Shaminda Eranga looks to be one of the most impressive fast bowlers coming through the Sri Lankan developmental squads. Although he has only played a handful of games for the national team, Eranga comes to Australia boasting a formidable record in First Class cricket with both the ball and bat.
Playing for the Chilaw Marians in the Sri Lankan Premier League, Eranga has done exceedingly well throughout his 43 game career. 82 wickets so far, including a career best 7/109, signalled him as a possible fast bowling option for the national side. Known more for his bowling, Eranga has played some starring roles with the bat for the Marians. His average of 24.33 could almost classify him as an all-rounder, with the promising player having already blasted 100*.
His introduction to the ODI side was a blessed one, with Eranga picking up 2/38 in Sri Lanka’s big win against Australia. It took only two balls to announce himself on the scene when he clean bowled the dangerous Brad Haddin. His dream debut was capped off when he deceived Ricky Ponting with a slower ball to remove the former skipper caught and bowled. Although he has only played three matches since, Eranga will never forget the game that earned him his first Sri Lankan cap.
Eranga only had to wait one month before making his Test debut, also against Australia. If his ODI debut was good, then this was great. While it took two deliveries to achieve success in the 50 over format, Eranga only had to wait one ball before removing Shane Watson. In doing so, he became just the 15th player to pick up a wicket with their first ball in Test cricket. It was a stunning match that saw him pick up the wickets of Michael Clarke, Michael Hussey and Brad Haddin in the first innings. Similarly to the ODI arena, Eranga hasn’t played much Test cricket since, only featuring in the recent two matches against New Zealand.
To complete the miraculous trifecta, Eranga went on to take a wicket in his first over of T20 cricket. In the 2012 clash with India, Eranga clean bowled Gautam Gambhir to become the first bowler in history to enjoy success in his first over of Test, ODI and T20 cricket. It is a rare feat that may never be seen again.