Last Updated: September 18, 2023, 17:09 IST
Mohammed Siraj’s performance against Sri Lanka in the Asia Cup final was one for the ages. The Indian pacer displayed outstanding skills and looked unplayable during a breathtaking spell.
Siraj picked up six wickets while giving away just 21 runs and dismantled Sri Lanka batting line-up by bowling them out for a mere total of 50.
Team India won the encounter comfortably by 10 wickets.
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Siraj’s spectacular performance, quite understandably, earned praises from all quarters. Former India allrounder Irfan Pathan also lauded the pacer for putting up a brilliant show in the finale.
Pathan said that a performance like this shows why Siraj was in the team instead of someone as experienced as Mohammed Shami.
Pathan appreciated Siraj by saying that his ball control and late swing he showed was exceptional. “You might see the degree of swing but the late swing and control you saw in Mohammed Siraj’s bowling, that is why a bowler like Mohammad Shami is sitting outside. You won’t find an international team where a wicket-taker who bowls with an upright seam like Mohammed Shami doesn’t get a place in the playing XI,” Pathan said during a discussion on Star Sports.
“So who is playing in place of him (Shami) – a bowler (Siraj) who swings the ball both ways and bowls around 140 kph,” Pathan added.
Siraj’s first over was a maiden and he kept on swinging the ball showcasing his impressive skillset. He claimed four wickets in a single over to rock Sri Lanka.
And he did not stop with that as he kept landing more blows.
He equalled former Sri Lanka cricketer Chaminda Vaas’ record as he joined him as the fastest bowler to complete a five-wicket hall, requiring just 16 balls to get to the milestone.
India dominated the match comprehensively and capitalised on the start they secured.
They bowled out the opposition for just 50 runs as Hardik Pandya dismissed their last three batters in quick succession. Apart from Sri Lanka wicketkeeper Kusal Mendis and Dushan Hemantha, not a single player could breach the double-digit mark in the Asia Cup final against Rohit Sharma’s men.
Mendis emerged as his side’s highest scorer with 17.
India then changed their batting order and sent Ishan Kishan to open with Shubman Gill. And they finished the contest in 6.1 overs.
Siraj was awarded Player of the Match award for his epic bowling performance while Kuldeep Yadav was chosen as Player of the Series.