The five-match ODI series between India and Sri Lanka starts this Sunday in Dambulla. Let’s go down memory lane to look at the most stunning bowling efforts by Sri Lankans against their rivals, India in the 50 over format.
Muttiah Muralitharan 7/30 (Sharjah, 2000)
The 6th game of the Coca-Cola Cup was played under lights at the Sharjah Cricket Grounds. The Sri Lankan team, led by legendary all-rounder and current chief selector Sanath Jayasuriya, were invited to bat first by the opposition skipper Saurav Ganguly on a dry surface and managed to score 294/5 in their 50 overs. After losing the openers early, Marvan Atapattu and Mahela Jayawardana got together and added a superb 226 runs for the 3rd wicket to put Sri Lanka in a commanding position after their 1st innings. Chasing 295 to win, The Indians lost two quick wickets in the first 5 overs. Then came spin wizard Muttiah Muralitharan who picked up Robin Singh to open his wicket tally. Murali continued his on his merry way as he dismissed an in-form Sachin Tendulkar for 61 and then went on to dismantle the Indian team for a disappointing 226 in 48.5 overs. All-round efforts gave the islanders an outstanding 68 run win over a strong Indian team. The wily off-spinner registered his career best figures in ODIs when he bowled his 10 overs for only 30 runs picking up 7 Indian wickets. The effort by Murali remains the best bowling figurers against India in ODI cricket bettering Aaqib Javed’s 7/37.
Watch – Jayasuriya justifies Thisara Perera’s inclusion
Ajantha Mendis 6/13 (Karachi, 2008)
Ajantha Mendis came into International cricket and troubled all the top teams with his variations and unusual action and he continued this as Sri Lanka thrashed the Indians by 100 runs at the 2008 Asia Cup. The Lankan Lions were invited to bat first and posted a fighting 273 all out with left-hander Sanath Jayasuriya making a blistering 125 off 114 balls. In pursuit of 274 to lift the title, the Indians came out all-guns blazing with Virender Sehwag taking them to 76/1 in 9 overs. Skipper Mahela Jayawardana introduced Mendis in the 10th over and he struck straightaway getting rid of Sehwag for a 36 ball 60. Yuvraj Singh and Suresh Raina were clean bowled soon after as Sri Lanka got right back into the game. The mystery spinner was unstoppable as he bamboozled the strong batting line-up with his skills. The Indians were rattled and knocked out for 173 inside 40 overs, as Mendis ended up with 6/13 in his 8 overs at an impressive economy rate of 1.62.
Angelo Mathews 6/20 (R. Premadasa, 2009)
Angelo Mathews is bowler that gives a lot of value to a ODI team with his seam bowling. His best bowling figures in ODIs were recorded against India in a tri-nation tournament that featured India and New-Zealand. The hosts won the 3rd game of the Compaq Cup by a convincing margin of 139 runs. Batting first at the R. Premadasa International Stadium the hosts went on to score 307 in their 50 overs thanks to valuable contributions from Sanath Jayasuriya and Thilina Kandamby. Defending 307, Skipper Sangakkara bought on Mathews as the 5th bowling option and the medium pacer took the opportunity with both hands to dismiss some big names, including Rahul Dravid, MS Dhoni, Suresh Raina and Yusuf Pathan. Mathews needed just 6 overs to dismantle the opponents as he finished with 6/20.
Watch – Sri Lanka team departure to Dambulla for Indian ODIs
Chaminda Vaas 5/14 (Sharjah, 2000)
The Final of the Coca-Cola Cup 2000 was a memorable day for Sri Lanka cricket. Skipper Sanath Jayasuriya won the all-important toss in the final and made a cracking 189 off 161 balls to register the highest individual ODI score for Sri Lanka in ODIs. Jayasuriya’s heroics steered the Lankans to 299 in their 50 overs.
The Sri Lankan bowlers were right on the money when it was their turn to have a go at the Indians with their greatest ever left-arm seamer Chaminda Vaas on song. He dislodged the Indian batsmen one after the other as they had no answers for the moving ball. Nobody expected the mighty Indians to topple the way they did as their innings folded for 54 in 26.3 overs. Vaas bagged the likes of Sachin Tendulkar, Saurav Ganguly, Yuvraj Singh and Vinod Kambli to end up with figures of 5/14 in 9.3 overs with an economy of 1.45; Sri Lanka won by 245 runs.
Thisara Perera 5/28 (Dambulla, 2010)
In the 5th game of the triangular tournament in 2010 the Indians came out to bat on a pitch that was helpful to seam bowling. Right arm medium pacer Thisara Perera came into the attack as the 2nd change bowler and ran through the Indian middle-order with a dream bowling spell. It was a day to forget for the Indians as they were bundled out for 104 in 33.4 overs, the hosts cruised to the target with 8 wickets in hand and 209 balls remaining. Skipper Kumar Sangakkara took 2 catches off the bowling of Perera as he deceived the likes of Suresh Raina, MS Dhoni and Ravi Jadeja with terrific seam bowling. He bowled 7.4 overs conceding 28 runs to grab 5 wickets. Perera’s efforts with ball gave him the Man of the match award.