Junior Dala is a right-arm fast bowler from South Africa, born on 29 December 1989 in Lusaka, Zambia. He was one of the â€˜Cricketers of the Yearâ€™ in 2018 awarded by Cricket South Africa. He turned heads after taking big wickets of MS Dhoni, Virat Kohli and that of Rohit Sharma thrice in the three-match T20I series against India in 2018.
Dala represents the Unlimited Titans in South African domestic cricket. He has been with the team since his debut in domestic cricket in 2011. He has over 100 FC wickets in less than 50 matches.
His performances for the Titans made the national selectors have a look at him and then decide to let him have a go at the international level.
Dala made his international debut in a T20I against India at the New Wanderers Stadium in Johannesburg on 18 February 2018. India batted first and scored a mammoth total of 203 in their 20 overs. Dala managed to take the wickets of Rohit Sharma and Suresh Raina. Although, he conceded 47 runs, which is a dubious record of most runs conceded on T20I debut by a South African. The hosts fell short by 28 runs with only Reeza Hendricks (70) going past the 40-run mark.
He made his ODI debut six months later against Sri Lanka at the Pallekele International Cricket Stadium in Pallekele on 8 August 2018. The hosts batted first and posted 306/7 in 39 overs. Dala went wicketless conceding 64 runs in 8 overs. The game was shortened due to rain and South Africa needed to score 190 in the 21 overs that they got. They missed the target by a whisker and Sri Lanka won by 3 runs.
Dala got a lucky break in the Indian Premier League when Delhi Daredevils (now known as Delhi Capitals) called him up to replace his fellow national Chris Morris in IPL 2018. He got to play just one match as he did not quite impress with his figures of 0/34 in 3 overs.
The same year, in 2018, he was picked up by Nelson Mandela Bay Giants to play in the Mzansi Super League. He picked up 5 wickets in 8 matches with best figures of 2/16 and an economy of 7.40.