Sri Lanka and Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) pacer Dushmantha Chameera is reputed for his pace, control and round-arm action. He also boasts an excellent yorker and an effective slower ball in his arsenal. With 31 wickets in as many T20Is at an economy rate of 7.76 and an average of 17.26, Chameera is fifth on the list of highest wicket-taking pacers for Sri Lanka in the shortest format.
The right-arm fast bowler made his T20I debut against West Indies at Pallekele in 2015. He didn't have the best of starts, returning with figures of 1/30 in three overs. However, Chameera picked up the wicket of Andre Fletcher.
Indian Premier League (IPL) outfit Rajasthan Royals (RR) signed Chameera for ₹50 lakh in 2018, but he never featured for them. Three years later, he was signed by the RCB as a replacement for Kane Richardson for the second leg of the IPL 2021 season, which will soon start in the UAE.
Chameera, who also played for the Colombo Kings in the 2020 Lanka Premier League, has elevated his T20I performances this year. He has 15 wickets to his name in 11 matches at an economy rate of less than 6.5.
On that note, let's take a look at his top three T20I bowling performances this year.
#1 4/17 vs England in Southampton
After losing the first two games, Sri Lanka won the toss and elected to field first in the final T20I in Southampton. England openers Jonny Bairstow and Dawid Malan added 105 runs in just 11.4 overs, with the hosts looking set to cross the 200-run mark.
However, Dushmantha Chameera then put up an excellent display of death bowling versus the no.1-ranked T20I team. He got the wickets of Malan, Eoin Morgan, Sam Billings and Moeen Ali, giving away just six runs in two overs at the death. Chameera mixed up his fast yorkers with slower balls extremely well, deceiving the batsmen in the process.
England ultimately put 180/6 on the board. In response, Sri Lanka were skittled out for just 91. Dawid Malan was adjudged the Man of the Match for scoring 76 off just 48 balls.
#2 2/23 vs West Indies in Coolidge
Sri Lanka won the toss and elected to bat first in the series decider, with it being leveled at 1-1. On a slow deck, the Lankans could only manage 131/4. Fabian Allen was the pick of the West Indies bowlers, returning with figures of 1/13 in his four overs. Dinesh Chandimal top scored for Sri Lanka with 54* off 46 balls.
In reply, West Indies started well, scoring 53/1 in the power play. But Chameera, along with spinners Wanindu Hasaranga and Lakshan Sandakan, pulled the game back in Sri Lanka's favor in the middle overs. Chameera picked up the big wickets of Kieron Pollard and Nicholas Pooran.
The Windies were reduced to 105/7 in 16.5 overs. Coming in at no.9, Allen stepped up with the bat as well. He scored 21*(6) as West Indies won the game by three wickets and an over to spare. Allen was adjudged the Man of the Match for his all-round performance.
#3 2/24 vs India in Colombo
Sri Lanka won the toss and elected to field first in the first T20I against India in July. The visitors scored 164/5, with Suryakumar Yadav top scoring with a well-made 50 off 34 deliveries. Shikhar Dhawan (46), Sanju Samson (27) and Ishan Kishan (20) also chipped in with valuable contributions.
Chameera dismissed debutant Prithvi Shaw on the first ball for a golden duck. He returned at the death, picking up the wicket of the hard-hitting Hardik Pandya in the 19th over. Chameera was the stand-out bowler for the hosts along with Wanidu Hasaranga, who returned with figures of 2/28.
However, Sri Lanka were unable to chase down 165. Their middle order struggled as Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Yuzvendra Chahal and Deepak Chahar bowled extremely well to skiddle the hosts out for just 126. Bhuvneshwar, who picked up four wickets for 22 runs, was adjudged the Man of the Match.