HomeCricket News, Latest Cricket Updates, Breaking Cricket NewsCharged Bumrah and Siraj confidently handle the dormant Sri Lanka

Charged Bumrah and Siraj confidently handle the dormant Sri Lanka

In the final match of the 2023 Asia Cup in cricket, the Indian team comfortably defeated Sri Lanka. And although most bookmakers, including Pinup bet, considered India the favorite of the match, no one thought it would be so easy.

In the fifth ball of his second over, Mohammed Siraj is racing across the field. He dashes from the field, chasing one of the few successful hits made by a Sri Lankan batter. Dananjaya de Silva simply processes a full ball in the middle of the frame without a big backlift, so this hit has limited power. Under normal circumstances, it would be justified by a fielder in the middle, and it wouldn’t bring more than one run at best.

However, these are not ordinary circumstances. There’s no middle here. Instead, there are four slips, one leg, only one outfielder on the side, and an Indian duo that seems to charge and send 50,000 volts with each ball.

They have already disabled Sri Lanka’s top order. On the second ball of the match, Jasprit Bumrah released a full ball beyond the off-stump, breaking away from Kusal Perera, and then played another ball, which also departed, but was longer, and this time Perera again sent the ball to the wicketkeeper. It’s classic new ball bowling, looking for an edge, but its execution is perfect.

And it continues to be impeccable. Throughout the first three overs, Bumrah looks like a bigger threat, with his flexible action and full deliveries, wildly moving outside the off. But the next over by Siraj defines the match – perhaps the entire tournament. He throws captivating late outsides, and with a pronounced seam position change, he sends a random delivery to the gates. He ruthlessly determines his line, length, and intensity.

The four edges have the following features:

  • The batter hits the full ball but doesn’t account for the swing, sending the ball in the air to a point (Pathum Nissanka).
  • Two balls later, hits in front of the middle stump as he looks for an outswing, but gets a straighter one (Sadira Samarawickrama).
  • Another hits by pushing a full ball and sending the ball in the air to a point (Charith Asalanka).
  • The batter strikes an outswinger in the channel after following it with his hands (Dhananjaya de Silva).

In the midst of this, Siraj runs along his follow-through, like a V8 on a bend, chasing de Silva’s check drive. Ishan Kishan, who had just picked up the previous ball, also chases after it. But Siraj doesn’t slow down in the slightest. He sprints to the boundary.

It was the 11th ball that Siraj had bowled. He had already taken three wickets. The rest were dots. With the score at 8 for 4, Sri Lanka’s innings was likely irreparably damaged. But Siraj seemed to speed up after that free ball, as if he was even keen to keep their score in double digits.

Virat Kohli is chuckling at the slips, partly out of amusement and partly due to the absurdity of what’s unfolding. The Indian pacers aren’t laughing. They’re too engrossed in their intensity.

Many overs later, when Siraj delivered the sixth in a row, Kusal Mendis aimed for another big outswinger and missed. Siraj approaches Mendis and fixes him with a look. The next ball, he gets a similar delivery to hold its line. It knocks Mendis’s middle stump off its spot.

Siraj has six wickets for seven runs now. Sri Lanka at 33 for 7, any hopes of a comeback or a fightback have long perished.

That Sri Lanka played too many shots, oscillated with their approach, lacked the patience for bowling of this quality – it’s all true. Overall, they played like a team whose batteries had been drained from the exertion of qualifying. India, who had to play in four of the previous seven nights, even beating two different teams over three nights on vastly different pitches, was the opposite. Siraj and Bumrah came with immense intensity.

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