Co-hosts and defending champions Sri Lanka will face India on Sunday in the 2023 Asia Cup final in Colombo.
WHO: Sri Lanka vs India
Or: R Premadasa Stadium, Colombo, Sri Lanka
When: Sunday September 17, 3 p.m. local time (09:30 GMT)
Colombia, Sri Lanka – Sri Lanka, co-hosts of the Asia Cup and defending champions, did not start the tournament as favorites in the presence of Pakistan’s then top-ranked one-day international team and a strong Indian team, but managed to make the most of their home game.
Sri Lanka beat Pakistan by two wickets in the Super 4 stage to set up a meeting with India in Sunday’s final at the R Premadasa Stadium in Colombo. They will attempt to equal India’s record of seven Asia Cup titles in their second consecutive final (and 11th overall).
Sri Lanka captain Dasun Shanaka has praised his relatively young and underrated team.
“The players fought until the end and it is very important for us to be in the final for two years in a row,” he said in his pre-match comments on Saturday.
– Asian Cricket Council (@ACCMedia1) September 16, 2023
It was Sri Lanka’s three spinners who bagged all of India’s wickets in their Super 4 match, which India won by 41 runs, with star Dunith Wellalage removing five of India’s six top-order batters.
The 20-year-old quickly became a crowd favorite thanks to that deft left-arm spin and promising batting. He has been marked as one of the future by cricket fans and pundits alike.
-Ashwin 🇮🇳 (@ashwinravi99) September 12, 2023
Despite the home side’s spin threat, India will be encouraged by the form of their top-order batters, three of whom have scored centuries in the last two matches.
Opener Shubman Gill, who had not scored a century since January, was India’s top scorer against Bangladesh on Friday.
Shubman Gill, ODI century number 5 and counting👏🏻👏🏻👏🏻.
– Ian Raphaël Bishop (@irbishi) September 15, 2023
India: Virat Kohli, Hardik Pandya, Jasprit Bumrah, Mohammed Siraj and Kuldeep Yadav are expected to return to the squad after being rested for the match against Bangladesh.
Sri Lanka: A hamstring injury forced Maheesh Theekshana out of the match and the all-rounder could be replaced by leg-spinner Dushan Hemantha.
📸 Maheesh Theekshana visited Sri Lanka’s training session.
– Sri Lanka Cricket 🇱🇰 (@OfficialSLC) September 16, 2023
Sunday’s finalists are familiar foes, to say the least. India and Sri Lanka have played more ODI matches (166) against each other than any two other opponents.
India won 97 and Sri Lanka 57, of which 11 ended in “no result” and one in a draw.
Their record in the Asian Cup is equal as both teams have won 11 matches each.
If the crowds at Sri Lanka’s match against Pakistan are to be believed, the final could see a full house as hundreds of Indian fans descended on Colombo last week.
Tickets in all categories except the most expensive – the grandstand at 40,000 rupees ($125) – are sold out.
Both teams won two matches each in the Super 4 stage of the tournament.
India: NR WWWWL
Sri Lanka: WWWWW
The weather was one of the most discussed topics during the Sri Lankan leg of the tournament. Rain forced one match to end in failure, two others to be shortened and another to extend over two days.
Light showers are forecast for Sunday afternoon and evening, but are not expected to threaten washouts, especially as Monday has been set aside as a reserve day.