Ajantha Mendis will always be a special cricketer and he will always be remembered for bringing the term mystery spinner into cricket. Before him there was no such term as a mystery spinner because there were only off spinners and leg spinners. Ajantha Mendis was so radically different that he was called as the first mystery spinner in cricket. Sri Lanka had found their next match winner and he won so many matches for Sri Lanka. He played 19 Test Matches, 87 ODIs and 39 T20IS for Sri Lanka. He took 70 wickets in Test Cricket, 152 Wickets in ODIs and 66 wickets in T20IS. He had a total of 278 Wickets in international cricket. And he took 9 Five Wicket Hauls in all cricket.
Let’s look at the Top 5 Best Performances of Ajantha Mendis
1) 6/117 and 4/92 vs India (2008)
This was only his second test match and it was against an Indian team which had the best batting line-up in the world and he took 10 wickets in the match. Ajantha Mendis took 6 wickets in the first innings and he bowled 28 overs and he gave away 117 runs. He had taken a 6 wicket haul in only his second test match. In the second batting innings of India he again took 4 wickets after bowling 27.2 overs and giving away 92 runs. He bowled close to 56 overs in the test match. And even though Sri Lanka lost this test match by 170 runs, Ajantha Mendis had arrived in international cricket.
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2) 5/56 and 3/81 vs India (2008)
This was his 3rd test match and again in this match he took 8 wickets against India. It looked like he really enjoyed playing against India. This time in the first innings he took 5 wickets for just 56 runs in 28 overs at 2 runs per over. He had improved from his last match. And in the second batting innings of India, he again picked up 3 wickets for 81 runs in 34 overs so in this match he bowled 62 overs and Sri Lanka won this match by 8 wickets thanks to a match winning performance by Ajantha Mendis.
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3) 6/13 vs India (2008)
His best ODI Performance also came against India and it came in the year 2008. The year 2008 was the year of Ajantha Mendis and India was his favorite opponent. In this match he bowled in the second innings and he absolutely gave the Indian batters no chance while they were chasing 274 to win the final of Asia Cup 2008. He bowled 8 overs and while giving away just 13 runs he took 6 wickets and India were bowled out for 173 meaning Sri Lanka had won the match by 100 runs. This was one of the most dominating bowling performances in ODI cricket.
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4) 6/29 vs Zimbabwe (2008)
Finally a team in this list that is not India. This time his victims were Zimbabwe whose batters did not know what hit them. He absolutely bamboozled their batters and while Zimbabwe were batting first he bowled 9 overs for just 29 runs and got 6 of the wickets. Sri Lanka won the match by 2 wickets. Ajantha Mendis had owned 2008 by getting multiple 5 wicket hauls in multiple formats.
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5) 6/16 vs Australia (2011)
This was his most memorable performance in T20IS. He has 2 Six wicket hauls in T20IS and no other bowler in history has this record. This performance came against one of the best teams in the world which was Australia. Sri Lanka had set a total of 158 for Australia to win and they would have won but Ajantha Mendis had other ideas. In the 4 overs that he bowled in this match he took 6 wickets for just 16 runs and he rattled the batting line-up of Australia and as a result Sri Lanka beat Australia by 9 runs for a famous win. Ajantha Mendis was celebrated as a Hero and he had another 6/8 in T20IS against Zimbabwe.
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