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Who is Sri Lanka’s new spinner Nishan Peiris?

by Freddie Young 5 minute read

Off-spinner Nishan Peiris has been called up as a replacement for Akila Dananjaya in Sri Lanka’s Test squad. Peiris could make his debut in the third Test against England on Friday.

Who is he?

Peiris, who is only 21-years-old, has only played 12 first-class matches, having made his debut in February 2016 for Badureliya Sports Club. In his last first-class outing, he picked up six first-innings wickets for just 67 runs, but couldn’t help his side Galle claim victory, as the match ended in a draw against Kandy.

Jos Buttler and Moeen Ali both fell victim to Peiris during the tour warm-up matches

What’s his story?

Peiris has also appeared in just 12 List A games and nine T20s. Along with these appearances, he twice featured for the Sri Lankan Board XI against England in the tourists’ warm-up games. He dismissed Ben Stokes, Jos Buttler and Moeen Ali in the process so the English are no strangers to his bowling.

Lean times?

Peiris hasn’t played first-class cricket since April, but has been playing white-ball cricket in the mean time. With only two longer format tour games to his name, it will be interesting to see how the youngster copes with the demands of Test cricket.

Peiris comes into the squad in place of Akila Dananjaya who has been reported for a suspect action


Coming into a losing side is a challenge in itself, but knowing that the pressure of saving a Test series is off could do Peiris a world of good. It should make for good viewing as to how the English batsmen deal with him, and to see how he reacts should they once more resort to sweeping their way to a competitive total.

Final Word:

With a short run up – it’s more of a power walk – and a low front arm, Peiris has the ability to skid the ball on without the ball turning sharply, as the English should (hopefully) be well aware. Seven of England’s batting line-up are left handed, so he may prove to be major threat should he play on Friday.

With the series already lost for the hosts, this Test may be the perfect time for a debut.

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