Pathum Nissanka fell first ball of that fourth over, driving an outswinger to Ravindra Jadeja at point. Two balls later, Sadeera Samarawickrama went, trapped in front to one that moved in after pitching outside off stump. Next ball, Charith Asalanka chipped a full ball around off stump to Ishan Kishan at cover. And though he denied Siraj the hat-trick, Dhananjaya de Silva was caught behind nicking the channel delivery off the last ball of the over.
Dasun Shanaka and Kusal Mendis were then both bowled by Siraj in his third and sixth overs respectively.
What did it for Siraj, looking at it from the outside, was the swing. Primarily away from the right-hand batters. And pace, of course. In overcast conditions.
“My only thing when I play white-ball cricket is that I would try to swing the new ball at the start. But here, there wasn’t a lot of swing on offer in the initial matches. Today it swung, so I tried to make the batsman play as much as possible,” he said. “It’s nice when it catches the edge. I have not picked up a lot of wickets with my outswing – today I got a lot of wickets with my outswing, so that felt very good.”
And a Test-match-ish length…
“Exactly, I was getting so much swing that I tried to make the batsmen drive, drag them forward and get their wickets,” he said. “That was the plan. I didn’t run after wickets, but the conditions did a lot of work for me. If you keep hitting the wickets with one line, you will keep getting wickets.”