Review of India-Sri Lanka T20Is

This T20I series in July 2021, like the ODI series which preceded it, only taught us that:

India C is better than Sri Lanka.

Sri Lanka is better than India D.

It was the first bilateral series in any format which Sri Lanka had won against India since July 2008.

A summary of all T20Is between these teams:

22 matches. India lead 14-7 with 1 no result.

In India: India lead 8-2 with 1 NR

In Sri Lanka: India lead 5-3

Neutral: Sri Lanka lead 2-1

A summary of individual performances follows. The number of matches is not enough for meaningful calculation of averages, strike rates and the like.

Most runs (100 or more):

Dhawan moved into the top position ahead of Kohli. MD Shanaka has the most runs by any current SL player.

RG Sharma is the only one with a century, while Kohli is the only one with 4 50+ scores.

Highest innings score (50 or more):

From this bowler-dominated series there is only SA Yadav’s 50.

Most wickets (8 or more):

YS Chahal and PVD Chameera from the current series are at the top. Chahal is the only one with 2 four-fors.

Best innings bowling (includes all cases of 4wi or more):

While the overall record is still Ashwin’s 4-8, it was almost surpassed by Hasuranga’s 4-9 in this series. There is also B Kumar’s 4-22 from this series.

Most dismissals (5 or more):

Dominated by Dhoni, while HH Pandya has the most catches by a non-keeper.

Most dismissals in an innings (3 or more):

Dhoni again.

Best all-round match performances (Minimum 20 runs and 2 wickets):

Yuvraj’s 60* and 3-23 is clearly the best. No good performances in this series.

The Sri Lankan cricketer with the shortest name

We are familiar with Sri Lankan international cricketers with long names, such as Chaminda Vaas and Chanaka Welegedara .

These two have played together in various national teams several times.

The Sri Lankan player with the shortest name is less obvious. It would appear to be Isiru Udana who has played in a number of ODIs and T20Is over the last decade.

A more likely choice would be Roy Dias of the early Test sides. However, his full name was Roy Luke Dias and the scorecards usually put him down as R.L. Dias.

You can see that the other player’s full name is Isuru Udana Tillakaratna. However, this name does not appear in scorecards or media reports.

Update: Isuru Udana retired from international cricket a few days after this was published.

Summary of India-Sri Lanka ODI matches

With this 2-1 victory, India continued its dominance of bilateral ODI series against Sri Lanka. The last such series in Sri Lanka in Aug 2017 was a 5-0 win by India (with similar results in Tests and T20Is).

Sri Lanka has never won an ODI bilateral series in India.

Overall summary of results:

Trivia note: the first ODI between these teams was won by Sri Lanka in the 1979 World Cup.

Batting:

1000 and more runs:

Also see that the most centuries are 8 each by Kohli and Tendulkar, and the most 50+ scores are 25 by Tendulkar and 24 by Sangakkara.

The highest total by those who played in this series is 1111 by Dhawan, although Kohli has the most by current players.

Highest innings (120 and more):

While the world record of 264 remains with RG Sharma, there is no other century in this series.

Batting averages (Min 20 innings and 25.00):

Kohli is second here followed by other current players such as Mathews and RG Sharma. But no one who played in this series is here.

Strike rates (Minimum 500 balls faced, 75.00):

S Dhawan is second on this list, and is the only one here who played in the current series. RG Sharma and Kohli follow him.

Bowling:

Most wickets (20 and above):

The only one with two five-fors is RR Singh. The only only one with 4 four-fors is BAW Mendis. I. Sharma is among those with 3.

The only one on this list who played in the current series is B Kumar at the bottom.

Best innings bowling (including all 5wi and above):

No such instance from this series, although Bumrah and B Kumar are there from earlier series.

Bowling averages (Minimum 1000 balls bowled, all instances):

Among current and near-current players, there are Mathews, T Perera and R Jadeja.

The best averages are by Agarkar and BAW Mendis.

The best economy rates are by Kapil and Harbhajan.

The best strike rates are by Agarkar and I Sharma.

Fielding:

Most dismissals (15 and above):

Dhoni has the most catches and stumpings. The most catches by a non-keeper are by M Jayawardene.

Most dismissals in innings (4 and above):

Dhoni is the only one with 5 dismissals, while M Kaif is the only non-keeper with 4 catches. Saha is the only other keeper from recent times.

Best dismissal rate (minimum 20 innings, 0.400)

Dhoni again leads here, while Kohli has the best among current players.

All-round performance:

Overall (see criteria in table):

Somewhat unexpectedly, Mathews and IK Pathan turn out to be the best all-rounders here.

Match (30 runs and 3 wickets):

The best performances here are by Ganguly, RR Singh, Thushara and Prabhakar.

Praveen Jayawickrama’s records

Debutant left-arm spinner Praveen Jayawickrama played a crucial role in Sri Lanka’s Test and series win against Bangladesh, especially as the first Test was played on a batting paradise.

https://www.espncricinfo.com/player/praveen-jayawickrama-1028665

In the second Test he took 6-92 and 5-86, making a total of 11-178.

This was the best by a Sri Lankan bowler on debut in an innings:

Note that his name appears twice here, for his 6-for as well as 5-for.

And the best match figures by a Sri Lankan bowler on debut:

We see that he is the first Sri Lankan bowler to take 10 wickets on debut.

Now let us see about left-arm spinners on debut:

Jayawickrama has the third-best figures here.

A more surprising result is obtained when we see the match bowling figures if this category on debut:

Here, he has the best match figures of debutants in this category, edging out the famous Alf Valentine’s figures in 1950.

High scores on Test debut by Sri Lankan players

Pathum Nissanka became the fourth Sri Lankan player to score a century on debut.

Here is a list of all Sri Lankan players to have scored a 50 or more on Test debut.

Note that several members of the current Sri Lankan team are in this list. Chandimal and Kusal (MDKJ) Perera had scored two fifties on debut, along with Hasuranga (PWH) de Silva, Karunaratne, Dickwella and Dilruwan (MDK) Perera.

Thirimanne’s record

So England ultimately won the series against Sri Lanka 2-0, but there were some periods in both Tests where it seemed that the hosts had a chance of winning.

In the second Test, Lasith Embuldeniya took 7 wickets in the first innings and went on to take his first “tenner” in the match. It may have escaped notice that Lahiru Thirimanne took 5 catches as a fielder in the first innings, all of them off Lasith’s bowling.

See the scorecard: https://www.espncricinfo.com/series/england-in-sri-lanka-2020-21-1242951/sri-lanka-vs-england-2nd-test-1243016/full-scorecard

There are several instances of non-keepers taking 5 catches in an innings:

However, Lahiru Thirimanne is the only one who took all 5 catches off the same bowler.

There are a few instances of a fielder taking 4 catches off the same bowler, as that of J Blackwood doing so against Sri Lanka off the bowling of KC Brathwaite. (That was a fluke instance as he never took 4 wickets in an innings in any other Test).

There is at least one instance for India. AL Wadekar took 4 catches off BS Bedi in an innings at Christchurch in 1967-68.

While Lasith took a further 3 wickets in England’s second innings, Thirimanne failed to take another catch. However, his 5 catches off the same bowler may also be a match record in all Tests.

Review of SA-SL Tests-2

Hope you have read Part 1.

We now move on to Bowling:

Most wickets (10 wickets and more):

Bowling-10 wkts

Muralitharan is far ahead of the others, while Steyn leads current players with Philander close behind.

Muralitharan has the most 10-wicket hauls (4) while no one else has more than 1. He also has the most 5-fors with 11, when no one else has more than 3.

Best innings bowling (6wi and above):

Bowling-6wi

Maharaj has the best analysis which came in the last series between these teams. There is nothing from the current series.

Best match bowling (8wm and above):

Bowling-8wm

While there are a few performances from the 2018 series here, there are none from this series.

Best bowling averages (Minimum 2000 balls, all instances):

Bowl avg

Expectedly it is headed by Muralitharan. The best economy rate is also by him, while Steyn has the best strike rate.

Now for fielding:

Most dismissals (10 and above):

Dismissals

Boucher heads this list by a large margin. He has the most stumpings and catches by a keeper. Kallis has the most catches by a non-keeper.

Most innings dismissals (4 and above):

Innings dismissals-4

Boucher heads this again, while Kallis has the most by a non-keeper.

Most match dismissals (6 and above):

Match dismissals-6

de Kock heads this list, while Kallis again has the best by a non-keeper. de Kock is also the only current player here.

Best dismissal rate (Minimum 20 innings and 0.400):

Dimissal rate-0.6

Headed by Boucher and Kallis. Amla is the only current player here.

All-round performance:

Overall (see criteria in table):

AR-overall

Only SM Pollock makes the cut.

Match performance:

No one has a fifty and five-for in the same match. However, we can find some who have made 50 runs and taken 5 wickets in a match:

AR-match

Pollock and Kallis would have the best performances here.

 

 

 

Review of SA-SL Tests-1

Sri Lanka won the series 2-0 and thus became the first Asian country to win a Test series there. Neither have New Zealand or the West Indies won there yet.

Here is the summary of Tests between these teams:

Overall

Until now, Sri Lanka had won only one Test in SA, which was at Durban in December 2011. That was part of a 2-1 series loss.

This time, Sri Lanka won the first Test at Durban by one wicket and the second at Port Elizabeth by the more respectable margin of 8 wickets.

Sri Lanka also leads 6-3 for Tests at home.

We now move to individual performances, starting with batting:

Most runs (500 runs and above):

Batting-500

The old firm of Jayawardene and Sangakkara at the top. Amla heads the current players including Karunaratne, the only one from SL.

Jayawardene (6) has the most centuries followed by Cullinan with 5.

Sangakkara (10) has the most scores of 50+ followed by Cullinan and Sangakkara with 8.

Highest scores (110 and above):

Innings-110

The same old firm monopolizes the first four positions. MDKJ Perera’s match-winning 153* is now the best for SL in SA, surpassing TT Samaraweera’s 115* in 2012. Note Cullinan’s three centuries at the bottom.

Highest batting averages (Minimum 20 innings, all instances):

Batting avg

Almost inevitably it is the same pair at the top. Amla is the only current player here.

Highest strike rate (Minimum 1000 balls faced, all instances):

Strike rate

Here we have Jayasuriya leading with ABD in second place. Karunaratne leads the current players.

To be continued.

Review of Aus-SL Tests-2019 (2)

Hope that you have seen Part 1.

We now move on to Bowling:

Most wickets (15 and above):

Most wickets-15

Note Herath’s late surge after Muralitharan retired. Starc heads the current players.

The most 5wis are 6 by Herath and Starc. The most 10wms are 2 by Warne and Starc.

Best innings bowling (6wi and above):

Innings-6wi

Cummins has the best figures among current players.

Best match bowling (9wm and above):

Match-9wm

In this series, Cummins (10-62 at Brisbane) and Starc (10-100 at Canberra) surpassed the previous mark for Australia vs Sri Lanka at home. It was earlier held by Siddle (9-104 at Hobart in 2012).

Best bowling averages (Minimum 2000 balls, all instances):

Bowl avg-all

Herath and Warne have the best bowling averages.

Vaas and Warne have the best economy rates.

Herath and Warne have the best strike rates.

Fielding:

Most dismissals (12 and above):

Dismissals-12

Gilchrist and Healy have the most catches by a keeper (32) and Gilchrist also has the most stumpings (5). The most catches by a non-keeper are 20 by M Jayawardene. Only Kusal Mendis represents current players here with 12 dismissals.

Most innings dismissals (4 and above):

Innings dismissals

This time Hayden has the most catches by a fielder with 4.

Most match dismissals (6 and above):

Match dismissals

Healy and Gilchrist yet again, while Hayden’s 7 catches as a non-keeper were a share in the world record at that time.

Best dismissal rate (Minimum 20 innings, 0.5):

Dismissal rate-0.5

Sangakkara has the highest dismissal rate, while M Jayawardene has the highest by a non-keeper.

All-round overall performance (see criteria):

AR-overall

Only Vaas meets these criteria.

All-round match performance (50 and 5wi in match):

AR-match

Only two such performances.

 

 

The Al-Jazeera Report Analyzed-2

Hope you have watched the hour-long video and read my earlier post: https://abn397.wordpress.com/2018/05/28/the-al-jazeera-report-analyzed-1/

Here we look at the Sri Lankan connection in more detail.

There is a fleeting reference to Jayananda Warnaweera, who played in Tests with some success as an off-spinner. He was the curator at Galle and was facing queries from the ICC as to some oddities in pitch behaviour. As the ICC and Sri Lankan authorities felt he was being non-cooperative, he was suspended for 3 years in early 2016:

https://www.wisdenindia.com/cricket-news/warnaweera-suspended-years/195673

Anyway he was out of the way by the time this report got under way. His successors (who appeared in the Al-Jazeera report along with Robin Morris) did talk about fixing the Galle Test against Australia in August 2016. This was the second Test of the series which Sri Lanka won 3-0.

In this case, the pitch was deliberately prepared to be bowler-friendly. The betting was probably on low scores and an early finish. The fixers had done their job well: the match got over early on the third day, in one of the shortest Tests in recent times. The scorecard:

http://www.espncricinfo.com/series/8917/scorecard/995453/sri-lanka-vs-australia-2nd-test-australia-tour-of-sri-lanka-2016/

In contrast, there was another Test at Galle against India in July 2017. This time they made the pitch more batsman-friendly. Indeed, India batted first and made 600. Sri Lanka collapsed abjectly and went on to lose the series 3-0. The betting was probably on a good score being made in the first innings. But no players were involved in fixing in these two Tests.

http://www.espncricinfo.com/series/17891/scorecard/1109602/sri-lanka-vs-india-1st-test-sl-v-ind-2017/

Now let us look at the dramatis personae from Sri Lanka:

AJ cricket screenshot1AJ cricket screenshot2

Hasan Raza is the only name which most of us would recognize. All other former cricketers lesser known but are duly recorded in Cricinfo and other websites:

Robin Morris: http://www.espncricinfo.com/ci/content/player/31008.html

Tharindu Mendis: http://www.espncricinfo.com/srilanka/content/player/49681.html

Reasonable domestic player. Though not highlighted here, he is the elder brother of current ODI/T20I player Jeevan Mendis (BMAJ Mendis).

Jeevan Kulathunga: http://www.espncricinfo.com/srilanka/content/player/49394.html

Played in two T20Is

Dilhara Lokuhettige, who made a fleeting appearance: http://www.espncricinfo.com/srilanka/content/player/48487.html  He appears in the scorecards as LHD Dilhara. Has played in a few ODIs and T20Is, some against India.

Tharanga Indika: http://www.espncricinfo.com/srilanka/content/player/502540.html

Limited career as a domestic player.

The Sri Lankan cricket authorities have acted against the four persons named above: http://www.espncricinfo.com/story/_/id/23630601/two-former-sri-lankan-players-suspended-spot-fixing-allegations

Dilhara has escaped for the moment.

Though this news report does not explicitly name Indika, he has also been suspended.

The Al-Jazeera Report Analyzed-1

Anyone who follows cricket (even the Test purists) should watch the report. Numerous bits and pieces can be seen on Youtube and directly on various news sites. But to get a full idea of the extent of the match-fixing industry it is well worth watching the hour-long report:

Some of the key takeaways:

How is it that a key man of the D company is freely functioning in Mumbai apparently without interference from the Mumbai police or anyone else? (One is struck with his quiet confidence and thorough knowledge of the “business”).

A relatively minor domestic player like Robin Morris seems to have made a lot more money from fixing than in his regular cricket career. Even if he had somehow got into IPL he would not have earned much. And he seems to have a particularly dumb sidekick who, unlike him, did play in a few Tests and ODIs.

Then there is the Morris – Rajkumar plan to organize T20 tournaments all over the world-whose only purpose is to make money through fixing. Almost like a never-ending Ponzi scheme or perpetual motion machine.

Although Al-Jazeera did not mention this, someone has already made a start in a “fraudulent” tournament in the UAE earlier this year. This was so blatantly a fixed tournament that the UAE authorities had to throw them out. A sample report:

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2018-01-31/bizarre-scenes-uae-t20-league-icc-match-fixing-investigation/9377680

Other reports from that period can be found through Google. Not sure what ultimately happened there. But it sounds quite similar to what Morris (mainly) and Rajkumar were talking about. Clearly the players in this tournament had not been “trained” properly.

The allegations regarding Test matches pertain to

1) India vs England at Chennai in Dec 2016, the 5th Test which India won by an innings to take the 5-Test series 4-0: three English players (presumably specialist batsmen) are alleged to have manipulated the scoring rate. They have denied the charges. (Any guesses?) Here is the scorecard:

http://www.espncricinfo.com/series/10732/scorecard/1034817/india-vs-england-5th-test-england-tour-of-india-2016-17/

Those who followed the match closely on TV or the net may be able to figure out who the guilty trio are. I am not hazarding any guess, except that they would probably be 1-7 in the batting order.

Afterthought: Was even the bowling fixed? Did that allow Karun Nair to make a triple hundred (which is still the ONLY score he has made above 50 in a Test)?

2) India vs Australia at Ranchi in March 2017. This was the third of 4 Tests, the only drawn Test of the series. India won 2-1. Here two Australian players (presumably specialist batsmen) similarly manipulated the scoring rate. Al-Jazeera said that there was no reply from them so far. Here, too we can try to guess who they may be, batting at 1 to 7. Here is the scorecard:

http://www.espncricinfo.com/series/10839/scorecard/1062575/india-vs-australia-3rd-test-ind-v-aus-2016-17/

3) Sri Lanka vs India at Galle in July 2017. This was the first Test of the series, in which India won all three Tests by heavy margins. This time no players were involved, but merely manipulation of the pitch by the curator (?) and others. (But what was the bet? Merely that the match would be high-scoring). It was, in the sense that India made 600 batting first. But the Sri Lankan batsmen did so badly that they lost by over 300 runs in what was effectively an innings defeat, as India would have won by an innings if they had imposed the follow-on.

Galle has a history of pitch manipulation. The former curator, Test bowler J. Warnaweera, was suspended for 3 years by the ICC in early 2016 for non-cooperation with ICC investigators. This is with reference to earlier matches at Galle.

Here is the scorecard, for what it is worth:

http://www.espncricinfo.com/series/17891/scorecard/1109602/sri-lanka-vs-india-1st-test-sl-v-ind-2017/

The Sri Lankan leg needs a little more study as most of the characters are quite unknown even in neighboring countries.

To be continued.

Review of the Nidahas Trophy (2018)

This tournament is an one-off. There was another Nidahas Trophy in 1998 to mark the 50th anniversary of independence. That was also a triangular series but with 50-over matches. T20Is were still in the future.

This tournament was contested by Sri Lanka, India and New Zealand. Though the league matches were badly affected by rain, there was still a narrow 6-run win for India as Sri Lanka came close to chasing down a 300+ total in the final. Such things rarely happened in those days. See the scorecard:

http://www.espncricinfo.com/series/8560/scorecard/66157/sri-lanka-vs-india-final-singer-akai-nidahas-1998/

At least the host got to the final then, unlike on this occasion. This time it was Dinesh Karthik who won the match with one of the most famous last-ball sixes in limited-overs cricket history. But Javed Miandad may have something to say about that.

Here is a statistical summary of the 2018 edition. The sample size is too small to have meaningful figures for averages, strike rates and the like.

Most runs (90 and above):

Most runs

Kusal Perera made 3 fifties, while three others made two apiece.

Highest innings (40 and above):

Highest innings

Dhawan and RG Sharma have the highest scores.

During the SL v BD match on 16 Mar, there was a wisecrack that Mr Perera had scored 119 runs and took 5 catches.

Most wickets (4 and above):

Most wickets

India’s junior spinners lead here, with a number of highly experienced bowlers following.

Best innings bowling (including all 3wi and above):

Best innings bowling

The 4 top positions are by Indian bowlers.

Most dismissals (3 or more):

Most dismissals

Thissara Perera and Sabbir have the most (6) by non-keepers while Karthik (5) the most by keepers.

Most innings dismissals (2 or more):

Innings dismissals

Sabbir and Kusal Perera lead the non-keepers and keepers respectively.

All round performances (20+ runs and 2+ wickets in a match):

AR

Only one instance.