Wanidu Hasaranga de Silva had a dream debut for Sri Lanka as he picked up a hat-trick against Zimbabwe on Sunday, July 2. He is the first Sri Lankan to claim a hat-trick on debut and third overall with South Africa’s Kagiso Rabada and Bangladesh’s Taijul Islam achieving the feat on their debuts. Also, he is now only the fifth Sri Lankan bowler to have struck a hat-trick after Chaminda Vaas, Lasith Malinga, Farveez Maharoof and Thisara Perera.

He was summoned into the bowling attack in the 26th over of the innings and dished out a few rank long hops in his first over. However he came back well in his second spell bowling a tight over and followed it up with the hat-trick in the next over. Zimbabwe’s score reading 151-7 at the end of the 33rd over Malcolm Waller was looking to attack and paid the price as he tried to slop a leg break from Wanidu across the line dragging it back onto the stumps. He then trapped Donald Tiripano plump in front of off stump with a googly that the batsman failed to pick. Another googly sneaked past the defence of Tendai Chatara which induced scenes of celebration in the Sri Lankan camp as Wanidu Hasaranga became the youngest Sri Lankan to claim a hat-trick.

The all-rounder was given a go ahead of other players owing to his fielding skills as the Sri Lankan fielding standards have dipped considerably in recent times.

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