Sports Peoples

Isuru Udana

Isuru Udana Tillakaratna (born 17 February 1988 in Balangoda), or Isuru Udana, is a professional Sri Lankan cricketer represented Sri Lanka in limited over formats. He currently plays domestic cricket for Tamil Union and Wayamba.

Domestic career

Udana made his first-class and List A whilst playing for the Sri Lanka A team during their tour to South Africa in August and September 2008. He subsequently went on to play for Tamil Union in both forms during the 2008–09 season. He was then selected by Wayamba to play in both the first-class and Twenty20 portions of the Sri Lankan Inter-Provincial Cricket Tournament. In the Twenty20 final against Basnahira South he was named Man of the Match after taking 4–31, including 4 of the top 5 batsman. He was also named player of the tournament.

In the Sri Lanka Premier League which was held in August 2012, he managed to showcase his all-round talent by taking regular wickets for his team Wayamba United, and chipping in with the bat at times. His key performance came against Uva Next in the tournament semi final when he scored 42 which almost helped Wayamba to pull off an impossible chase from 27/7 to 151-8. In that same semi final clash he along with Azhar Mahmood set the highest ever 8th wicket partnership in any forms of T20s(120)[4][5]

On 22 September 2010 while playing for Wayamba in the 2010 Champions League T20, Udana completed a rare feat by taking a hat-trick of two (legal) deliveries. Mathew Sinclair, the second wicket of the hat-trick was out stumped off a wide-ball. Isuru Udana also became the first bowler to take a hattrick in Champions League T20 history.

International career

Udana was selected in the Sri Lanka squad for the 2009 ICC World Twenty20. He made his Twenty20 international debut on 8 June 2009 against Australia. He played in 5 of Sri Lanka’s 7 games in the tournament, including their loss in the final to Pakistan.

Udana failed to continue his domestic success at the international level, and subsequently was dropped from the side after the home series against Pakistan in 2009. He made a comeback into the Sri Lankan squad in 2012 when the selection panel headed by Ashantha de Mel named him for the T20s against Pakistan at home. He was then selected for the ODIs against India which followed the Pakistan series, but again failed to deliver. His only significant contribution in that series was a direct hit to run out Gautam Gambhir at a key moment in one of the games.

After a long scarce in international arena, Udana got a chance to play in Tenty20 International series against New Zealand in 2016. The comeback was very good at first few balls in the second T20I, where easy catch of Martin Guptillwas dropped by Thisara Perera on Udana’s bowling. Since then, Udana was brutally hit by New Zealanders and Udana gave 34 runs in his 3 overs, where New Zealand won the match by 9 wickets only in the 10th over.

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