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Rangana Herath: Top-three spells of his international career

Mar 19, 2023

Rangana Herath is one of the legendary cricketers to play international cricket from Sri Lanka. He’s the second-highest wicket-taker for the island nation in Test cricket with 433 wickets to his name at an average of 28.07 with 34 five-wicket hauls and nine ten-wicket hauls to his name.

Apart from his Test heroics, the left-arm spinner also bowled memorable spells in his short ODI and T20I career. Herath will be turning 45 on March 19, 2023, as the star spinner celebrates his birthday, let’s take a look at his top three spells in international cricket.

 4/20 against India, Tri-series final, July 11, 2013

It was the final of the tri-series which included India and the West Indies and the Lankan Lions. The Lankan Lions were up against India in the big final. Batting first the Angelo Mathews were bundled out for just 201 and had an uphill task of defending the score against a strong Indian batting line-up.

Herath rose to the occasion and ended up bowling a brilliant spell of 4/20 which included the scalps of Rohit Sharma, Dinesh Karthik, Ravichandran Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja. However, the spell didn’t prove to be enough to ensure Sri Lanka’s win as India won the game in the last over courtesy of an MS Dhoni masterclass.

9/127 against Pakistan, 2nd Test, August 2014

In the second Test against Pakistan in 2014, Sri Lanka posted 320 in the first innings and were looking to bundle out Pakistan cheaply. The responsibility was once again on Herath to lead the spin attack. The left-arm spinner ended up picking nine wickets in the first innings which helped his team to bundle Pakistan out for 332.

He followed it up with another five-wicket haul in the second innings and won the game for his side. He finished with figures of 14/184, his best ever in Test cricket as Sri Lanka whitewashed Pakistan 2-0.

5/3 against New Zealand, ICC T20 World Cup 2014, 31 March 2014

In a must-win game in the ICC T20 World Cup 2014, Sri Lanka were bundled out for just 119. Seeing his side in disarray, Herath took it upon himself to bail his team out of trouble. He ended up picking 5/3 to bundle out New Zealand for just 60 runs. His fifer included prized scalps of Brendon McCullum and Ross Taylor. Courtesy of the win, Sri Lanka qualified for the semi-final of the World Cup and went on to win the competition.

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