Friday, August 06, 2010

I am an Ajantha Mendis fan

[Click for LARGER view]
The gallant man from Sri Lankan army left no choice, after playing an unforgettable innings of 78 as the Lankan number 10 in the 3rd Test against India on the 4th day.

To put the relevance of Mendis' effort in perspective:

  • Sri Lanka are ranked number 3 and are playing a prestigious series against India, the number one ranked team in Tests (thought not the number 1 in bowling); the SL team wants to win this series desperately for pride

  • The results of this 3rd & final match changes series result [SL have 1-0 lead coming into 3rd Test, but a loss can make it 1-1]

  • The teams have scored virtually the same runs in the 1st innings.

  • He came in when his team was struggling at 125/8, with Indian bowlers on rampage.

  • This pitch offers assistance to all bowlers

  • He was continuously hit by Ishant's bouncers on his 'business' finger which sends down those carrom balls

  • His highest score in 1st class cricket was 37 before this innings (refer picture above - freezeframe dt 06Aug10 of his player page) - it was also his highest score in any official form of the game

  • As a result of his joint effort with the brilliant Samaraweera, India are asked to chase down over 250 on a 4th & 5th day pitch which is already offering assistance to bowlers
Mendis' player page will show a highest score of 78 by close of business on 7th August. And when we look at that Mendis player page again after Ajantha is done with his career, that page would tell us that he scored big in some more important innings. That lost half-smile of his, it hides some steel.

[courtesy: Cricinfo player pages]

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