In a breathtaking display of pace and precision, Indian speedster Mohammed Siraj left the cricketing world spellbound with his remarkable performance in the Asia Cup 2023 final against Sri Lanka at the R Premadasa Stadium on Sunday. Siraj, fondly known as ‘Miyan Magic,’ unleashed a spell that will be etched in the annals of cricketing history for years to come.
From the outset, it was evident that India’s bowlers meant business. Jasprit Bumrah set the tone early, taking a crucial wicket in the third ball of his first over, removing Kusal Perera. Siraj then stepped up to the plate, delivering a maiden over that laid the foundation for his extraordinary spell.
The magic truly began in Siraj’s second over. With sheer pace and precision, he sent Pathum Nissanka back to the pavilion for a mere 2 runs. His next delivery, clocking in at 143 kmph, swung sharply, deceiving Samarawickrama, who departed with a two-ball duck.
Charith Asalanka, Sri Lanka’s hero against Pakistan, came to the crease with the weight of his team’s hopes on his shoulders. However, Siraj’s clever tactics outfoxed him as he induced a drive shot that ended up in the safe hands of Ishan Kishan at covers.
With the possibility of a hat-trick tantalizingly close, Mohammed Siraj attempted another inswinging delivery to Dhananjaya de Silva. A gentle push towards the vacant side of the field fetched de Silva a boundary, narrowly avoiding the hat-trick.
Undeterred, Mohammed Siraj’s next delivery found a faint edge and nestled comfortably in the gloves of KL Rahul. This completed an over that saw the dismissal of four Sri Lankan batsmen, a rare feat in the ODI format.
Siraj wasn’t finished yet, and his celebratory ‘Sui’ dance echoed in the stadium as he clean bowled skipper Dausn Shanaka for a duck. India achieved a remarkable feat, taking six wickets within the first 10 overs of an ODI match.
With Bumrah making way for Hardik Pandya, the pressure continued to mount on Sri Lanka. Siraj claimed his sixth victim, Kusal Mendis, who seemed to be settling in on the pitch. A fast inswinging delivery breached Mendis’ defence, sending his stumps cartwheeling.
In the end, Sri Lanka’s decision to bat first seemed questionable as they were bundled out for a mere 50 runs in 15.2 overs. Mohammed Siraj’s phenomenal figures of 6-21 and Hardik Pandya’s 3-3 had decimated the Sri Lankan batting order, setting the stage for India’s dominance in the Asia Cup 2023 final.
As the cricketing world watched in awe, Mohammed Siraj’s ‘Miyan Magic’ had left an indelible mark on the grandest stage of them all.