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Wanindu Hasaranga set to bolster RCB in IPL UAE leg

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The 24-year-old leg-spinner and the right-hand middle order batsman will begin his new journey in franchise cricket when he represents the Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) against the Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) in their first match of the UAE leg in Abu Dhabi.

Hasaranga is all set to join the list of overseas players in the team along with A. B. de Villiers, Glenn Maxwell and Kyle Jamieson as the RCB look to strengthen their position in the IPL points table.

In fact, the RCB had a good start to the 2021 IPL campaign where they recorded five victories from seven matches and will start the second phase of the tournament in third place.

Hasaranga of course, didn’t get any bid in the IPL auctions earlier this year but he managed to find a place in the RCB team following Adam Zampa’s withdrawal.

Even then, Zampa’s pull out from the squad could be a blessing in disguise for the RCB side as they have now got the services of a better replacement than the player they had lost.

Hasaranga is ahead of all the other Asian bowlers in the ICC T20I Rankings and the Sri Lankan all-rounder is in second position with 764 points. Only former RCB player Tabraiz Shamsi is ahead of the Sri Lankan.

Hasaranga climbed up the ICC T20 Rankings following an outstanding performance in the T20I series against India where he bowled a magnificent spell of four for nine on his 24th birthday to help Sri Lanka win the series decider at the R. Premadasa Stadium in Colombo.

In addition, Hasaranga is currently in 12th position in the ICC T20I Rankings for all-rounders.

Hasaranga has earned a reputation as one of the best leg-spinners in limited overs cricket, having a control flight and length and a well-disguised googly.

In addition, he is capable of making useful contributions to the side batting lower down the order and having a decent average of 17.90 at a strike-rate of 131.62 in T20 cricket.

In fact, Hasaranga has been a consistent performer during the past couple of years and since 2019, he has captured 71 wickets in 45 innings in T20 cricket at an outstanding average of 14.09 and with an economy rate of 6.08..

Hasaranga of course, made a name for himself with match-winning performances for the Jaffna Stallions in the 2020 edition of the Lanka Premier League (LPL).

He was named Man-of-the-Tournament after his team emerged champions last year and the RCB will hope that, considering his recent form, Hasaranga will turn out to be more than a useful player for the remainder of the IPL 2021 season.

Hasaranga made his T20 debut during the 2017 Bangladesh Premier League where he represented the Sylhet Sixers in his first match against the Dhaka Dynamites.

However, Hasaranga had a bitter experience in his first outing as he was hit for three sixes in his over by the West Indian opener Evin Lewis. But the Sri Lankan star has improved a lot since then and has made vast

strides in this format of the game to claim 80 wickets at an economy rate of 6.37.

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