Cricket fraternity venerates Siraj's heroics in Asia Cup final against Sri Lanka

The right-arm pacer took six for 21 in seven overs

By
Sports Desk
India´s Mohammed Siraj celebrates after taking the wicket of Sri Lanka´s Dhananjaya de Silva during the Asia Cup 2023 final ODI match between Sri Lanka and India at the R. Premadasa Stadium in Colombo on September 17, 2023.— AFP
India´s Mohammed Siraj celebrates after taking the wicket of Sri Lanka´s Dhananjaya de Silva during the Asia Cup 2023 final ODI match between Sri Lanka and India at the R. Premadasa Stadium in Colombo on September 17, 2023.— AFP

The cricket fraternity is left in awe of India's Mohammed Siraj after the right-arm pacer dismantled Sri Lanka's batting line in once in a lifetime match-winning performance in the Asia Cup 2023 final on Sunday.

The rain-affected match which commenced 40 minutes later than scheduled, saw India's Siraj running through Sri Lankan batters.

The 29-year-old first removed Pathum Nissanka and followed up with wickets of Charith Asalanka, Sadeera Samarawickrama and Dhananjaya de Silva to leave Sri Lanka struggling at 12 for five in four overs.

The right-arm pacer ended with an historic figure of six for 21 in seven overs.

With his remarkable achievement, Siraj equalled former Sri Lanka pacer Chaminda Vaas for the quickest ODI five-for, reaching the feat in just 16 balls. Vaas achieved the milestone against Bangladesh in 2003.

He also completed 50 ODI wickets during the spell, reaching the milestone in his 29th ODI, the joint-fourth-quickest among all Indian bowlers.

This impressive performance has garnered praise and acknowledgement from the cricketing fraternity who have been left in awe of Siraj's exceptional spell.

Taking to X — formerly known as Twitter, renowned Indian commentator Harsha Bhogle accentuated Siraj's remarkable feat of bagging five wickets in 16 balls.

"This is like a fantasy," Bhogle wrote.

Meanwhile, former Indian opener Virender Sehwat said, "Mohammed Siraj was simply outstanding."

"Mohd Siraj is turning the Asia Cup finals into a thriller with his incredible bowling performance," former Indian all-rounder Suresh Raina said.

Commentator Sanjay Manjrekar said: "Never seen our stats machine like this." 

Another user termed the right-arm pacer's spell as "greatest spell by any bowler".

Pakistani commentator Zainab Abbas also praised Siraj and said that the 29-year-old is "underrated as a bowler" [who doesn't get enough credit for his skills].

"Unbelievable bowling [...] What an amazing bowler," former Pakistani wicket-keeper Kamran Akmal said.

Former Indian cricketer Wasim Jaffer called Siraj "unplayable".

Earlier in the day, Sri Lanka after winning the toss opted to bat first, however, India's Mohammed Siraj blew away the hosts by taking six wickets — four of which came in a single over — while conceding only 21 runs.

The match started with a delay of 40 minutes due to rain. The collapse started with Jasprit Bumrah removing Kusal Perera in the first over the game.

After the first wicket, it was all about Mohammed Siraj, who completed his fifer in his first three overs of the spell.

Apart from Siraj's six-wicket haul, Hardik Pandya and Jasprit Bumrah bagged three and one wickets each, leaving Sri Lanka bowled out at 50 in 15.2 overs.

In response, the Blue Shirts sailed through the 51-run target and completed the chase in 6.1 overs with 10 wickets in hand.

India's openers Ishan Kishan and Shubman Gill scored 23 and 27 runs respectively and cruised India to their seventh Asia Cup one-day international (ODI) — eighth overall — title victory.