Mohammed Siraj became only the second bowler to take a six-fer in a men’s ODI Asia Cup final after Ajantha Mendis, picking 6-21 in a deadly spell of bowling as India shot out Sri Lanka for just 50 in the title clash at the R. Premadasa Stadium on Sunday.
After play resumed at 3:40 pm, following a rain delay, Siraj got massive help from movement off the pitch, making the ball talk both ways and leaving Sri Lanka batters bamboozled as he picked a magnificent career-best 6-21 in seven overs, including four scalps coming in his second over of the game.
Apart from Siraj blowing away Sri Lankan batters and becoming the first Indian bowler to take four wickets in as many balls, Hardik Pandya took three wickets and Jasprit Bumrah had a lone scalp to his name as the Indian fast-bowlers took all ten wickets in bowling out Sri Lanka for their second-lowest ODI total ever and their lowest score ever against India.
Bumrah gave India a dream start by enticing Kusal Perera to chase a wide, away swinging delivery and the left-handed batter nicked behind to wicketkeeper K.L Rahul moving to his left. Siraj’s first over saw him bowl six outswingers and beat the batters four times.
On the first ball of his second over, Siraj bowled an outswinger yet again and Pathum Nissanka could drive only to backward point, where Ravindra Jadeja moved to his right to complete the catch. A dot ball later, Siraj trapped Sadeera Samawickrama lbw with a sharp nip-backer beating the inside edge and striking the batter in front of stumps.
On the very next ball, Charith Asalanka chipped the first ball he faced straight to cover-point. Dhananjaya de Silva survived the hat-trick ball by punching Siraj past mid-on for four. But Siraj had the last laugh as de Silva pushed at an outswinger, giving a faint edge behind to take a catch.
Siraj grabbed his five-wicket haul in 16 balls by getting late movement at a fuller delivery to swing past Dasun Shanaka’s outside edge and sent the off-stump on a cartwheel ride.
Seeing the carnage from the other end, Kusal Mendis tried to get Sri Lanka’s innings back on track from 12/6 by taking two boundaries square of the off-side against Bumrah.
But Siraj grabbed his sixth wicket by getting one to nip back in from outside off and castle Mendis through the gate, to grab the best figures by a fast-bowler in the men’s ODI Asia Cup.
Pandya joined the wicket-takers list by bouncing out Dunith Wellalage, giving Rahul a simple catch on the top edge. He took out the remaining two wickets to end Sri Lanka’s innings at 50 in 92 legal balls.
Sri Lanka 50 all out in 15.2 overs (Kusal Mendis 17; Mohammed Siraj 6-21, Hardik Pandya 3-3) against India