Lanky Liyanage the role model for ‘change’ | Sunday Observer
Becomes the first schoolboy to bag a hat-trick this season after switching from spin to pace:

Lanky Liyanage the role model for ‘change’

Pic: Anuradha Bandara (Quadrangular Mag)
Pic: Anuradha Bandara (Quadrangular Mag)

Vinuda Liyanage, particularly, after switching from spin to speed has pulled off fairly impressive strides of earning a maiden hat-trick last week against St. Benedict’s College.

Liyanage, currently a leading member of the cricket team of St. Peter’s College, flashed and featured in the news rounds for his maiden hat-trick and finishing that encounter on a high note.

“This is my first ever hat-trick,” he said of his three-in-three.

What prompted him to take up fast-bowling, he disclosed, was that a fellow paceman had sustained an injury and hence the situation demanded that the lanky Liyanage stand up to the occasion at the insisting of his coach Roger Wijesuriya who eventually aroused him.

Though he swapped from spin to speed his confidence remains undiminished. In response to whether as a slow-bowler or a fast bowler the challenge is daunting for a hat-trick, he said it is for the latter.

“I was not vastly experienced. It was the first time I took to pace because all the while I was a spinner,” he explained.

“I was a spinner till Under-17. Even in past seasons I bowled only spin. It’s only from this season that I switched to pace because my coach instructed me to,” he revealed what took place behind-the-scenes.

Liyanage, 17 and playing in his second-year did admit he likes to send down the deliveries as a fast bowler.

“I didn’t possess much exposure in being a quick,” he said. “I was instructed by the captain to stick to line and length and didn’t overthink.

“I mostly target to bowl line and length and was able to dismiss the top-order batsmen in the Bens team.”

He credits Wijesuriya and assistant coach Krishantha Peiris for helping him make a clean and smooth transition from spin to pace.

But Liyanage is so modest that he prefers to take one step at a time. “The big match is around the corner. We are gearing well for that and I need to don my school colours for the big match and contribute to the team,” he said of his biggest goal as a school cricketer.

The Peterites last won a Joe-Pete big match in 2011 and Liyanage said they are warming up well for the occasion with what he said was a well-balanced team.

In the first match of the season Liyanage picked up just two scalps against St. Sebastian’s College in the first innings and concluded the match with three victims. But the Peterites won the match outright and Liyanage could not have asked for a better motivation.

The results had convinced him to stick to fast bowling that provided the platform for a third seamer.

As any other budding schoolboy cricketer, his dream and desire is no different.

“After I leave school next year my aim is to get into a club and the final destination is to represent Sri Lanka,” he said.