Mahawaduge Dilruwan Kamalaneth Perera
July 22, 1982, Panadura
Right hand bat
Right arm offbreak
Sri Sumangala College, Panadura
A classical offspinner with an easy, fluent action, Dilruwan Perera had been among Sri Lanka's steadiest first-class performers, before being rewarded with the second spinner's berth in the Test squad, in 2014. It was with the bat that he made his first impression in Tests: Perera came within five runs of scoring a century on debut, against Pakistan at Sharjah, but he asserted himself as a bowler soon enough. His second-innings five-wicket haul helped wipe Bangladesh out in Dhaka, less than two weeks later.
No big turner of the ball, and possessing only an arm ball as a variation, Perera's strengths lie in accuracy and persistence. He has honed those skills by practicing spot-bowling intensively, on the advice of Muttiah Muralitharan, one of Perera's idols, alongside Saqlain Mushtaq. In his time in the Test side, Perera has proved a good fit for the attack's ethos of squeezing wickets from the opposition, and he has also been a fine partner for Rangana Herath when the two bowl from opposite ends.
Perera had made rapid progress since starting his career at Sri Sumangala College, Panadura. He toured Australia with the Sri Lanka Under-19 team and, after he made his first-class debut for Panadura Sports Club, was drafted into the A side in 2001. He played one season for Chilaw Marians Cricket Club and holds the bowling record for the Under-23s with 55 wickets from seven matches in 2004.
He had had some success in A team tours to England and Zimbabwe with both bat and ball, but continued to develop as a bowler through his time at Sri Lanka's Spin Bowling Academy, where he was coached by former offspinners Ashley Mallett and Ruwan Kalpage.
In limited-overs cricket, Perera earned a call-up to Sri Lanka's squad for the ICC World Twenty20 in South Africa after Muralitharan was ruled out due to injury. He made his ODI debut at home against England in 2007. He forms an integral part of the Colombo Colts domestic side, which he has now represented for 10 years.
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