Wanindu Hasaranga brightens Sri Lanka Cricket | Sunday Observer

Wanindu Hasaranga brightens Sri Lanka Cricket

21 November, 2021

Sri Lanka has produced a galaxy of cricket stars for the cricketing world. Wanindu Hasaranga who brightened Sri Lanka Cricket is undoubtedly a gem to the country. Pinnaduwa Wanindu Hasaranga de Silva popularly known as Wanindu Hasaranga is a multifaceted cricketer who has played for the National team. He has devoted his entire life to our cricket team.

First class debut

Born on July 29, 1997 in Galle he had his education at Richmond College, Galle which paved the way for him to be a talented all - rounder. On November 30, 2015 Hasaranga made his list A debut in the AIA Premier limited over tournament. Later, in December 2015 he was named to Sri Lanka’s squad for the 2016 under 19 Cricket World Cup. Significantly, on February 26, 2016 he made his first class debut for the Sri Lanka Ports Authority Cricket Clubs in the 2015-16 Premier League Tournament.

In November, 2017, Hasaranga was named the Most Promising Player in Domestic Cricket for the 2016 -17 season at Sri Lanka Cricket’s annual awards. Hasaranga made his T 20 debut for the Sylhet Sixers in November 2017 in the 2017-18 Bangladesh Premier League. In March 2018, Hasaranga was named in Colombo’s squad for the 2017-18 Super Four Provincial Tournament.

Surprisingly, Hasaranga was named in the Dambulla Squad for the 2018 SLC T 2 League. Hasaranga was the leading run-scorer for the Colombo Cricket Club in the 2018-19 Premier League tournament with 765 runs in nine matches. In March 2019, Hasaranga was selected for Galle ‘ s Squad for the 2019 Super Provincial One Day Tournament. In October last year, he was selected by the Jaffna Stallions for the inaugural edition of the Lanka Premier League. He was named the Player of the Tournament after taking seventeen wickets.

In August 2021, Hasaranga was included in the Royal Challengers Bangalore Squad for the second phase of the 2021 Indian Premier League. Hasaranga made his IPL debut on 20 September 2021 against Kolkata Knight Riders. In November 2021 he was selected to play for the Jaffna Kings following the player’s draft for the 2021 Lankan Premier League. Hasaranga was named to Sri Lanka ‘ s one day international squad for their series against Zimbabwe.

He made his ODI debut for Sri Lanka against Zimbabwe in July 2017. In his debut match, he took the final three Zimbabwe wickets in the innings in three consecutive deliveries becoming the youngest bowler to take a hat-trick in an ODI debut. It is significant to mention that Hasaranga is the third debutant in ODI history to claim a hat-trick after Bangladeshi Taijul Islamand and South African Kagiso Rabada.

He also became the first leg-spinner to take a hat-trick in ODI history. Back In May 2018, Hasaranga was one of 33 cricketers to be awarded a national contract by Sri Lanka Cricket ahead of the 2018–19 season. In August 2019, he was named to Sri Lanka’s T20 International squad for their series against Zealand.

T20I debut

Hasaranga made his T20I debut for Sri Lanka, against New Zealand, on September 1, 2019. In September 2019, Hasaranga was included as the only specialist spinner for the Pakistan series in Pakistan, when many major players withdrew from the team due to security concerns. During the T20I series, he took eight wickets, where Sri Lanka dominated against Pakistan. Sri Lanka won all three matches and whitewashed Pakistan for the first time. It was Sri Lanka’s first ever series win against Pakistan in a T20I bilateral series. Sri Lanka went on to win the final T20I match by 13 runs, winning the series 3–0. It was the first time in a three-match T20I series that Sri Lanka had won 3–0, and the first time that Pakistan had been whitewashed.

Crucial wickets and winning knocks

Due to his match winning all round performance Hasaranga was adjudged as Man of the Match in the third T20I. He was also adjudged Player of the Series. During the ODI series against West Indies in March 2020, Hasaranga showed his all round talent where he took crucial wickets at the right time and scored match winning knocks.

In the first ODI, he scored a match winning unbeaten 42 runs to seal the game for Sri Lanka by one wicket. He also won the Man off the match award. In the second and third ODI, he delivered the most economical spells for Sri Lanka. Sri Lanka won the series 3-0 with Hasaranga winning player of the series award. In December 2020, Hasaranga was named in Sri Lanka’s Test squad for their series against South Africa.[35] He made his Test debut for Sri Lanka, against South Africa, on 26 December 2020.

Hasaranga took four wickets in the match for 171 runs. In the second innings, Hasaranga scored his maiden Test fifty. On 14 March 2021, in the third ODI against the West Indies, Hasaranga scored his maiden ODI half century.

He along with Ashen Bandara put on an unbeaten 123 run seventh wicket stand in the match. After many economical bowling spells in the T20I series against England and India, Hasaranga achieved career-best second rank in the ICC T20I rankings in July 2021. Back in July 2021, during the series against India, Hasaranga took four wickets in the third T20I match. He won the player of the match award and was also named the Player of the Series.

In September 2021, Hasaranga was named in Sri Lanka’s squad for the 2021 ICC Men’s T20 World Cup. On October 30, 2021, in Sri Lanka’s match against South Africa, Hasaranga became the first bowler for Sri Lanka to take a hat-trick in a T20 World Cup match.

Fiftieth wicket in T20I

On November 1, 2021, in the match against England, Hasaranga took his 50th wicket in T20I cricket. As noted by Sri Lanka’s cricket superstar Wanindu Hasaranga, his first T20 World Cup will be one of his most memorable feats in history as he finished the championship with 16 wickets that included the three qualifying round matches.

“Actually, I have taken the most number of wickets this year and I am satisfied with it now. Obviously, it makes me feel good to contribute to the team,” Wanindu said.

Our multi-talented all rounder Wanindu Hasaranga is a player who has to be treasured, said Dasun Shanaka.

“Wanindu is a gem to Sri Lanka Cricket. There is a lot of cricket to be played and we have to protect him as well. After Muttiah Muralidaran and Rangana Herath, Hasaranga is the match winning spinner in the Sri Lanka team,” Shanaka said.

Wanindu Hasaranga’s elder brother Chaturanga de Silva who had excelled for NCC is also a talented cricketer. He has come up with a fine all - round performance to give NCC a comfortable six - wicket win over Kalutara TC in a major limited overs match played at the NCC grounds. All in all, it is evident that there will dawn a vibrant era in Sri Lanka Cricket.