Co-hosts and defending champions Sri Lanka will face India in the 2023 Asia Cup final in Colombo on Sunday.
Who: Sri Lanka vs India
Where: R Premadasa Stadium, Colombo, Sri Lanka
When: Sunday, September 17, 3pm local time (09:30 GMT)
Colombo, Sri Lanka – Asia Cup co-hosts and defending champions Sri Lanka did not start the tournament as favourites in the presence of then top-ranked one-day-international team Pakistan and a strong Indian team, but have managed to make the most of playing at home.
Sri Lanka beat Pakistan by two wickets in the Super 4 stage to set up a meeting with India in Sunday’s final at R Premadasa Stadium in Colombo. They will look to match India’s record of seven Asia Cup titles in their second consecutive (and 11th overall) final.
Sri Lanka’s captain Dasun Shanaka praised his relatively young and underrated side.
“The players have fought all the way and it’s a big deal for us to be in the final for two consecutive years,” he said in his pre-match comments on Saturday.
— AsianCricketCouncil (@ACCMedia1) September 16, 2023
It was Sri Lanka’s three spinners who bagged all the Indian wickets during their Super 4 match, which India won by 41 runs, with breakout star Dunith Wellalage removing five of India’s six top-order batters.
The 20-year-old has swiftly become a crowd favourite with this skilled left-arm spin and promising batting. He has been marked as one for the future by cricket fans and experts alike.
— Ashwin 🇮🇳 (@ashwinravi99) September 12, 2023
Despite the home team’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 Raphael Bishop (@irbishi) September 15, 2023
India: Virat Kohli, Hardik Pandya, Jasprit Bumrah, Mohammed Siraj and Kuldeep Yadav are expected to return to the side after being rested for the match against Bangladesh.
Sri Lanka: A hamstring injury has forced Maheesh Theekshana out of the match and the off-spinning all-rounder could be replaced by leg-spinner Dushan Hemantha.
📸 Maheesh Theekshana paid a visit to 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 (166) matches against each other than any other two opponents.
India has won 97 of these and Sri Lanka 57, with 11 ending in “no result” and one in a tie.
Their record in the Asia Cup is even as both teams have won 11 matches apiece.
If the crowd in Sri Lanka’s match against Pakistan is anything to go by, the final could see a full house as hundreds of Indian fans have descended upon Colombo in the past week.
Tickets in all categories apart from the most expensive one – the grandstand at 40,000 rupees ($125) – are sold out.
Both teams won two matches each during the Super 4 stage of the tournament.
India: NR W W W W L
Sri Lanka: W W W L W
Weather has been one of the most talked-about subjects during the Sri Lankan leg of the tournament. Rain has forced one match to end in a washout, two others to be shortened and another to be stretched over two days.
Light showers are forecast for Sunday afternoon and evening but are not expected to threaten a washout, especially as Monday has been set aside as a reserve day.