Left-arm spinner Malinda Pushpakumara, achieved the rare feat of taking all ten wickets in a first-class innings when he bowled Saracens all out for 113 in a fourth innings chase of 349 in a Premier League match played at Moratuwa.
Bowling for Colombo Cricket Club in Moratuwa, Pushpakumara took 10 for 37 to finish with match figures of 16 for 110 in the match.
A national discard Pushpakumara bowled an unchanged 18.4 over spell to record the best bowling figures by a Sri Lankan. He is also the first Sri Lankan spinner to achieve the feat and passed career 700 first class wickets.
The left-arm spinner, who has played four Tests and two ODIs since his international debut in August 2017, now has 715 first-class wickets from 123 matches, at an average of 19.19.
He became the first player since 2009 to notch a first-class ten-for – Pakistan’s Zulfiqar Babar the last man to dismiss an entire team unassisted, taking 10/146 for Multan against Islamabad.
His impressive average of 19.19 and first class pedigree had prompted his international call-up last year, and performances such as this will only aid his bid to regain his spot in the Sri Lanka side.
His 10/37 are the best figures recorded since 1995, where Naeem Akhtar took 10/28 for Rawalpindi Blues against Peshawar in Pakistan, and the best-ever recorded by a Sri Lankan.
Pushpakumara’s figures of 10 for 37 are the joint 13th-best in first-class history, for matches with full scorecard details, and not including 12-a-side games. Another left-arm spinner – the opposition’s Chamikara Edirisinghe – had in fact almost achieved the feat himself, taking the first nine CCC wickets, only for teammate Ashen Bandara to claim the final dismissal.
The last bowler to take all ten wickets in an innings was another Test left-arm spinner with a mighty first-class record, Pakistan’s Zulfiqar Babar. Bowling for Multan in the 2009-10 Quaid-e-Azam Trophy, Zulfiqar took 10 for 143 in Islamabad’s first innings in a match that eventually ended in a draw.
Two bowlers have taken all ten in an innings in Test cricket – the England offspinner Jim Laker took 10 for 56 against Australia at Old Trafford in 1956 and the India legspinner Anil Kumble picked up 10 for 74 against Pakistan at the Feroz Shah Kotla 43 years later.