ICC 2019 WORLD CUP
Thisara Perera’s pinch-hitting all-round ability with bat and ball makes him a potential ace in the pack of Sri Lanka’s campaign of the upcoming 2019 ICC World Cup in England. Despite a low key performance in the mega domestic Super Provincial Limited Over Tournament that was the final lead up to world cup selections his inclusion is an indication of the national selectors faith in the inherent talent of the all-rounder to change the complexion of a game at any given time particularly with the bat.
The 30-year old left hander’s brute hitting as a lower middle order batsman has been a specialty that has earned the Sri Lankan international recognition that has seen the former Josephian, and Colts CC player called up to represent World XIs as well as the Chennai Super Kings in IPL cricket. A veteran of 153 ODI outings and 120 innings, Thisara Perera has scored 2147 runs in 120 innings with a solitary ODI century of 140 having a strike rate of 112.34. His clean hitting 78 against Pakistan at a soaring strike rate of 169.56 in 2014 was one of his epoch knocks while the straight driven six in sealing Sri Lanka’s victory in the 2014 T20 World Cup final against India was Perera’s most memorable finish on the big stage. He has a tally of 169 ODI wickets with best figures of 6 for 44.
Having made his ODI debut on December 24, 2009 against India at Kolkota as a late replacement for Angelo Mathews, the gangling 6ft. 1in. tall Perera has proved his prowess with the ball as well with hat-tricks in both ODI and T20 cricket. He cut his teeth in the game at St Anthony’s College, Wattala, from where his schoolboy dream of making it to the higher rungs of the public limelight came when Thisara Perera graduated to St Joseph’s College on a scholarship. It was the turning point in his career as he progressively etched his name in the big match record books by playing a decisive role in St. Joseph’s breaking a three and a half long hoodoo against St. Peter’s College.
Thisara Perera’s uncanny capacity as a finisher certainly puts him right up there in Sri Lanka’s world cup team.
By Srian Obeyesekere
-The opinions expressed here are the views of the writer and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of Sri Lanka Cricket-