‘Miyan Magic’: Siraj’s devastating spell in Asia Cup final explained

NEW DELHI: India pacer Mohammed Siraj, who is known as Miyan Magic among his peers, produced one of the most devastating bowling spells in an ODI final on Sunday as he helped his team bundled out hosts Sri Lanka for just 50 at R Premadasa Stadium in Colombo. India then chased down the target in just 6.1 overs to register an emphatic 10-wicket victory to lift the Asia Cup trophy.
Siraj was simply outstanding, utilising the overcast conditions to his advantage effectively. He got huge movement off the pitch and was unplayable for the Lankans batters. He used the crease effectively to make the ball swing and seam to his tune and left the Sri Lankan batters with no answers.
Siraj deservedly stole the limelight with his stunning opening spell, when he took four wickets in one over and left Sri Lanka in total disarray.
Here’s how the lanky pacer caused one of the most chaotic batting collapse in recent history:
Siraj started his spell with a maiden over, bowling outside off and swinging away from the batter. He almost got a wicket in it, beating Kusal Mendis’s outside edge thrice. It was only a prelude to what was in store. Siraj used the crease effectively to keep the batters on toes. He bowled the same style of deliveries, using both close to the wicket and wide of the crease regularly to confuse the batters.
First wicket: Pathum Nissanka
After bowling six outswingers in his first over, Siraj started his second over with a length ball which nipped inwards, forcing Nissanka to play it. The batter punched it while opening the face of the bat slightly. But failed to get past Ravindra Jadeja, who took a stunning low catch, diving to his right from backward point.
Second wicket: Sadeera Samarawickrama
Another inswinger two balls later in the over gave Siraj his second wicket. Siraj pitched a fuller delivery which skidded and nipped into the batter sharply like an off cutter. Samarawickrama was late on his shot and played the wrong line. The ball struck at the knee roll on the front pad in front of middle and leg and Sri Lanka lost both review and the batter. The ball-tracking showed it would have gone on to hit the top of the leg stump.


(AFP Photo)
Third wicket: Charith Asalanka
In the very next delivery, Siraj again bowled a fuller delivery around off stump to Asalanka. The ball stopped a bit after pitching and the batter went a bit early on his drive and chipped it straight to Ishan Kishan at covers. Three wickets in four balls for Siraj and he was on a hat-trick.
Fourth wicket: Dhananjaya de Silva
De Silva hit the hat-trick ball to boundary for a four, but played an away delivery in the next delivery to make a long walk back to the pavilion. It was a soft dismissal, Siraj bowled a fuller outswing delivery which de Silva could have left alone. But the batter poked on it and the ball catched a faint edge while going into the gloves of the wicket-keeper KL Rahul behind the stumps. Four wickets in the over for Siraj.

cricket match

Fifth wicket: Dasun Shanaka
Siraj completed his five-wicket haul by uprooting the off stump of Sri Lanka skipper Shanaka in his third and team’s sixth over. After setting up with full and wide deliveries, Siraj bowled a fuller outswing delivery at middle stump line. Shanaka was beaten by the movement and the ball hit the off stump to give Siraj his fifer in just 16 balls, the joint fastest ODI fifer equaling Sri Lanka great Chaminda Vaas’ record.
Sixth wicket: Kusal Mendis
Siraj came up with a fast inswinger to dislodged the stumps of Mendis in the 12th over and grabbed his sixth wicket of the match. Medis went for a big drive after seeing a delivery pitch outside off stump, but the ball went through the gate and crashed into his stumps after a faint inside edge. Siraj returned a career-best figures of 6 for 21 in 7 overs as Sri Lanka were bundled out for a record low score of 50 in 15.2 overs.

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