Akhtar’s king-sized reaction as Siraj destroys Sri Lanka in Asia Cup final | Cricket

Mohammed Siraj delivered an exceptional performance in the all-important Asia Cup final on Sunday evening, registering an incredible 6/21 figures in seven overs as Sri Lanka were bowled out for merely 50 in 15.4 overs in Colombo. Siraj decimated the Sri Lankan batting order under overcast conditions after Dasun Shanaka, the home side’s captain, opted to bat; while Jasprit Bumrah picked the opening wicket in the innings, Siraj took four in his second over, dismissing Pathum Nissanka, Sadeera Samarawickrama, Charith Asalanka, and Dhananjaya de Silva.

Mohammed Siraj (R) celebrates after taking the wicket of Sri Lanka's captain Dasun Shanaka (AFP)
Mohammed Siraj (R) celebrates after taking the wicket of Sri Lanka’s captain Dasun Shanaka (AFP)

While Siraj became the first Indian to take four wickets in an over in the fifty-over format, he barely stopped; he equalled Sri Lanka legend Chaminda Vaas’ world record for fastest five-wicket haul, reaching the milestone in just 2.4 overs. He added another wicket to his name later in the innings when he dismissed Kusal Mendis for 17.

Following his destructive spell in the title clash of the 2023 tournament, former Pakistan speedster Shoaib Akhtar – also known for his lethal pace and game-changing spells during his prime – had a brilliant four-word post. Taking to his official X account, Akhtar wrote, “That’s destruction & annihilation.”

It was annihilation, indeed, for the Sri Lankan batters, as only two players in the entire batting order could cross double figures in the game in Colombo.

The insane 4th over

Siraj unleashed his destructive spell during the fourth over, with deliveries 3.1, 3.3, 3.4, and 3.6 reaping successes. Nissanka’s attempt to place the ball around Ravindra Jadeja at point went amiss, leading to a brilliant tumbling catch by the fielder.

Samarawickrama found himself in trouble against a delivery that moved slightly after pitching on a length. The umpire quickly upheld Siraj’s leg-before-wicket appeal without hesitation.

In the very next ball, Asalanka, a left-handed batsman, made a shot with minimal footwork against a fuller delivery from Siraj. Unfortunately for him, the uppish shot ended up in the hands of Ishan Kishan at the covers.

De Silva managed to avoid a hat-trick but could only last for one more delivery. His attempt to push the ball away from his body resulted in an easy catch by Rahul behind the stumps.

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