At what point do you stop pinching yourself during your carpet ride in the clouds?
Or will he stop to take a breath while climbing? Maybe when you’re 20, and you’re on a manic adventure Mathisha Pathirana On, not even a thought can reflect how far you’ve come.
Still, the last few years must have felt a blur, right? They have to stay. First scouted from Ranbima Royal College, a rural school about six kilometers east of Kandy, Pathirana moved to the city’s Trinity College as a teenager. Alumni pride eg Kumar SangakkaraThere is no bigger producer of the best cricketers in the province than Trinity.
The next few years are even more dire. A whirlwind of brilliant pace, the yorker pounding the wicket, and the batsmen arching their backs to get out of the way of the stippling bounce that comes from that round-arm action. There are two trips to the U-19 World Cup, an over game in the Abu Dhabi T-10 League, Thilina Kandambi marks you as a star, Darren Bravo takes notice. And well, wow, break to cap a breathless run break – MS DhoniBasically a demi-god as far as you are concerned, learning your existence, Believe you can change the match At the elite level, his franchise team takes you to the most glamorous annual showcase in your sport.
Meanwhile this is pure fantasy. Sri Lanka’s greats have been overlooked in the IPL. In one year the only Lankans were the coaching staff in the tournament. Can a teenager from Kandy get a gig in a great franchise? Go from here.
At the end of the 2022 season, Adam Milne was injured, and Pathirana in his place In the Chennai Super Kings squad, he made an impression in the few games he got. The year 2023 is a fever dream. Pathirana is back to his mark as he bowls another death over. Chepauk is standing. Thousands are clamoring for him. A great white ball strategist’s arm around his shoulder, telling him where to bowl, how fast, how to outplay the batter.
Even the IPL organizers inadvertently helped fuel his rise by introducing the impact player rule. Currently, the action of Pathirana is so low, it is even less than that Lasith Malinga – the godfather of round-arm bowlers, and modeled his action on him. This means he doesn’t get Malinga’s outswing with the new ball.
What Pathirana has is a consistent yorker, a bouncer that chases batters through the gully like a mugger and a slower ball. Malinga himself helped teach him. All this makes him a formidable death bowler, as he can bowl four over-spells in an innings. The impact player rule means someone else bowls mostly the new ball.
Pathirana’s journey is not stopping.
It didn’t stop Thursday, when he played his first international match at Pallekele, near Kandy. A quick bouncer got him his first wicket, in his first over. Shakib Al Hasan was so late to dab that he could only hand it to the wicketkeeper. With another quick bouncer, he dismissed another experienced batsman in Bangladesh’s middle order – Mushfiqur Rahim couldn’t catch the ball head-high outside off, sending it only to third man.
Between-the-wicket-ball: His most controlled ODI spell, so far in his short career. Before this match, Pathirana’s economy rate in ODIs was 6.48. Here, he strung together tight overs with mostly length balls. On tracks suitable for batting, and against an opponent who had lost more wickets, he would probably have been put under more pressure.
But then if Dushmantha Chamera and Dilshan Madushanka were fit, Pathirana probably wouldn’t have got a place in the XI. And if Chamera and Lahiru Kumara had not been injured in Zimbabwe, Pathirana might not have played. World Cup qualifiers is
If it’s all part of Pathirana’s carpet ride, she’s making the most of it.
“I think this performance has been coming for a while now,” the Sri Lankan coach said Chris Silverwood Talked about Pathirana. “He had a great experience in the IPL and then he came with us for the World Cup qualifiers, and we worked a lot on how to bowl the new ball. It wasn’t so much to do with his action. It was more to do with his run-up. We just put him on the stumps. Gave more access and we found she gained more control with it.
“He absorbs information very quickly, and he’s able to apply it to his game very quickly. He does it his way. It won’t be long until he gets a new ball.”
His first over in this match was the eleventh of the innings.
Towards the end, against the tail, Pathirana was predictably better. Taskin Ahmed, understandably uncomfortable against Pathirana’s pace, induced him to cover aerially. Mustafizur Rahman was undone by a deft offcutter that would have laughed at middle stump. And Pathirana took his first four-wicket haul in five ODIs. The average dipped to 24.12. After conceding just 32 runs in his 7.4 overs, the economy dropped below six for the first time.
It is difficult to say how long the journey takes. Round-arm fast bowlers don’t seem to have a predictable career. But for now, Pathirana powers his climb that clings to nothing, dumbfounded by how high he has flown in such a short time.