Yadav, the player of the series was not required bowling more than a over. Indians were irresistible on the day. Such a performance in the final of a tournament has not been seen before and may not be seen soon. India served a very strong warning to the rest of the cricket world. It is hard to believe that this Indian team lost to Bangladesh only a couple of days before. Cricket is really a strange game.Finally, the most deserving team won the championship.
BDST: 0914 HRS, SEP 18, 2023