Wanindu Hasaranga claimed the most scalps at the Cricket World Cup Qualifier as Sri Lanka’s spin sensation matched his feats at the past two T20 World Cups.
Spin was king for Sri Lanka as they surged through the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup Qualifier 2023 undefeated to finish as tournament winners and most importantly book their spot at the showpiece event in India later this year.
Much of their success was built on the threat of spin twins Wanindu Hasaranga and Maheesh Theekshana who were the clear top two wicket-takers at the Cricket World Cup Qualifier.
Hasaranga set up Sri Lanka for a strong start with 16 wickets in their opening three matches, while Theekshana stormed home from there with 18 in their last five contests including 4/31 in the final.
We take a look at the two standout spinners and the other leading wicket-takers at the Cricket World Cup Qualifier 2023:
1: Wanindu Hasaranga (Sri Lanka) - 22
The spin sensation claimed the most scalps at the tournament - just as he did at the ICC Men's T20 World Cup in both 2021 and 2022 - following a stunning streak to open the campaign.
Hasaranga matched Waqar Younis’ record for five-wicket hauls in three consecutive ODIs, and worried opponents from there to finish with 22 wickets at an average of just 12.9.
The 25-year-old was typically threatening with his googly but did leak runs at times as batters often tried to hit Hasaranga out of the attack.
2: Maheesh Theekshana (Sri Lanka) - 21
The off-spinner made his mark as opposition batters looked to counter Hasaranga and almost chased down his fellow tweaker for most wickets at the Cricket World Cup Qualifier.
Theekshana particularly impressed as the stakes rose through the Super Six stage with three wickets against both Scotland and Netherlands, followed by a streak of four-wicket hauls against Zimbabwe, West Indies and the Dutch in the final.
The 22-year-old’s 21 wickets came at an average of 12.23 while Theekshana also restricted the runs with an economy rate of 4.02 the best among the leading bowlers.
3: Bas de Leede (Netherlands) - 15
The all-rounder starred in the do-or-die clash with Scotland where Netherlands secured their spot at the Cricket World Cup, becoming just the fifth player to take a five-wicket haul and score a century in the same ODI.
Both milestones were a first for de Leede but the emerging 23-year-old also showed more are likely to come as he made his mark against leading teams with three wickets against Sri Lanka though he skipped their return clash in the final to return to the UK.
=4: Chris Greaves (Scotland) - 14
The leg-spinner made the most of his opportunity on the big stage with a breakthrough five-wicket haul against Oman then followed it up in the next outing with four Sri Lanka scalps.
Greaves’ wickets came at an average of just 16.07 and he now looms as a likely regular for Scotland in upcoming campaigns.
=4: Richard Ngarava (Zimbabwe) - 14
While the hosts’ had little trouble piling on the runs throughout much of the tournament, their bowling attack at times failed to match those efforts.
Left-armer Ngarava carried much of the load with the ball for Zimbabwe as he regularly broke through at crucial times and claimed 14 wickets at 19.28, while also restricting the opposition to 4.73 runs an over.
=4: Bilal Khan (Oman) - 14
The left-armer again led the attack for Oman and crucially lifted as the standard of the opposition rose.
The veteran pacer picked up 5/55 against Scotland and took three scalps from the Netherlands as the qualification contenders otherwise set imposing targets for Oman.
=7: Brandon McMullen (Scotland) - 13
The powerful all-rounder was one of the standout performers of the Cricket World Cup Qualifier with two tons and a five-wickets haul.
McMullen’s maiden five-for came early in the tournament as Scotland snatched a thriller from Ireland in their campaign opener, and the 23-year-old seamer finished with 13 scalps at an average of 17.53.
=7: Mark Adair (Ireland) - 13
The tall pacer regularly stepped up for a stuttering Ireland and showed the impact he can have on the leading teams with 4/46 against Sri Lanka in the group stage.
Adair needed more support from the attack but finished with 13 wickets at an average of 20.46 and is sure to remain part of Ireland's solutions after their disappointing campaign.
=9: Karan KC (Nepal) - 12
The speedster was the pick of the Nepal bowlers and claimed a pair of four-fors against USA and Ireland, as well as three scalps against the UAE.
Karan KC’s 12 wickets came at an average of 21.66 as he carried his consistent CWC League 2 efforts onto a bigger stage while no doubt hoping for more support.
=9: Logan van Beek (Netherlands) - 12
The all-rounder will be best remembered for his sensational Super Over exploits to snatch a rousing victory from the West Indies but his bowling was also important throughout the tournament to Netherlands’ eventual progress to Cricket World Cup.
Van Beek claimed five wickets in two clashes with tournament standouts Sri Lanka, while his seamers proved too much for Nepal as he finished with 4/24.