MS Dhoni lauds pacer Matheesha Pathirana

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Chennai Super Kings (CSK) captain MS Dhoni was certainly impressed with the efforts of Matheesha Pathirana after the Sri Lankan pace sensation picked up a 2-wicket haul on his IPL debut for the 4-time champions. Pathirana finished with figures of 2-24 in his 19-ball spell in their defeat to Gujarat Titans in Match 62 of IPL 2022 on Sunday.

Pathirana, who is dubbed as junior Lasith Malinga, got an opportunity to make his debut for CSK after he was roped in as a replacement player earlier in the season for injured New Zealand pacer Adam Milne. Pathirana got his maiden CSK cap on Sunday as MS Dhoni’s men made a slew of changes in their penultimate match of the season.

Pathirana replaced his Sri Lankan counterpart Maheesh Theekshana in the CSK XI as the 4-time champions tested their bench strength after being knock out of the playoffs race.

Pathirana impressed as he got Gujarat Titans’ star opener Shubman Gill with the very first delivery of his spell. The 19-year-old, with his slingy action, got one to skid through and hit Gill’s pads in the 7th over of GT’s chase. Gill was given out LBW and even a review could not save him.

In his 2nd over, Pathirana picked up the wicket of Gujarat Titans’ captain Hardik Pandya with a slower one that the star all-rounder was not able to read. Hardik got a leading edge that was pouched safely at the mid-off region.

“With Pathirana, the margin of error is slim. He’s got a good slower one and it will be tough to hit him if he bowls consistent pace,” Dhoni said.

The CSK captain said the team will continue to test their bench strength when they face Rajasthan Royals in their final league match on 20 May.

“We will look to give people chances. We are trying to feature a good XI and will look to do that in the coming games also,” he added. (Agencies)