The bright and sunny afternoon turned overcast 10 minutes before the scheduled start. Once the Asia Cup final finally got going after a 40-minute delay, a capacity crowd at the R. Premadasa Stadium had one eye on the sky, with a thunderstorm predicted to hit the Sri Lankan capital, on September 17.
While the dark clouds stayed away, the Siraj-storm struck Sri Lanka so hard that it literally blew the home team away. Riding on Mohammed Siraj’s sensational opening burst, India bundled out Sri Lanka for 50 in just 89 minutes.
It took India just 37 balls to overhaul the lowest team total in the Asia Cup’s four-decade history to seal an emphatic win and lift the trophy in style.
Jasprit Bumrah struck off the third ball, thanks to K.L. Rahul stretching to his left to accept an edge off Kusal Peera’s willow. Siraj started off with a maiden to Kusal Mendis but the Hyderabad hurricane was unstoppable in his second over.
The fourth over saw Siraj sealing the fate of the game by picking four wickets. The pacer landed the ball in the perfect channel, and bowled perfect outswingers at will. He also jagged the ball occasionally to leave Sri Lanka batters dumbfounded.
At 12 for six, the writing was on the wall. That Kuldeep Yadav could bowl a solitary over and only two Sri Lanka batters reached double-digit scores underlined India’s pace pack’s domination.
Rohit preferred to let Ishan Kishan have a hit in the middle along with in-form Shubman Gill. And the duo hardly dropped guard, with Kishan tapping the first ball of the seventh over to long-off for a single to complete the formalities just 27 minutes into the innings.
Source: The Hindu