Cricket World Player of the Week - Mohammed Siraj
Riding on the back of Mohammed Siraj's fiery 6/21, India brushed aside Sri Lanka to win their 8th Asia Cup title by 10 wickets, with a record 263 balls to spare.
With Sri Lanka being the defending champions of the Asia Cup, and having given India a proper scare in the group stage, the Asia Cup final was expected to be a close contest. As it is, Sri Lanka have the tendency to punch much above their weight in the said competition.
However, it felt as if the universe conspired to put India in pole position. The surface at the R.Premadasa Stadium, Colombo was expected to assist spinners. As a result, both bowling attacks decided to go in spin heavy.
As luck would have it, rain came down after Sri Lanka won the toss and opted to bat to spice up the pitch and make the atmospheric conditions favourable for swing. As a result, the Indian new ball bowling pair of Siraj and Jasprit Bumrah extracted both swing and seam and made life impossible for the home team.
In his enthralling opening spell, Siraj etched his name in the record books by taking five wickets within just 16 balls, including four in one over, with Pathum Nissanka, Charith Asalanka, Sadeera Samarawickrama, and Dhananjaya de Silva falling prey to his exceptional bowling.
At 12 for five within just four overs, the match was already as good as over, even before it could commence properly.
The Player of the match in the final, Siraj became the first Indian bowler to take four wickets in an over and equalled Sri Lanka's Chaminda Vaas for the quickest fifer in ODI history by getting the job done in just 16 balls.
There’s no bigger honour than wearing the India blue and performances like today motivate me to keep working harder. Glad to see the hours of practice and hard work showing results but there is still a long way to go for me. I aim to continue the work and make our country proud!… pic.twitter.com/XdvSNEfW1v— Mohammed Siraj (@mdsirajofficial) September 17, 2023
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