Cricket witnessed an extraordinary and historic moment in the Asia Cup Finals of 2023 when India’s fast bowler, Mohammed Siraj, etched his name in the annals of the sport’s history. In a remarkable display of pace and precision, Siraj became the first Indian bowler to achieve the extraordinary feat of taking four wickets in a single over. His stellar performance left both fans and experts alike in awe as they witnessed a moment that will be etched in cricketing lore for generations to come.
The spectacle began with Siraj steaming in to bowl to Sri Lankan opener Pathum Nissanka. The pressure was palpable as the tension in the stadium soared. Siraj delivered a well-pitched length ball that nipped inwards sharply, tempting Nissanka to go after it. Nissanka, unable to resist the temptation, punched at the ball and slightly opened the face of his bat in an attempt to guide it behind square. But the man stationed at backward point, Ravindra Jadeja, displayed exceptional reflexes, flinging himself to his right and taking a regulation catch that left everyone in awe. Nissanka departed with just two runs to his name.
After a dot delivery, Siraj turned his attention to Sadeera Samarawickrama, who had been in sensational form leading up to the final. Siraj bowled a superb inswinger, pitching it a bit fuller, and extracting sharp movement off the seam, almost like an off-cutter. Samarawickrama, however, found himself late on his shot and played the wrong line. The ball struck him right in front of the middle stump, and the ball-tracking technology confirmed that it would have gone on to hit the top of the leg stump. The in-form Samarawickrama was sent packing without adding a run to his name.
As the stadium buzzed with excitement, Siraj wasn’t done yet. He turned his attention to Charith Asalanka, who had been the hero for Sri Lanka in their match against Pakistan. This time, Siraj bowled a full delivery outside off, and the ball seemed to hold up slightly as it reached Asalanka. The batter, early into his drive, managed to chip it straight to Ishan Kishan at covers. Asalanka, the hero against Pakistan, was out without scoring, leaving the Sri Lankan camp in disarray.
With three wickets in the over, Siraj had already achieved an extraordinary feat, but there was more to come. In a dramatic turn of events, Siraj’s last delivery of the over was directed at Dhananjaya de Silva. This time, it was a wide outswinger, and Dhananjaya, for reasons only he could explain, pushed at the ball instead of letting it pass. The result was a faint edge off his bat, and KL Rahul, India’s wicketkeeper, did the rest, taking a sharp catch to complete a historic four-wicket haul in a single over.
Siraj’s extraordinary achievement sent shockwaves through the cricketing world. Four wickets in an over is a rarity in One Day Internationals (ODIs), and Siraj had accomplished it on one of the sport’s grandest stages. The sheer skill, precision, and intensity displayed by Siraj in that over was a testament to his immense talent and the unpredictable nature of cricket.