Sri Lankan all-rounder Thisara Perera might be known more his power hitting with the bat but he has time and again proved that he can be a more than useful bowler as well. After all 123 wickets from just 110 matches at an average of 31.61 is a statistic any frontline bowler would be proud of.
The 26-year-old has had his moments in T20 cricket as well and was a member of the Sri Lankan squad that lifted the 2014 ICC World T20, defeating India in the final by 6 wickets. Perera, who incidentally hit the winning boundary in the final, didn’t get to bowl on that day but showed the damage he can inflict with the ball in his hand against the same opposition today by becoming only the fourth cricketer to take a hat-trick in T20 internationals.
Perera dismissed the hard-hitting trio of Hardik Pandya, Suresh Raina and Yuvraj Singh off successive deliveries during the 19th over of the Indian innings in the ongoing 2nd T20I at the JSCA International Stadium in Ranchi to restrict the home team to a score of under 200. The duo of Pandya and Raina were on song especially forging a 59-run partnership for the fourth wicket and Perera’s late effort ensured that India ended their 20 overs at 196/6.
List of hat-tricks in T20 internationals
The only three players to take a T20 international hat-trick prior to Perera have been the New Zealand duo of Tim Southee and Jacob Oram along with former Australian speedster Brett Lee. Incidentally, Lee is the only other cricketer to have taken a hat-trick in ODIs as well.
|No||Bowler||Opposition||Batsmen dismissed||Bowling figures||Venue|
|1||Brett Lee (Aus)||Bangladesh||Shakib Al Hasan, Mashrafe Mortaza, Alok Kapali||4-0-27-3||Durban (16/09/2007)|
|2||Jacob Oram (NZ)||Sri Lanka||Angelo Mathews, Malinga Bandara, Nuwan Kulasekara||4-0-33-3|
|3||Tim Southee (NZ)||Pakistan||Younis Khan, Mohammad Hafeez Umar Akmal.||4-1-18-5||Auckland (26/12/2010)|
|4||Thisara Perera (SL)||India||Hardik Pandya, Suresh Raina, Yuvraj Singh||3-0-33-3||Ranchi (12/02/2016)|
While the other three had reasons to celebrate their hat-tricks as it contributed towards a victory, it looks highly unlikely that Perera will be able to do so with Sri Lanka against it in their run chase. But who knows, Perera himself might carry forward the confidence earned with the ball to his willow to script an unlikely victory.
Bowlers with hat-tricks in both T20Is and ODIs
Of the four above, only Brett Lee and Perera have taken an hat-trick in one-day internationals as well. While the Aussie dismissed Kenya’s Kennedy Otieno, Brijal Patel and David Obuya off successive deliveries during a 2003 World Cup encounter, Perera got his hat-trick against Asian rivals Pakistan, accounting for the trio of Younis Khan, Shahid Afridi and Sarfraz Ahmed back in 2012.
|1||Brett Lee (Australia)||Kenya||Kennedy Otieno, Brijal Patel and David Obuya||Durban (15/03/2003)|
|2||Thisara Perera (SL)||Pakistan||Younis Khan, Shahid Afridi and Sarfraz Ahmed||Colombo (16/06/2012)|