Sadeera Samarawickrama, Sri Lanka’s wicketkeeper, became the talk of the town. He impressed fans with what cricket enthusiasts are hailing as one of the greatest catches in the sport’s history during the only Test against Afghanistan in Colombo. The awe-inspiring moment occurred when Afghanistan’s Rahmat Shah, in the midst of a solid innings, opted for a paddle sweep off P Jayasuriya.
Samarawickrama, armed with sharp instincts and exceptional agility, anticipated Rahmat’s shot early. As Rahmat executed the sweep, the ball, making contact with the bat, seemed destined to elude capture. However, Samarawickrama, showcasing extraordinary glovework, swiftly moved to his left and snatched the ball out of the air with his left glove near his shin. Securing the catch with both hands, he completed a sensational display of wicketkeeping prowess.
Here is the video of Sadeera Samarawickrama:
WHAT AN EFFORT, SAMARAWICKRAMA ??pic.twitter.com/hR0UiZeYIN
— Johns. (@CricCrazyJohns) February 2, 2024
Recognising the importance of the dismissal, the on-field umpire referred the catch to the third umpire for verification. Replays confirmed that the ball had been cleanly nestled into Samarawickrama’s gloves without making contact with the ground after striking the sticker of the bat. After thorough scrutiny, TV umpire Alex Wharf had no hesitation in declaring it a fair catch.
Sri Lanka is set to grip the game on Day 2!
This moment of wicketkeeping brilliance brought an end to Rahmat’s commendable innings at 91 runs off 139 balls, featuring 13 boundaries. Samarawickrama’s catch not only highlighted his skills behind the stumps but also emphasised the significance of anticipation and reflexes in dismissals, playing a pivotal role in removing a key batsman from the match.
Rahmat, who had formed a solid 50-plus partnership with captain Hashmatullah Shahidi, exuded confidence at the crease. However, the Afghanistan captain’s dismissal, coupled with Nasir Jamal’s misjudgment in the following over, disrupted their momentum.
Despite Ikram Alikhil‘s cautious approach, Rahmat’s attempt at a paddle sweep led to Samarawickrama’s exceptional catch, showcasing the keeper’s ability to adjust swiftly and make crucial contributions to the game. At the end of Day 1, Sri Lanka is trailing Afghanistan by 118 runs with 10 wickets in hand.