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Thisara Perera’s top 3 performances in ODI cricket

Fast bowling all-rounders have been a rare breed in cricket since the beginning given the toll it takes on your body to perform both roles well on the international stage. But if you are one and a good one then your names are among the first on the team sheet in international cricket.  

The subcontinent is not known to produce many fast-bowling all-rounders but among some Sri Lanka’s Thisara Perera has been one who has produced some match-winning performances for his country. Born on 2nd April 1989, Thisara Perera made his debut for Sri Lanka in ODIs in the year 2009 against India in Kolkata.  

Thisara Perera featured in 166 ODIs for Sri Lanka and scored 2,338 runs in the 133 innings he played at an astonishing strike rate of 112.08 which is the fourth highest of all-time of the batters who have scored at least 2,000 runs. He is well known for changing the course of the match on its head with his fierce hitting in the lower middle order. 

On the bowling front, Thisara Perera was known for his hit-the-deck bowling. He took 175 wickets in 157 innings at an average of 32.8 and an economy rate of below 6. In this article, we will highlight the top 3 performances of his career in the ODI format: 

3. 6-wicket haul and 24*off 14 vs Pakistan- 2012 

Thisara Perera’s top 3 performances in ODI cricket
vs Pakistan 2012

Thisara Perera was known for his quick cameos with the bat at the death overs which gave Sri Lanka overall the impetus it needed and used to take crucial wickets with the ball which is what he exactly did in the 2nd ODI vs Pakistan in Pallekelle.  

Thisara Perera came in the 46th over after a set Jayawardene got out and from thereon took the attack onto the Pakistan bowlers. He smashed the likes of Sohail Tanvir, Saeed Ajmal, and Umar Gul for two boundaries and two sixes and ended up at an unbeaten 24 off just 14 balls taking the Sri Lankan score to 280 runs in 50 overs.  

Although, it was just the teaser and the main action from Perera was seen on the bowling front where he dismantled the Pakistan batting line-up with the bowling figures of 6-44. He took a six-wicket haul and wrote the obituary of the Pakistan batting line-up with his sensational bowling performance. 

2. 140 off 74 balls vs New Zealand – 2019 

Thisara Perera’s top 3 performances in ODI cricket
vs New Zealand 2019

It didn’t happen much when Perera used to get many deliveries to reach a century but when it happened once against New Zealand at Mount Maunganui, Perera grabbed the opportunity with both hands a memorable innings of 140 off just 74 balls. While he didn’t have a good outing with the bowl, he compensated for it with his bat and long levers. 

While chasing a stiff target of 320 runs, Sri Lanka were on the cusp of a humiliating defeat with 121 for 5. Then Perera took matters into his own hands and went hammer and tonks with the bat while wickets kept falling from the other end. He made full use of a good wicket and short boundaries and brought his half-century in just 28 balls and converted it into a century off just 57 balls which was the third-fastest for Sri Lanka.  

However, it wasn’t meant to be for Sri Lanka and Thisara Perera got out as the last wicket at the long-on boundary with 20 runs short of the target. But it was indeed a memorable innings from the all-rounder in a losing cause. 

1. 69*off 44 balls and 2 for 34 vs South Africa- 2012 

Thisara Perera’s top 3 performances in ODI cricket
vs South Africa 2012

While the last match was a heartbreak for Thisara Perera, this match against South Africa was one of his best shows in ODI cricket that ended up in a winning cause. South Africa was going strong with 242-3 in the 39th over with the likes of AB de Villiers and JP Duminy batting well set. 

South Africa was looking well on course for a big total until Thisara Perera dented their prospects by picking the big wickets of Duminy and AB de Villiers in quick succession. Perera with his precise line and length made Duminy edge the ball to the wicketkeeper and then bowled a well-disguised slower ball to AB de Villiers to clean him up at 96. Perera with the bowl in hand stopped the Proteas from exploding at the end as they ended up with 299 runs after 50 overs. 

But it was only half the job done as Sri Lanka was languishing at 194-4 while chasing 300 runs and needed Perera to take them home. He didn’t disappoint his country as he blasted 69 not out off just 44 balls to take Sri Lanka home. It was one of the most memorable performances of Perera with both bat and ball in a winning cause.


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