T20 cricket is not often known as the best platform for pace bowlers, but Sunrisers Hyderabad pacer Mohammed Siraj rose to the occasion on Saturday afternoon as he guided SRH into the playoffs with a spell of 4/32 in his 4 overs. And the wickets he took included Ishan Kishan, Suresh Raina, James Faulkner and Pradeep Sangwan.
Starting off pretty expensively, Siraj gave away 9 and 13 off his first two over, the pacer came back strongly as he started the collapse. With Gujarat going strong at 120/1 and looking to run away with the game, Siraj bowled a full off-cutter that Kishan (61) top-edged to Naman Ojha in the 13th over. Kishan looked to hit that across the line and perished.
But Siraj wasn’t done yet as he then dismissed skipper Suresh Raina (2) with an off-cutter. Trying to go for the pull, Raina hit him straight to Shikhar Dhawan at the boundary. The score read 120/3.
Siraj came back again in the 17th over to dismiss Faulkner (8) with one that was full and not meant to be swung away. But Faulkner tried to go for the big hit and was bowled. The next one was another beauty as Siraj bowled it dead straight and Sangwan (0) tried his best to swing at it. The stumps were shattered.
And the joy was visible on Siraj’s face as he thanked the almighty for handing him the Man of the Match award in the crucial encounter. “In a pressure match, I got the Man of the Match. Wicket was slow, that's why had to take pace off the ball. Bhuvi bhai tells me what to bowl,” he said.