Mostly in news for dishing out expensive overs, Mohammed Siraj turned over a new leaf on Wednesday. The Royal Challengers Bangalore fast bowler wrecked Kolkata Knight Riders with his splendid figures of 3/8 in four overs. The three wickets he picked up along with the two maidens bowled allowed Siraj to enter the record books as he became the only bowler in history of IPL to record two maidens in the same match.
Opening the bowling, Siraj struck down upon KKR batsmen with pace and accuracy reducing them to 14/4, picking the wickets of Rahul Tripathi, Nitish Rana and Tom Banton in three overs. RCB captain Virat Kohli’s stroke of genius of making Siraj open the bowling worked wonders as KKR were restricted to just 84/8 in their 20 overs. RCB eventually chased down the target inside 14 overs, which provided a massive boost to their net run-rate.
However, it turns out that Siraj was initially not Kohli’s option of opening the innings. In fact, Kohli was inclined towards handing the new ball to off-spinner Washington Sundar, but opted for Siraj at the very last moment.
“I was thinking Washy for the new ball. It was a good toss to lose because we would have batted first. The plan was to bowl Washy and Morry, but then we thought let’s go Morris and Siraj. The management has set in a culture where there is proper planning. It is not random. We have a Plan A, we have a Plan B, we have a Plan C. We are here to execute the plans we have in place. We did a few things at the auction too, which is paying off,” Kohli said after the match.
“You can have all the plans, but you have to have belief. Morry is living the responsibility. He is the guy who likes to take the leadership role. His energy is amazing. He can contribute with the bat ball and in the field. Last year Siraj had a tough year and a lot of people went hard at him. This year he has worked hard and was bowling well in the nets. He has seen the results now but we want him to keep following the process.”
RCB’s incredible eight-wicket win helped them leapfrog Mumbai Indians to take the second position in the points table and further strengthen their chances of making it to the playoffs.