It is happy Mohammed Siraj day! Amid all the talk around the weather, the rain causing an early interruption, India’s five-year long trophyless run in multi-nation events, and spin likely to dominate the proceedings in the Asia Cup final in Colombo, Siraj came in as an unlikely surprise both for India and Sri Lanka as he picked up a six-wicket haul in just 16 balls to leave the hosts in sheer tatters. Four of those came in one single over where he even stood on the verge of picking up a hat-trick before the all-important delivery turned into a moment of absolute laughter for the Indian team. (India vs Sri Lanka Live Score, Asia Cup 2023 Final)
It happened in the fourth over of the innings after Sri Lanka opted to bat first at the R Premadasa Stadium. Siraj began the over with the dismissal of Pathum Nissanka, courtesy of a stellar catch from Ravindra Jadeja at backward point. A delivery later he took down Sadeera Samarawickrama, who was one of the heroes in Sri Lanka’s win against Pakistan earlier this week, with a fuller delivery that struck his pad in line with middle stump. The right-arm pacer then picked up a third with the dismissal of Charith Asalanka for a golden duck and hence was on a hat-trick.
Siraj stood on the verge of being a fifth Indian bowler to pick up a hat-trick in the ODIs, joining the likes of the legendary Kapil Dev and his teammates in Kuldeep Yadav, only ever to achieve it twice, and Mohammed Shami. But while the golden feat was denied, his teammates were left in splits at the end of that delivery.
India captain Rohit Sharma overloaded the slip cordon to give Siraj every opportunity at the feat. But with no fielders in the front of square, new batter Dhananjaya de Silva pushed the fuller one through the vacant mid-on region. Two fielders on the either side immediately took off and so did Siraj as the bowler ran all the way towards the boundary only in vain.
The mere sight of Siraj running towards the boundary left Virat Kohli bursting into an uncontrollable laughter while Shubman Gill and Hardik Pandya were left in splits. Commentators Wasim Akram and Ravi Shastri also saw the funny side to it as Siraj sheepishly smiled on.
Watch the video here…
Siraj later ended that over with the dismissal of Dhananjaya, hence becoming the first Indian bowler ever to pick four wickets in a single over in ODIs. The RCB star also completed a five-wicket haul in just 16 balls before picking up his sixth wicket in the 12th over as he single-handedly sent Sri Lanka seven down for 34. Jasprit Bumrah picked up the other wicket.