BAN vs SL: Matheesha Pathirana "Really Happy" After Winning First Player Of The Match Award For Sri Lanka

Published - 01 Sep 2023, 01:51 AM | Updated - 01 Jul 2024, 02:37 PM

Matheesha Pathirana
[PC: AFP/Getty]

The 20-year-old Sri Lanka National Cricket Team right-arm quick Matheesha Pathirana was awarded Player of the Match for his sensational bowling spell in the second match of the Asia Cup 2023 against Shakib Al Hasan’s Bangladesh National Cricket Team at the Pallekele International Cricket Stadium on Thursday, August 31.

Sri Lanka were invited to bowl first in the match and the bowlers did a fantastic job, restricting the Bangla Tigers to a low score of 164. Matheesha Pathirana, who made his Asia Cup debut in the second match of the 2023 edition of the continental tournament, was the best performer for the home side in the bowling department.

He started off by picking the big wicket of Shakib Al Hasan and then yet another veteran Mushfiqur Rahim became his second scalp. He dismissed Taskin Ahmed and Mustafizur Rahman to wrap up the innings for 164. The pacer finished his spell with the figures of 7.4-0-32 -4.

Also, Maheesh Theekshana bagged two wickets while Dasun Shanaka, Dunith Wellalage, and Dhananjaya de Silva got one wicket each. Chasing the target, Sadeera Samarawickrama (54) and Charith Asalanka (62*) batted well to guide their side to a 5-wicket win.

My action is unpredictable. It’s a good advantage for me – Matheesha Pathirana

Speaking during the post-match presentation ceremony, Matheesha Pathirana said that he was delighted to win the first Player of the Match award for the Sri Lanka National Cricket Team. He also opined that his unpredictable action in an advantage for him. He said:

“This is my first POTM for my country – really happy about that. T20 skills are good for death overs. That’s why I took my wickets with the slower balls. My action is unpredictable. It’s a good advantage for me.”

At 20 years and 256 days, Pathirana became the youngest Sri Lanka bowler to take a 4-wicket haul in ODIs. He went past the record of the Sri Lanka great Chaminda Vaas, who achieved the feat at 20 years and 280 days when he took 4/20 against Zimbabwe in Harare in 1994.

During the mid-innings break, Matheesha Pathirana talked to Sanjay Manjrekar for host broadcaster, and said that adjusting to ODIs after playing T20s is quite difficult for him. He said:

“Last I played ODIs in Qualifiers. Took some experience and came here. Wicket was pretty dead in the first half. That’s why I tried slower balls and other things. Very difficult to adjust to ODIs so soon after T20s. But I will manage it.”



Asia Cup Asia Cup 2023 BAN vs SL 2023 Bangladesh National Cricket Team Bangladesh vs Sri Lanka 2023 Matheesha Pathirana Sri Lanka national cricket team