Isuru Udana’s return to the Sri Lankan Twenty20 side turned out to be a blessing in disguise when he replaced injured paceman Nuwan Pradeep in the 2nd Twenty20 at Johannesburg on Sunday the 22nd of January 2017. Despite bowling South Africa out for 113, the visitors were forced to battle it out as the home side came out with an impressive display of bowling. However, Angelo Mathews helped Sri Lanka through to a well deserved three wicket win in the final over of the innings.
Udana ended his spell with figures of 3 for 13 in 2.3 overs. The wicket of de Bruyn in his very first delivery gave him tremendous confidence as he continued to produce unplayable deliveries in the couple of overs he bowled. Sandakan and Udana’s spell stood out as significant factors behind Sunday’s win against South Africa.
“Yesterday’s win was a great team effort. Credit to Lakshan Sandaken who produced a beauty of a spell taking four vital wickets and it was good to see the great Kule back in top form with Isuru. Niroshan got us off to a good start with the bat which made the chase easier for Chandi and me. I am really disappointed to not to be able to continue the tour as a result of twisting my ankle and pulling my hamstring. I am hopeful of joining the team for the tour of Australia and I wish them the best of luck for the remainder of the series,” said returning captain Angelo Mathews.
However, Lakshan Sandakan’s four wicket spell stole the show, giving less credit to Isuru Udana’s cameo with the ball. Udana will most certainly have another opportunity to shaken the young Proteas batsman in the final Twenty20 later today. Furthermore, his performance will influence his availability for the upcoming five match One Day International series.
Isuru Udana’s early life and career
Born in Balangoda on the 17th of February 1988, Isuru Udana Tillakaratne attended the Balangoda Ananda Maithreya Central College before moving to the prestigious D S Senanayake College in Colombo. He soon began to blossom as an excellent fast bowler for his school. Udana represented the Nondescripts Cricket Club in the latter part of his school life. However, he was selected to Sri Lanka Under-20 Schools side in the ongoing U-23 Division I youth tournament before making his debut for Nondescripts CC.
“DS product Isuru Udana took 3/13 including a first ball wicket on his return to national side in the 2nd T2O against South Africa. We would like to congratulate Isuru and wish him and Sri Lanka team a good luck in the chase and the rest of the series,” said a statement issued by the DS Senanayake College OBA.
In August 2008, he was selected to tour South Africa with the A team without having played a single first-class match. A year later. he made his Twenty20 debut against Australia at Nottingham. His unorthodox action attracted plenty of attention as many cricketers occasionally found it difficult to take him on. However, wayward bowling and inconsistency did not help his cause.
Udana made his One Day International debut against India at Hambantota in June 2012. He was dropped from the ODI squad in the following month.
Nevertheless, the 28 year old has made a successful comeback to the national Twenty20 side. His fate remains in his hands as Sri Lanka face South Africa in the final Twenty20 at Cape Town later today.
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