Top Wicket taker: Sri Lanka’s top wicket-taker in Cricket World Cup Qualifier: Wanindu Hasaranga, the sensational spin bowler from Sri Lanka, once again demonstrated his prowess by claiming the most wickets at the Cricket World Cup Qualifier.
His exceptional performance mirrored his achievements at the past two T20 World Cups, solidifying his reputation as a formidable spinner on the international stage.
Spin played a key role in Sri Lanka’s undefeated journey through the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup Qualifier 2023, securing their status as tournament winners, and a coveted spot in the year-end showpiece event in India.
The dominance of Sri Lanka’s spin twins, Wanindu Hasaranga and Maheesh Theekshana, played a crucial part in their success. They emerged as the top two wicket-takers at the Cricket World Cup Qualifier, wreaking havoc on opposing teams.
Hasaranga set the tone for Sri Lanka with a remarkable start, claiming 16 wickets in the team’s opening three matches. Meanwhile, Theekshana delivered exceptional performances in the latter stages, accumulating 18 wickets in their final five contests, including a standout performance of 4/31 in the final.
Let’s take a closer look at the remarkable achievements of these two exceptional spinners leading wicket-takers in the Cricket World Cup Qualifier 2023.
Wanindu Hasaranga (Sri Lanka) – 22 Wickets
Once again, Wanindu Hasaranga proved to be the sensation of the tournament, claiming the most wickets – just as he did in the ICC Men’s T20 World Cups of 2021 and 2022.
He started the campaign in stunning fashion, matching the record set by Waqar Younis for three consecutive five-wicket hauls in ODIs.
Throughout the tournament, Hasaranga posed a constant threat, finishing with a remarkable tally of 22 wickets at an impressive average of just 12.9.
While he occasionally leaked runs, opposing batters often resorted to aggressive tactics in an attempt to counter his spinning deliveries.
Maheesh Theekshana (Sri Lanka) – 21 Wickets
Maheesh Theekshana, an off-spinner, made a significant impact as opposing batters sought to counter the threat posed by Hasaranga.
Theekshana’s performances gained momentum as the tournament progressed, particularly during the Super Six stage.
Noteworthy contributions included three-wicket hauls against both Scotland and the Netherlands, followed by an exceptional streak of four-wicket hauls against Zimbabwe, West Indies, and the Netherlands in the final.
Theekshana finished with a total of 21 wickets at an impressive average of 12.23. Additionally, his economical bowling style stood out, with an economy rate of 4.02, the best among the leading bowlers.
Men’s ODI five-wicket hauls in a row from 1975 to 2023
|Player / Team||Five-wicket hauls||Year|
|Wanindu Hasaranga (Sri Lanka)||3||2023|
|Waqar Younis (Pakistan)||3||1990|
|Naseem Shah (Pakistan)||2||2022-23|
|Shaheen Shah Afridi (Pakistan)||2||2019-20|
|Mustafizur Rahman (Bangladesh)||2||2019|
|Mustafizur Rahman (Bangladesh)||2||2015|
|Mitchell Starc (Australia)||2||2013|
|Brian Vitori (Zimbabwe)||2||2011|
|Ryan Harris (Australia)||2||2010|
|Waqar Younis (Pakistan)||2||2001|
|Azhar Mahmood (Pakistan)||2||1999|
|Saqlain Mushtaq (Pakistan)||2||1997|
|Aaqib Javed (Pakistan)||2||1997|
|Waqar Younis (Pakistan)||2||1990|
|Ashantha de Mel (Sri Lanka)||2||1983|
|Gary Gilmour (Australia)||2||1975|