Indian fast bowler Mohammed Siraj played a pivotal role in India’s triumphant Asia Cup final against Sri Lanka, securing a remarkable six-wicket haul. However, amidst his spectacular performance, Siraj couldn’t help but recall an earlier encounter against Sri Lanka where he narrowly missed achieving a five-wicket haul.
The flashback took place during India’s tour of Sri Lanka in January, where the Sri Lankan batting lineup crumbled, and the Indian bowlers restricted them to a meager total of 73 runs. Siraj played a crucial role in the match by taking three out of the four initial wickets, but he narrowly missed out on achieving a five-wicket haul in the One Day International (ODI).
Fast forward to the Asia Cup Final, held in Colombo, where the 29-year-old achieved the elusive five-wicket milestone. In a remarkable display, Sri Lanka was dismissed for a mere 50 runs.
Speaking during the mid-innings break, Siraj shared his thoughts on his stellar performance, stating, “It feels like a dream. Last time, I did the same against Sri Lanka at Trivandrum. I got four wickets early but couldn’t secure the five-for. I realized you get what’s in your destiny.”
Bowling with the new ball, Siraj recorded one of the joint-quickest fifers in ODI history, securing his first five wickets within a mere 16 deliveries. Before his remarkable performance in the Asia Cup Final, Siraj had taken four wickets in his previous four outings in the tournament.
Reflecting on his strategy for the final, Siraj revealed that he did not attempt any extravagant maneuvers and focused on utilizing the swing, which had been lacking in previous games. He elaborated on the importance of making the batsmen drive the ball, which proved to be highly effective.
Aside from Siraj’s brilliant performance, fellow Indian bowlers, including Hardik Pandya and Jasprit Bumrah, also contributed to Sri Lanka’s struggles. Sri Lanka’s total of 50 runs is now the lowest score in the history of the Asia Cup tournament. This remarkable achievement further solidified India’s victory in the final match.
With this extraordinary performance, Mohammed Siraj’s name is etched in the annals of cricket history, showcasing his talent and prowess as a bowler on the international stage.