IND vs SL 2021: “I always try to bowl dot balls” – Wanindu Hasaranga

New Zealand v Sri Lanka - 2nd T20
New Zealand v Sri Lanka - 2nd T20

All-rounder Wanindu Hasaranga celebrated his 24th birthday in style by spinning a web around the depleted Indian side at the R Premadasa Stadium in Colombo as Sri Lanka registered their first-ever T20I series win over India.

The Sri Lanka leg-spinner, who registered figures of 4-0-9-4 on Thursday, revealed that his success mantra has been bowling dot balls, which helps him pick up wickets.

“The wicket was slow, and our spinners bowled really well. When I bowl, I always try to bowl dot balls, and that helps in getting wickets. The fielding also helps. I am really happy because other boys played really well throughout the series, both in ODIs and T20Is,” said Wanindu Hasaranga in the post-match presentation ceremony after winning the two major individual awards.

Wanindu Hasaranga brought back memories of Sachin Tendulkar’s 25th birthday in Sharjah in April 1998. The Indian maestro had helped his side win a final against Australia and bagged the Player of the Match and the Player of the Series awards.

With seven wickets from three T20Is at an average of 9.57 and an economy rate of 5.58, Wanindu Hasaranga was rightfully adjudged the Player of the Series. He also played a crucial hand with the bat in Sri Lanka's win in the second T20I.

To India's disadvantage, Krunal Pandya was ruled out of the series after testing positive for COVID-19. Eight others, who came into close contact with the all-rounder, were also ruled out. Most from the lot were key players.

Records in galore for Wanindu Hasaranga

Before Wanindu Hasaranga’s feat on Thursday, Imran Tahir held the record for the best T20I bowling figures on an individual’s birthday. On his 35th birthday, the South African leg-spinner claimed four for 21 against the Netherlands in the 2014 T20 World Cup.

Wanindu Hasaranga’s figures of four for nine are also the best bowling figures against India in a T20I. He went past New Zealand spinner Mitchell Santner’s four for 11 at Nagpur during the 2016 T20 World Cup. The Sri Lankan leggie has also proved to be a menace for Sanju Samson, who has faced 11 balls from the bowler across four T20Is, scored just two off him and got out thrice.

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Edited by Arnav Kholkar
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