Indian pace sensation Mohammed Siraj emerged as the star of the show in the Asia Cup final. India comprehensively beat Sri Lanka with a resounding 10-wicket victory. Siraj’s exceptional performance left experts and fans in awe.
The 29-year-old speedster delivered a career-best performance, finishing with astounding figures of 6/21. His spell included four wickets in a single over, decimating the Sri Lankan batting order as they were bundled out for a mere 50 runs in just 15.2 overs.
Siraj’s bowling rampage began with the dismissal of Pathum Nissanka. He continued to wreak havoc on the Sri Lankan side, claiming the wickets of Sadeera Samarawickrama, Charith Asalanka, and Dhananjaya de Silva in his second over.
However, the highlight of Siraj’s outstanding performance was his dismissal of Sri Lanka’s captain, Dasun Shanaka. With an inswinging delivery, he sent the stumps flying, leaving Shanaka stunned. Siraj also dismissed Kusal Mendis, who was the highest scorer for Sri Lanka with 17 runs.
In a post-match interview captured by the BCCI, Siraj described Shanaka’s wicket as his personal favourite.
“I worked really hard in the West Indies to bowl outswingers wide of the crease. Then I made an effort to force the inswing outside the crease. I performed exactly as I had envisioned. I picked up my best wicket there,” Siraj said.
“To be completely honest, today’s spell seemed like magic because I had never ever thought about it. It was also in the finals. I took four wickets in four overs the last time we faced Sri Lanka in Trivandrum, but I was unable to take the fifth despite bowling the following six overs,” he added.
Siraj’s exceptional performance in the final not only contributed significantly to India’s victory but also boosted his confidence for future challenges, including the upcoming World Cup.
“The bowling was good in the two games we played here, and I was able to get the better of the batters, but today I finally got those edges. I only released the ball at the start of my spell and there was sufficient swing available. I came to the realization that bowling at a specific area would suffice instead of hitting the wicket,” he concluded
Mohammed Siraj’s remarkable performance earned him the Player of the Match award. He also emerged as India’s leading wicket-taker in the tournament, securing a total of 10 wickets in five games.
In 2023, Siraj has scalped an impressive 29 wickets in 13 ODIs, with an astonishing economy rate of 4.62. His consistent and exceptional performance continues to make him a valuable asset for the Indian cricket team.