Submitted by Amith Chakrapani on Mon, 09/18/2023 - 10:51

Mohammed Siraj razes through Sri Lanka as India lift their 8th Asia Cup crown

18 Sep, 2023
Mohammed Siraj razes through Sri Lanka as India lift their 8th Asia Cup crown
18 Sep, 2023 By Editor

Talk about madness, talk about chaos, talk about decimation, talk about extermination and talk about glory, R Premadasa Stadium turned into a boiling cauldron of all possible emotions that course through the veins of a cricketer, of a cricketing fan and the wizened cricketing experts. India chronicled a historic win at Colombo as they lifted their eighth Asia Cup crown while Mohammed Siraj manifested into a hero  from a different dimension.

Winning the toss, Sri Lanka wanted to bat first after a rain-soaked start. Things horribly went downtown from the very onset for the hosts as Jasprit Bumrah drew first blood with an outswinger that caught a whiff off Kusal Perera’s edge and went flying into the hands of KL Rahul.

It took India a couple of overs and a boundary to realize that they are in no mood to stand down to the pretenders of the throne in the continent as Mohammed Siraj tasted blood for the first time on the day. It was the prized scalp of Pathum Nissanka with the latter miscuing his push as the ball flew into the safe hands of Ravindra Jadeja.

Well, Siraj was just warming up while India eyed further rampage. A couple of balls later Sadeera Samarawickrama was on his way back to the hut after his pads were caught plumb in front of the timbre in the face of another lethal inswinger from Miyan.

The very next ball proved to be the end for Sri Lanka’s most prolific batter in recent times, Charith Asalanka as the Indian quick forced him to drive on the up with Ishan Kishan grabbing a sitter. Despite missing out the hattrick, RCB’s pace spearhead was primed to spit fire again as the next one to topple for the Lankans was Dhananjaya de Silva with Rahul clinching an absolute ripper.

Siraj did allow Sri Lanka some breathing space before he could return with another volley of death-balls at the hosts. Back for his third over, Siraj knocked back the off-stump of the Lankan skipper Dasun Shanaka with an absolute pearler.

Kusal Mendis and Dunith Wellalage did try and forge a stand of resilience, only for Siraj to strike again.  

Angling his ball in to Mendis after pitching it outside that off-pole, Siraj skittled through his defences as the former’s timber was in absolute shambles while the handful of Indian congregation at the stadium exploded into an unprecedented frenzy.

As India left Sri Lanka gasping for breath, barely letting them off the hook, up next was the opportunity for the Indian vice-captain, Hardik Pandya to showcase his bowling flair for the day. Steaming in from the over the wicket, Pandya banged a ruthless bumper at the young Wellalage with the ball flying into the safe hands of Rahul after nicking off the former’s glove.

It was all turning out way too easy for the Indians and to iron out any further bumps along the way, Hardik dealt a double whammy in quick succession as he clinched the scalps of Pramod Madushan and Matheesha Pathirana to finish with figures of 2.2-0-3-3. India razed Sri Lanka to dust as they were bowled out for just 50 on the board.

Ishan Kishan and Shubman Gill rained fire upon their Lankan counterparts as they simply blasted their way through Sri Lanka’s dazed attack as the latter were still reeling in the disastrous shock of being blown away completely.

India chased down the total with more than 43 overs to spare while they didn’t lose a single wicket, dissuading the world of the notion that there were any demons in the surfaces at all which could have troubled the batters, more importantly underlining Siraj’s brilliance with the ball in bold letters.