Rangana Herath- Fiesty Limted Overs Cricket Performances

Published 04/22/2016, 12:18 PM EDT


The Sub-Continent seems to be a perennial source of spinners but the danger is that it actually is also the sink.  With flatter wickets, bowling conditions are tougher in the sub-continent than any other cricketing wicket in the world, hence shining through the ranks is a success in itself.

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Rangana Herath, hailing from Kurunegala, came on to the scene with the Lankans seeing the sun set upon their greatest bowler ever in Muttia Muralitharan. As the Lankans tried to adjust life without their spin-wizard, Herath ramped it up, much to their relief. Featuring regularly in the test side, he also made his mark felt in limited overs cricket too, as he looked to fill in the big shoes left empty. Making his ODI debut back in 2004, Herath had to wait a long as 6 years to make his next appearance for the Lankans in 2010, but made .

5. Setting the Tone

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A young Herath won many hearts, by putting in some great performances. Image Credits: gettyimages

Herath showed the world that he isn’t afraid of the big stage when he put the South African resistance to bed at the Dammbulla International Stadium in Colombo in 2004, really early in his career. With figures of 3/28 in 8 overs, Herath set the tone, paving the way for a Sri Lankan win in the first ODI of the bilateral series. Picking the well set Gibbs, sending back Kallis and removing the dangerous Mark Boucher, he made a mark with a brilliant bowling performance. The Proteas were restricted to just 191 on a dry pitch. The Lankans chased down the score in a tight affair, but the honours firmly went to the young Rangana Herath.

4. Storming into the Final

Herath celebrates after taking Sri Lanka through to the ICC world T20 final at the RPS in Colombo. Image Credits: ESPN Cricinfo

The big stage isn’t for the faint hearted and Rangana Herath wasn’t one. In an all Asian Semi Final of the ICC world T20 in Sri Lanka, Pakistan had done their bit in restricting a strong Sri Lankan line up to just 139. However they were up against a resurgent Lankan side playing in front of their home fans. Led by the mercurial left arm spinner, Sri Lanka bundled the Pakistanis in a hard fought victory at the Premadasa stadium in Colombo.

Dismissing the Pakiatani skipper Hafeez and then cleaning up Shoaib Malik and Shahid Afridi, Herath ended up with sensational match figures of 4-0-28-3, sending his home crowd in raptures.

 

3. Scaring the Aussies in their backyard.

Herath Celebrates after cleaning up Peter Forrest at the Adelaide Oval. Image Credits: Getty Images

In a ‘true’ test depicting character, Herath came out with flying colours but ended up on the side coming second on the day. The CB series 3rd final was a big occasion and Herath weaved his magic on that night in Adelaide, but the resilient Aussies managed to pull through.

Bowling in the middle overs, Herath weaved his web around the Aussies, strangling them to just 231 after the hosts got off to a great start. He returned with 3/36 in his quota of 10 overs. The Lankans however lost their way in the chase losing the game eventually, but Herath’s performance was a huge positive to take away.

2.Nearly Spinning India out.

Herath is elated after removing India’s Dinesh Karthik. Image Credits: ESPN Cricinfo

Playing in the Tri-Series final in 2008, both India and Sri Lanka were looking to make it count. While India was at an all-time high after winning the 2013 champions trophy in England, before the tri-series, their island neighbours had a point to prove against their familiar foes. On the said backdrop, the two Asian sides met in Port-of-Spain in the summit clash. The Lankans, defending a smallish 201, had the Indians on the backfoot from the start. However, useful contributions from Rohit Sharma (58) and Suresh Raina (32) ensured that the Indians stayed on track.

However, it seemed like one way traffic as Rangana Herath had his day out. After dismissing Dinesh Karthik, Herath spun out a set Rohit Sharma before cleaning the lower middle order in Jadeja and Ashwin, ending his quota of 10 overs with 4/20. Unfortunately, Herath’s career best figures went in vain as a resilient MS Dhoni took India through in a gripping finish.

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1.Bamboozling the Kiwis

 

Rangana Herath sends back one of his victims against New Zealand in Chittagong. Image Credits: ESPN Cricinfo

Performing on the big stage requires an athlete with a large heart and Herath proved to everyone why he was a man to be reckoned with after demolishing New Zealand in a must-win ICC World T20 group stage encounter in Chittagong. Defending a paltry 119, Sri Lanka needed a miracle stopping a rampant Kiwi batting line-up when the wizard turned up, exhibiting a masterclass in off spin bowling on a wicket aiding the same. Sending McCullum packing with a delivery going away, Herath bundled out Ross Taylor and the middle order, ending up with an unrealistic 5/3 in his 3.2 overs. His performance, the third best ever in a T20 international, helped the Lankans get to the knock-out stages of the tournament. Sri Lanka went on to lift the title in an emotional final in Mirpur beating India.

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