In the high-stakes Asia Cup 2023 final against Sri Lanka, Mohammed Siraj delivered a breathtaking display of fast bowling that paved the way for India‘s dominant 10-wicket victory. Tasked with taking wickets upfront after Men in Blue were asked to bowl first, the right-arm quick immediately left a lasting impact on the game.
Destructive second over
After opening the bowling with a maiden over, Siraj unleashed a devastating spell in his second over. During this extraordinary over, he achieved a remarkable feat by dismissing four key Sri Lankan batters in quick succession. This staggering performance reduced the Sri Lankan batting lineup to a precarious 12/5, significantly denting their hopes of posting a competitive total.
Exceptional bowling figures
Siraj’s fierce and relentless bowling continued throughout the innings. By the end of his spell, he had scalped a total of six wickets for just 21 runs in seven overs. This exceptional performance not only dismantled the Sri Lankan team but also etched Siraj’s name in the annals of cricket history as the fourth bowler in ODI history to achieve the remarkable feat of taking four wickets in a single over.
A heartwarming gesture
Beyond his exceptional bowling, the Hyderabad-born cricketer won hearts with a heartfelt gesture following the Asia Cup 2023 final. Despite his remarkable performance, he chose to selflessly donate his Player-of-the-Match cash prize, amounting to US $5000, to the dedicated Colombo ground staff. His gracious act was a touching acknowledgment of the groundsmen’s relentless efforts, particularly in managing persistent rain throughout the Sri Lanka leg of the tournament.
Here’s the video:
— Awanish Sharan 🇮🇳 (@AwanishSharan) September 17, 2023
Asian Cricket Council recognizes groundsmen’s dedication
In addition to Siraj’s gesture, the Asian Cricket Council (ACC) also honoured the diligent ground staff. The ACC announced a separate cash prize of $50,000 for the Lankan groundsmen as a token of appreciation for their unwavering commitment to maintaining the playing conditions during challenging weather. The groundsmen’s proactive approach played a vital role in ensuring that most games in the tournament were successfully completed despite the frequent rain interruptions.
Ground staff’s resilience amidst rain
Throughout the Asia Cup 2023, the ground staff demonstrated remarkable resilience and dedication. Despite persistent rain, the groundsmen were proactive in minimizing disruptions and ensuring the smooth progress of fixtures. Their efforts allowed the tournament to proceed smoothly, with only the group-stage encounter between India and Pakistan ending without a result, highlighting the crucial role played by the ground staff in the competition’s success.