Last Updated: September 18, 2023, 17:38 IST
Mohammed Siraj will remember the ‘magical spell’ he bowled with the new ball against Sri Lanka that sealed the fate of the Asia Cup final in the space of few deliveries. After delivering six dot balls, Siraj unleashed hell in his next, sending back as many as four Sri Lankan batters to start a dramatic collapse from which the host never recovered.
Siraj would finish with six wickets as Sri Lanka were skittled for 50 runs in 15.2 overs. The right-arm pacer recalled how he failed to take a fifth wicket against the same opponent during an ODI earlier this year.
“To be honest, it was a magical spell, as I had never dreamt about it. I had to struggle hard to gain the fifth wicket in the last ODI against Lanka in Trivandrum, which never came. But, it all worked out today,” Siraj told his India teammate during a chat shared by BCCI on their website.
Siraj says after bowling the first delivery, he knew the ball is going to swing and he doesn’t have to do much except hitting the right length.
“In my first spell, the moment I saw I was able to swing the ball, I realised that I didn’t need to hit the wicket. I just intended on bowling at a particular spot and make the ball talk,” Siraj said.
Sri Lanka captain Dasun Shanaka was Siraj’s fifth victim, a wicket he beautifully set up after keeping three deliveries outside off before getting the fourth to move in after pitching on the middle which sneaked past the defenses to crash on the stumps.
“I had practised a lot on generating out-swing deliveries from wide of the crease in West Indies. My outswingers were going well. So I tried from the wide of the crease to push for inswing (which will move away after pitching)” Siraj said.
“So what I planned, what I had in mind, it turned out to be absolutely perfect and it was my best wicket of the game (dismissing Shanaka),” he added.
Siraj is the 12th Indian bowler to claim a six-fer in an ODI and he says the performance will do his confidence a world of good ahead of the world cup.
“It’s a great achievement for me, especially since it’s the final. It will help me gain a lot of confidence before the (ODI) World Cup,” he said.