The Stars of Sri Lanka
Names like Vaas, Sangakkara, Jayawardene, Muralitharan and others have lined Sri Lanka’s rich cricket history. These days, though, the onus has been handed to Karunaratne and several others.
The steely left-hander is often there and thereabouts in the International Cricket Council rankings for Test batsmen. Rubbing shoulders with the best of them like Steven Smith and Virat Kohli, Karunaratne doesn’t have as much natural talent as those big names, but he is a grafter and invested in the success of his team.
Bowling-wise, they’ve got seamer Lakmal, who has been known to trouble even the most hardy batsmen. He is often partnered by Dilruwan Perera, whose spin can bamboozle the opposition, especially if the pitch is rife with turn. Lakmal and Perera are no Vaas or Muralitharan, respectively, but they are the bowling hopes of Sri Lanka for the foreseeable future.
Mathews used to rank among the world’s best all-rounders in all three formats, but injury has lessened his role with the ball in recent years. He still bowls, but not nearly as much as he used to. His primary role with the bat, though, is unwavering – and he is often responsible for the middle-order resurrections required when the men at the top of the order haven’t done as well as was anticipated.
Malinga is among the best fast bowlers in Sri Lanka’s cricket history. Renowned for that sling-like whipping bowling action of his, Malinga has beaten many batsmen for pace – and hurt a few toes along the way with characteristically quick yorkers. He once took four wickets in four successive deliveries in ODI cricket. That was done against South Africa during the 2007 Cricket World Cup in the Caribbean. The feat obviously included a hat-trick – one of three in ODI cricket for Malinga. He is the only cricketer to have taken three ODI hat-tricks.