FORMER Sri Lanka under 19 star Hemaka Pathiranage has put a knee injury behind him and is on the brink of his best season for Old Elizabethans.
The 24-year-old seamer, who works at the University of Worcester, took his total in all competitions for 2014 to 42 wickets with a magnificent 7-21 against Coventry & North Warwickshire in Birmingham League Division Two.
Pathiranage is now just two wickets shy of the number he claimed last year, with two fixtures still to play, having already eclipsed the 37 from 2012, when he recorded his best figures of 8-24.
But his latest achievement, which sees him win a £25 Fearnley Factory Shop voucher as the latest Worcester News player of the week, comes after undergoing knee surgery in the winter. He said: “I was playing with the injury last season but I wanted to play because we were trying to get promoted but we ended up third again.
“Then I had surgery in the winter so I could play this season. It’s gone very well, with thanks to the physios at the university who have been working with me pretty much every day. I am now 100 per cent fit.”
Pathiranage’s haul from his 10-over spell helped OEs skittle their opponents at the Memorial Ground for just 81 in 32.4 overs before they cruised to a seven-wicket victory in 19.2 overs.
He said: “It was overcast conditions so it suited the fast bowlers and we had four in the side. We tried to put pressure on them early on so we started with three slips and a gulley and everybody bowled decent lines and lengths.
“Because of that pressure, they started smashing every ball. Our plan worked because we wanted to keep it tight and they gave us wickets.
“We were hoping to get them all out for 160 but it was a surprise that we got them out for 81.
“I had a good round of applause from the fans because we have got a big fan club who watch the games.”