Chennai Super Kings and Gujarat Titans faced each other in the first qualifier of IPL 2023. CSK defeated Gujarat by 15 runs to book their place in the final at the Chepauk Stadium in Chennai. After a consistent performance in the league round, Chennai made it this far by showing quality performances in the qualifiers as well. Young fast bowler Mathisha Pathirana popularly known as Baby Malinga has been instrumental in Chennai’s success.
With Dwayne Bravo retiring and Mukesh Chaudhary and Deepak Chahar injured, Chennai’s pace bowling was on the shoulders of youngsters. Tushar Deshpande and Rajvardhan Hungergekar have had a somewhat expensive start for the team. However, after that young Sri Lankan fast bowler Mathisha Pathirana got a chance in the team. Pathirana, who has a bowling style similar to Sri Lanka’s all-time great fast bowler Lasith Malinga, seized the opportunity. He did his best for his team in the death overs every time.
If we look at his statistics this season, he bowled 26.2 overs while bowling between 16 and 20 overs. He managed to get 16 wickets in this. His average was 12 and strike rate was 9.88. Interestingly, his economy rate has also been excellent at 7.78. Interestingly, out of 158 balls he has bowled, 65 balls have been runless.
Pathirana is yet to play international cricket for Sri Lanka. A few days ago, Dhoni advised the Sri Lankan Cricket Board to use it properly. It was requested that he be played only in important series and ICC tournaments and kept away from Test cricket.
(CSK Success Unsung Hero Matheesha Pathirana Stats In Death Overs Of IPL 2023)