Asia Cup 2023 | Why The Sri Lankan Batters Had No Answer to Siraj?
Mohammaed Siraj destroyed the Sri Lankan batting single-handedly in Asia Cup 2023 Final (Source: AP Photos)
Mohammed Siraj's remarkable bowling performance against Sri Lanka in the Asia Cup 2023 final was a historic triumph for Indian cricket. His 6/21 numbers place him fourth among Indian bowlers in terms of wickets taken in a single ODI match. This incredible spell was vital in India's final performance, and it surely left fans and cricket fanatics in awe of his bowling skills. Siraj put on a spectacular exhibition of skill and determination at the R Premadasa Stadium in Colombo.
Thanks to Siraj's brilliant spell, Sri Lanka was bowled out for a mere 50 runs, a total that was never going to be challenging for India. In the chase, India demonstrated their dominance by comfortably reaching the target in just 6.1 overs. It was a comprehensive victory that allowed India to claim the Asia Cup title for 2023, and Siraj's extraordinary bowling played a pivotal role in this triumph. His performance left cricket fans in awe and marked a historic moment in Indian ODI cricket.
Siraj's Finals Masterclass: The Spell that Sealed the Win
Siraj's new-ball burst was nothing short of extraordinary. He made early inroads into the Sri Lankan batting line-up, consistently hitting the right areas and extracting movement from the pitch. His ability to swing and seam the ball troubled the Sri Lankan batsmen, and they struggled to handle his pace and bounce. Siraj's wickets came at crucial junctures of the game, and he dismantled the Sri Lankan batting order with clinical precision.
It all started with the wicket of Pathum Nissanka, Sri Lanka's opener. Siraj bowled a length ball that nipped in sharply, forcing Nissanka to play at it. The ball took the edge of Nissanka's bat, and he was caught at backward point by Ravindra Jadeja. Following that, Siraj struck again immediately. This time, he delivered a classic In-swinger, a bit fuller in length. The delivery deceived Sadeera Samarawickrama with its pace and late swing, resulting in an LBW dismissal.
Remarkably, on the very next ball, Siraj claimed the vital wicket of Charith Asalanka. He bowled a full delivery just outside off, and Asalanka attempted to drive it but ended up finding the fielder, resulting in a simple catch. To cap off his sensational over, Siraj got his fourth wicket by dismissing Dhananjaya de Silva. He bowled an Out-swinger, and de Silva played a casual shot that led to his dismissal.
Siraj's incredible feat of taking four wickets in a single over sent shockwaves through the Sri Lankan batting line-up. Siraj delivered a stunning delivery to eliminate Sri Lankan captain Shanaka in the next over. He threw the ball full and direct towards the middle stump, barely enough to defeat Shanaka's bat. The stumps were sent flying, and Shanaka was bowled out in a magnificent display. He struck again in the 12th over of the contest, this time to dismiss Kusal Mendis. The ball was a quick In-swinger that deceived Mendis and crashed into his stumps.
To summarize, Mohammed Siraj's performance in the Asia Cup 2023 final was nothing short of spectacular. His outstanding bowling effort, particularly the four-wicket over, was critical to India's emphatic victory and securing of the Asia Cup trophy. Siraj's ability to swing the ball both ways and consistently hit the right spots puzzled the Sri Lankan batters, resulting in a stunning collapse. His 6/21 stats are the fourth-best by an Indian bowler in ODI history and will be remembered as one of the tournament's highlights.