Akila Dananjaya tastes the two extremes

Sri Lankan spinner Akila Dananjaya must have not been sure of whether to laugh or cry when he was taken for 6 sixes in an over by Kieron Pollard on the same day when he picked up a T20I hat-trick.

West Indies were flying high when Akila Dananjaya came on to bowl his second over in the first T20 of the series between West Indies and Sri Lanka in March this year.

The 3rd over of the match bowled by Dushmantha Chameera had gone for 21 runs which included 3 fours and one six. Before that, Angelo Mathews’ first over went for 19.

While Dhananjaya had done quite well in his first over – the second of the innings – by conceding 8 runs, which included a six by Lendl Simmons off the last ball of his over, West Indies were well placed for 48 for no loss after the first three overs while chasing a below par target of 130 odd.

The first ball of Dananjaya’s over was a poor one down the leg side and was given the treatment. From the next delivery onwards, Dananjaya changed the face of the match.

Lewis was caught by Danushka Gunathilaka on the 2nd delivery of the over. Out walked Chris Gayle with his huge reputation. Dananjaya did not read too much into the reputation as he dismissed Gayle lbw for a golden duck.

He was followed by another formidable big hitter Nicholas Pooran who was caught by wicket keeper Niroshan Dickwella of his first delivery of the match as well.

Just like this, Dananjaya, who was making a comeback to international cricket after about two years, bagged an international hat trick and was over the moon. However, his happiness was short lived as he was taken for six sixes in an over by Kieron Pollard when he came on to bowl the sixth and the last over of the powerplay.

As a result, West Indies went on to win by 4 wickets, courtesy of the Pollard blitz as he struck 38 off just 11 balls, including the 6 sixes against Akila Dananjaya.

Dananjaya finished the day with figures of 4-0-62-3, going at an economy rate of 15.50. While he would have been filled with joy upon his hat trick, Dananjaya wouldn’t want to remember the day again.

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