We’ve seen the likes of de Villiers and Jos Buttler improvise and hit many a crazy shot, but Sri Lanka’s Wanindu Hasaranga, on Wednesday, took the art of innovation to a whole new level. Adamant to hit the ball through the off-side, Hasaranga walked OUT of the pitch to loft a Dwayne Bravo delivery.
In his thus far young career, Sri Lanka’s Wanindu Hasaranga has been making quite the ripple and, in the past year, has been the standout performer for a Lankan side that’s in transition. Primarily in the team as a leg-spinner, Hasaranga has bamboozled batsmen with his turn and the ODIs against the Windies last month was a breakthrough series of sorts for him, a series where he walked away with the ‘Man of the Series’ award. And in the first T20I against the Windies on Wednesday, he was in the limelight once again, albeit for a very interesting reason, and with the bat.
Chasing 197, Sri Lanka were wrecked by an Oshane Thomas five-fer and in the end, were beaten convincingly by the visitors, by 25 runs. Hasaranga showcased his prowess with the bat with a 34-ball 44 and was a shining light for the hosts and in his highlights package was an extremely interesting stroke that has now sent the internet into a frenzy.
Facing Dwayne Bravo, on the fifth ball of the 15th over, the right-hander, seeing there was a gap to be exploited on the off-side, pre-meditated to hit the delivery in the vacant area and so decided to give himself some room outside leg-stump. Seeing Hasaranga’s movement, the bowler Bravo followed him in an attempt to cramp the batsman up. However, Hasaranga was so adamant and stubborn to hit through the off-side that despite the bowler bowling the ball in and around the eighth stump, he walked OUT of the pitch to loft the ball over cover.
His wish was eventually granted, but sadly enough, he was just granted one run for his extravagant effort. The effort was so silly that it even cracked up the bowler Bravo, who gave a cheeky smile of approval to Hasaranga for that stroke.
Here's how cricket fans on Twitter reacted on the incident:
Well played Wanindu
A very hard fought win in the end for the Windies! At one stage, it seemed, they would cruise to a win when 56 for 5 but that was not to be. Hasaranga and Perera counter-attacked, they though had no other option as they needed to go for it chasing a huge total. #SLvWI— Wesley00005 (@Wesley000051) March 4, 2020
The way match was gone Kusal Janith & Hasaranga brought it to this level, which gave some hope of cricket.— AZEEM ®️ (@HAF_AJ) March 4, 2020
Not many would call it an excellent placement
That was poor from Wanindu. He could have hit it on the leg side. The ball was in that zone. But he had already decided that he was going to hit on the off side. https://t.co/apJT7IKeNq— The Armchair Critic (@DArmChairCritic) March 5, 2020
What a player
Seeing Wanindu bat like the way he did, he can bat higher in this XI! #SLvWI— vidulaJ (@vidulaj) March 4, 2020
Complete player and a genuine allrounder
Wanindu played his part— Maනූ🇱🇰 (@manurad9) March 4, 2020
What a player he is 🔥#SLvWI
Hasaranaga was on fire
Must place my words in my writing like how Wanindu Hasaranga places his shots— Thethingthatreads (@MistressofTomes) March 4, 2020
So systematic and serene