On Saturday (December 5), the Sri Lankan all-rounder Thisara Perera played an extraordinary ODI knock against the hosts New Zealand at Mount Maunganui. However, his team suffered a heart-breaking defeat despite his marvellous effort that took his team to very close for an incredible victory.
After New Zealand won the toss and decided to bat first, they scored 319/7 in 50 overs, thanks to the opener Colin Munro’s 87 off 77 balls, Ross Taylor’s 90 off 105 balls and James Neesham’s incredible 64 runs off 37 balls.
In reply, Sri Lanka was once struggling on 128/7 (earlier they were batting on 112/2). At that time while the opener Danushka Gunathilaka scored 71 runs off 73 balls, Kusal Mendis (20 runs) was the only other batsman to play the double-digit knock.
With the tail-enders, Perera carried his unforgettable innings till the very end moment of the game. He had a 75-run partnership with the skipper Lasith Malinga (17 runs) for the eighth wicket, 51-run partnership with Lakshan Sandakan (6 runs) for the ninth wicket and 44-run partnership with Nuwan Pradeep (3* runs) for the last wicket.
After completing his half-century in 28 balls, Perera continued his attacking batting form and completed his maiden century in international cricket in just 57 balls. When Sri Lanka needed 22 runs off 23 balls, Perera was caught out at the long on after scoring 140 runs off just 74 balls with 8 fours and 13 sixes. It was the final wicket of Sri Lankan innings as they were bundled out for 298 runs in 46.2 overs.
New Zealand secured their three-match home ODI series by winning the second ODI by 21 runs and talking the lead of the series by 2-0. However, Perera won the Player of the Match award for his incredible innings.
Here are some important stats of Thisara Perera’s incredible ODI knock:
i) Thisara Perera completed his maiden ODI century in just 57 balls.
- Fastest ODI century by any batsman against New Zealand. The previous record was scoring ODI century in 58 balls by Jonny Bairstow (England) at Christchurch on 10 March 2018.
- Third fastest ODI century by a Sri Lankan batsman. Sanath Jayasuriya is on the top two positions in this list and those records are completing the ODI centuries in 48 balls (against Pakistan at Singapore on 2 April 1996) and 55 balls (against Bangladesh at Karachi on 30 June 2008).
- Third fastest ODI century in New Zealand. The top two record holders are both New Zealand batsmen and their names are Corey Anderson (completed ODI century in 36 balls against West Indies at Queenstown on 1 January 2014) and Jesse Ryder (completed ODI century in 46 balls against West Indies at Queenstown on 1 January 2014).
ii) Batting at no.7 position, Thisara Perera scored 140 runs off just 74 balls.
- Joint highest ODI knock by a Sri Lankan batsman on his maiden ODI century. Earlier, Sanath Jayasuriya had also scored 140 runs on his maiden ODI century against New Zealand at Bloemfontein on 8 December 1994.
- Highest ODI knock by an Asian batsman who has come to bat at no.7 or lower position. The previous record holder was MS Dhoni (Asia XI) against Africa XI at Chennai on 10 June 2007.
- Third highest ODI knock by a batsman who has come to bat at no.7 or lower position. The top two record holders are Luke Ronchi (New Zealand) – 170* against Sri Lanka at Dunedin (23 January 2015) and Marcus Stoinis (Australia) – 146* against New Zealand at Auckland (30 January 2017).
iii) Thisara Perera hit 13 sixes in that innings.
- Most number of sixes hit by a batsman in an ODI innings in a losing cause. The previous record was 11 sixes by Marcus Stoinis (Australia) against New Zealand at Auckland on 30 January 2017.
- Most number of sixes hit by a Sri Lankan batsman in an ODI innings. The previous record was 11 sixes by Sanath Jayasuriya against Pakistan at Singapore on 2 April 1996.
- The second most number of sixes hit by a visiting batsman in an ODI innings against the host nation. The record is 15 sixes that had hit by the former Australian batsman Shane Watson against Bangladesh at Dhaka on 11 April 2011.
- The second most number of sixes hit by a batsman in an ODI innings on the New Zealand soil. The record is 14 sixes by Corey Anderson (New Zealand) against West Indies at Queenstown on 1 January 2014.
- The third most number of sixes hit by a batsman in an ODI innings.