It was as if it was meant to be for Mohammed Siraj today. The pacer came into the attack with a fiery rage as he rained havoc upon the Sri Lankan batting order and picked them off one by one with ease.
After delivering a jaw-dropping 6/21 in seen overs against the hosts in the Asia Cup final, India clinched the trophy effortlessly as they quickly gunned down a pathetic target of 51 runs.
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One might critique the Sri Lankan batters but in reality, it was all Siraj today. The Indian took four wickets in just his second over, as he dismissed the likes of Pathum Nissanka, Sadeera Samarawickrama, Charith Asalanka, and Dhananjaya de Silva.
And even after becoming the first Indian to take four wickets in a single over in the ODI format, there was no stopping Siraj. He kept blazing through the Lankan ranks and even equalled Chaminda Vaas’ world record for th efastest five-for in ODI history, scalping five in a mere 16 deliveries.
The showcase of pure pace bowling genius left countless stunned. And amongst the many was famed Pakistani fast-bowling legend, Shoaib Akhtar.
Akhtar, known for his deadly pace and lethal spells, was rendered almost speechless by Siraj and took to X, formerly known as Twitter, to express his thoughts on the same, in a mere four words.
“That’s destruction & annihilation.” That was all that the Pakistani great could muster as Siraj left the Sri Lankan batting order in complete dismay, not allowing no more than two batters to even reach double digit scores personally. And to top it all off, Siraj registered the best bowling figures against Sri Lanka in an ODI, surpassing Akhtar’s compatriot Waqar Younis along the way.
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When asked about his brilliant performance after the end of the first innings, Siraj simply said, “Last match against Sri Lanka I took first 4 wickets but unfortunately could not get 5 then. I realised then after that, “jo nasseb mein hoga, wohi milega” – If it is in my destiny, I will get it.” Well, it sure seemed like fate was indeed on his side today.