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Top 3 bowling performances of Nuwan Zoysa in ODIs

Top 3 bowling performances of Nuwan Zoysa in ODIs

Former Sri Lanka pacer Nuwan Zoysa is celebrating his 46th birthday on 13 May 2024. The tall left-arm pacer has represented Sri Lanka in 30 Tests and 95 ODIs. His decade-long career was marred by injuries and inconsistencies, but he remains one of the leading figures in Lankan fast-bowling history. 

Zoysa has grabbed over 100 wickets for the Lions, the ninth to have achieved this milestone. He is also an aggressive lower middle-order batter. The peak of his international career came in the 2024 season when he bossed the game with fearsome pace and swing alongside the great Chaminda Vaas. As the Colombo cricketer celebrates his special day, let’s take a look at three of his best bowling performances in the 50-over format.

Here are the top 3 bowling performances of Nuwan Zoysa in ODIs

3. 4/34 vs Pak, Galle, 2000

In the first ODI of Singer Triangular Series at Galle in 2020, Sri Lanka won the toss and invited Pakistan to bat first. Nuwan Zoysa and Chaminda Vaas tore apart Pakistan’s top order as they were eventually restricted to 164/8 in 45 overs. 

Zoysa finished with impressive figures of 4/34 in nine overs, including two maiden overs. In reply, the Sri Lankan batters chased down the target in 37.3 overs with five wickets in hand. Zoysa was adjudged Player of the Match for his stellar performance with the ball.

2. 4/28 vs NZ, Wellington, 2001

Opting to bat first, New Zealand were restricted to 205/8 in the second ODI in Wellington in 2001. This time Zoysa and Kumar Dharmasena destroyed the Kiwi top order. The left-arm pacer picked up four wickets in his nine overs, including two maiden overs, at an economy of just 3.11. 

The home team fought hard till the end but Sri Lankan tail end held their nerves to win the game by three wickets with just three balls remaining. Notably, Zoysa remained unbeaten on 9 off 5 balls. Russell Arnold was named Player of the match for his match-wining knock of 78* off 90 balls.

1. 5/26 vs SA, Colombo, 2004

Nuwan Zoysa played a key role in Sri Lanka’s 37-run victory in the second ODI of the South Africa tour of Sri Lanka in 2004. The home team had to defend a total of 214 against the Proteas and Zoysa produced his career-best performance. He took five wickets in the match and interestingly, all of them were top order batters.  

The left-arm pacer finished with figures of 5/26 in his eight overs at an economy of just 3.25. He was also adjudged Player of the Match. Earlier, Kumar Sangakkara and Upul Chandana helped Sri Lanka post a competitive total of 213. 


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