Teams Played For
Sri Lanka, Ruhuna Royals, Ruhuna Reds, Southern Express, Sri Lanka A, Colombo, Dambulla
A classical off-spinner to go along with a fluent action, Dilruwan Perera has been a crucial member of Sri Lanka’s Test setup ever since his debut for Sri Lanka in 2014. Perera is the fastest Sri Lankan to reach 50 and 100 Test wickets and also the fastest to scalp 100 Test wickets in Sri Lanka. He is not a big turner of the ball, but is known for his meticulous line and length.
He was spotted at a very early stage in his career and has been one of the most consistent performers in the Sri Lankan domestic circuit. Perera made his domestic debut playing for Panadura Sports Club in the year 2001. But with the likes of Muttiah Muralitharan being the key Sri Lankan off spinner at that time, it became difficult for Perera to get a breakthrough in the Sri Lankan setup.
But his hard work in the domestic circuit finally paid off as Perera was finally rewarded with an ODI International call-up against England in 2007 and impressed with the bat, as he scored 30 crucial runs in a low-scoring affair at Colombo.
However, poor form in the upcoming ODI matches resulted in Perera being dropped from the ODI team, as he only managed to score 152 runs in the next 12 ODIs and only scalped 13 wickets at an average of 31.46.
With the retirement of Muralitharan, Perera was selected in Sri Lanka’s T20I Squad to face Australia in 2011. He returned with figures of 3 for 26 in the first T20I.
His crowning moment came in 2014, when Perera got a surprise Test call-up to face Pakistan. He scored a majestic 95 in the first innings against a good Pakistani bowling line-up and missed his maiden ton by just 5 runs.
Two-weeks after his debut, Perera picked up his first fifer in Test cricket against Bangladesh. He took 5 for 109 in the second innings of the first Test as the Lankans completely dominated Bangladesh.
After a series of good bowling performances, Perera was eventually dropped from the squad in 2015, citing new talents brought up in the Test setup.
In October 2015, Perera was re-called to the Test squad to play against the West Indies. He impressed everyone with his line and length as the off spinner took 4 wickets and Sri Lanka won that match by 72 runs.
Perera formed a formidable partnership with Rangana Herath and against the Aussies in the Warne-Muralitharan Trophy in 2016, he took 10 wickets in the whole match in the second Test which the Lankans won convincingly.
In the same series, Perera tormented the Australian batting line-up and picked up 15 wickets in the whole series. The duo of Herath and Perera picked up 43 wickets in tandem, then.
However, the Panadura-born struggled against India in the home series as he could only manage to pick up two wickets in the three-match Test series. He roared back strongly with his fifth fifer in Test cricket against Pakistan at Dubai. His bowling figures of 5 for 98 in the second innings propelled the Lankan victory.
In the away series against India, Perera picked up his 100th Test scalp when he dismissed Indian opener Shikhar Dhawan. With the wicket, he became the fastest Sri Lankan bowler, in terms of matches played to reach 100 Test scalps. He achieved the feat faster than his idol, Muttiah Muralitharan.
In the first Test match against the Proteas in 2018, Perera took match winning figures of 10 for 78 at Galle. This was his second ten-wicket haul in a Test and his sixth fifer overall.
In the same year, playing against England, Perera became the fastest Sri Lankan bowler to pick up 100 Test wickets on home soil. He achieved this feat in only his 20th Test match.
Perera has been a consistent performer for Sri Lanka over the past few years. He has worked hard to reach the level where he is at and has shared a fine bowling partnership with Herath, when the duo bowled from opposite ends.
Perera is in the twilight of his career, and he certainly deserves more recognition for his excellent performance for the Lankan Lions over the years.
(As of March 2021).