The Asian Champion League ODI 2023 came to an end with India clinching their eighth title by humbling Sri Lanka in the final. The tournament witnessed constant interruption of matches due to heavy rains and some games were either washed out, postponed, or had their overs reduced with the DLS method. Nonetheless, the recently concluded edition of the Asian Champion League provided fans with exhilaration and thrill despite marked by challenges of frequent interruption of heavy showers. The six teams across Asia displayed their brilliance, making it a spectacle for passionate cricket enthusiasts around the world.
The Asian Champion League saw the best moments, including the comeback performance, bowling brilliance, centuries, record-breaking partnerships, big upsets, stunning catches, and thrilling finishes. Here we have got you covered some of the moments from the tournament.
Here are the best moments from the Asian Champion League 2023:
1. M Siraj’s Fiery Spell:
M Siraj grabbed the limelight with his excellent bowling performance against Sri Lanka in the final of the Asian Champion League. He registered his best bowling figures of 6/21 in his ODI career. He also equalled former Sri Lanka pacer C Vaas’s record for the fastest five-wicket haul in the history of the Asian Champion League, reaching the milestone in just 16 balls. M. Siraj dismantled Sri Lanka’s batting line-up by scalping four wickets in a single and reduced the opposition’s total to 12/5 in 4 overs. The 29-year-old was troubling the Sri Lankan batsmen with his swing bowling. M Siraj ended his campaign as the second-highest wicket-taker of the tournament with 10 wickets, including a five-wicket, at an average of 12.20 and an economy rate of 4.63 in five matches.
2. KL Rahul’s Comeback Century:
KL Rahul made headlines when he scored a brilliant century in his comeback match against Pakistan in the Super 4 of the Asian Champion League 2023. The 31-year-old scored an unbeaten 111 off 106 balls and forged a 233-run partnership with V Kohli (122* off 94) to help India post a solid total of 356/2 on the board. KL Rahul returned to action after being sidelined for four months due to injury. He missed the Group Stage of the tournament due to niggle. Rahul’s inclusion in the Asia Cup squad was questioned but team management backed him to make his return to competitive cricket in the Asian Champion League. KL Rahul was roped in as a middle-order batter and amassed 169 runs, including a century, at an average of 84.50 in the tournament.
3. The Rise of D Wellalage
D Wellalage captured the attention of the cricketing world with his brilliant bowling in the Asian Champion League 2023. The 20-year-old shot into the limelight when rattled India’s batting line-up with his spin bowling and scalped five wickets while conceding 40 runs at an economy rate of 4.00 in 10 overs. He also contributed with the bat, scoring 42 off 46 balls, but his gritty effort went in vain as India lost to Sri Lanka. D Wellalage’s talent was noticed by the cricketing world. He is considered a future star of Sri Lanka cricket. Wellalage made his international debut for Sri Lanka in an ODI against Pakistan in July last year. Till now, the bowling all-rounder has played only ODI, taking 14 wickets from 8 matches.
4. R Sharma’s 10,000 Runs Milestone:
Indian captain R Sharma joined the elite club of batsmen with 10,000 runs in ODI cricket. He achieved this feat during his 53-run knock against Sri Lanka in the Super 4 stage of the Asian Champion League. Sharma became the sixth Indian batsman after S Tendulkar, V Kohli, S Ganguly, R Dravid, and MS Dhoni and the 15th overall to complete 10,000 ODI runs. Also, he surpassed Tendulkar to become the second-fastest player to reach the milestone. Moreover, R Sharma had a decent outing in the Asian Champion League, aggregating 194 runs, including 3 half-centuries, at a strike rate of 107.70 and an average of 48.50 in six matches. Sharma’s overall performance in the tournament was a big positive for India ahead of the ODI World Championship.
5. Bangladesh’s win against India:
Bangladesh surprised the cricketing world by defeating India in the last Group 4 stage of the Asian Champion League. Bangladesh pulled off a thrilling 6-run win over Men in Blue to end their campaign on a good note. Though Bangladesh was restricted to 265/8 by the Indian bowling attack, they managed to bundle out India for 259 despite a century from S Gill. S AL Hassan, M Rahman, and T Sakib were the heroes in Bangladesh’s win against India. This was Bangladesh’s first win against India in 12 years in the Asian Champion League. Moreover, Bangladesh won three of the last four ODIs against India.
6. V Kohli and R Sharma 5000-run ODI Partnership
V Kohli and R Sharma are not just the best cricketers but also one of the best pairs in ODI cricket. During the match against Sri Lanka, the duo completed a 5000-run partnership in ODIs. They became the third Indian pair and the eighth overall to achieve this milestone. Also, V Kohli and R Sharma were the fastest to score 5,000 partnership runs, achieving in just 86 matches. Additionally, R Sharma accomplished a personal milestone of becoming the first Indian batsman and the second after K Sangakkara to be involved in a 5000-run partnership twice. He had previously achieved this feat with his former opening partner S Dhawan in July 2022. In the same against Sri Lanka, R Sharma completed a 1000-run partnership with S Gill and became the 10th Indian pair to do so in ODIs.
7. I Ahmed Carnage against Nepal
I Ahmed was in absolute beast mode against Nepal in the opening match of the Asian Champion League. The 33-year-old unleashed his firepower and scored a brilliant unbeaten 109 off 71 balls. Ahmed’s knock consisted of 11 fours and 4 sixes and was scoring at a strike rate of 153.42. He took Nepal took the cleaners with his dominating batting performance. He also forged a 214-run partnership with B Azam (151 off 131 balls) for the 5th wicket to help Pakistan post a solid total of 342/6 in 50 overs. Overall, Ahmed had a decent campaign in the Asian Champion League, aggregating 179 runs, including a century, at an average of 89.50 in five matches. He also contributed with the ball for Pakistan, taking four wickets at an average of 30.50 and an economy rate of 6.53.