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Herath Mudiyanselage Rangana Keerthi Bandara Herath, commonly known as Rangana Herath (Sinhalese: රංගන හේරත්;Tamil: ரங்கன ஹெரத்;born 19 March 1978), is a professional Sri Lankan Test cricketer, and a former Test captain for Sri Lanka. Though he retired from limited over internationals, Herath is currently active in Test arena as the premier spinner for Sri Lanka. Considered as one of the greatest spin bowlers in the history of the game, Herath is a specialist left-arm bowler for Sri Lanka and holds the record of best bowling figures in Test matches by a left-arm spinner. On 11 March 2017, Herath surpassed 362 wickets by Daniel Vettori to become the most successful left-arm spinner in Test cricket history.[1] He is the first left-arm spinner to take 400 Test wickets.[2] On 10 February 2018 during Bangladesh tour, Herath became the most successful left-arm bowler in Test cricket history by surpassing Wasim Akram.[3]

Rangana Herath
රංගන හේරත් - ரங்கன ஹெரத்
Personal information
Full name Herath Mudiyanselage Rangana Keerthi Bandara Herath
Born (1978-03-19) 19 March 1978 (age 40)
Kurunegala, Sri Lanka
Nickname Rangaiyya
Height 5 ft 5 in (1.65 m)
Batting Left-handed
Bowling Slow left arm orthodox
Role Bowler, All-rounder
International information
National side
Test debut (cap 78) 22 September 1999 v Australia
Last Test 20 July 2018 v South Africa
ODI debut (cap 120) 25 April 2004 v Zimbabwe
Last ODI 1 March 2015 v England
ODI shirt no. 14
T20I debut (cap 39) 6 August 2011 v Australia
Last T20I 28 March 2016 v South Africa
Domestic team information
YearsTeam
1996–1998 Kurunegala Youth Cricket Club
1998–2010 Moors Sports Club
2008–2011 Wayamba
2009 Surrey
2010 Hampshire
2011–present Tamil Union Cricket and Athletic Club
2012 Basnahira Cricket Dundee
Career statistics
Competition Test ODI T20I LA
Matches 92 71 17 190
Runs scored 1,680 140 8 1,043
Batting average 14.60 9.33 2.66 16.55
100s/50s 0/3 0/0 0/0 0/1
Top score 80* 17* 3 88*
Balls bowled 25,705 3,242 365 8,256
Wickets 430 74 18 226
Bowling average 27.95 31.91 20.72 25.36
5 wickets in innings 34 0 1 0
10 wickets in match 9 n/a n/a n/a
Best bowling 9/127 4/20 5/3 4/19
Catches/stumpings 23/- 14/- -/- 44/-
Source: ESPNCricinfo, 23 July 2018

On 29 May 2016, Herath became the third Sri Lankan bowler to take 300 wickets in Test cricket history after Muttiah Muralitharan and Chaminda Vaas.[4] On 8 November 2016, Herath became only the third bowler in history to take five-wicket hauls against all Test-playing nations.[5] On 2 October 2017, he became the second Sri Lankan bowler to take 400 test wickets. He is the oldest player to reach 350 as well as 400 Test wickets.

On 23 October 2016, Herath was announced as captain for Sri Lanka tour to Zimbabwe.[6] Angelo Mathews, the regular captain, was injured. With this he became the oldest Sri Lankan player to lead a Test team for the first time and from any country since Tom Graveney in 1968.[7]

Contents

Early and career domestic careerEdit

Born on 19 March 1978, in the small village of Waduwawa, Kurunegala, on the southeastern tip of the Northwestern Province as the second of the family. His elder brother is Deepthi Herath. He was also promoted to the opening batting in school times, and acted as a pacer, until his coach told him to start spin bowling due to height problem. Before starting professional career, Hearth was working at Sampath Bank as a clerk, when he met brother of Chandika Hathurusingha.[8]

Herath started his cricket career at his first school Mayurapada Central College, Narammala.[9] Later he moved to Maliyadeva College, Kurunegala. Having made his first-class debut for Kurunegala Youth Cricket Club in 1996–97 cricket season, Rangana Herath currently represents Tamil Union Cricket and Athletic Club in Sri Lankan first-class cricket. He represented Moors Sports Club from 1998/99 to 2009/10 in local first-class cricket and also played for Surrey during the latter part of the 2009 English cricket season. In April 2010, Herath joined Hampshire, where he played in the first half of the 2010 County Championship.[10]

In March 2018, he was named in Dambulla's squad for the 2017–18 Super Four Provincial Tournament.[11][12]

Personal lifeEdit

Herath is married to Senani Herath, and they have two sons.

International careerEdit

Early careerEdit

Herath made his Test debut at Galle International Stadium, Sri Lanka against Australia in 1999. His One Day International debut came five years later in 2004, against Zimbabwe at Harare Sports Club. During the 2016 England series, Herath was ranked as 13th Test match bowler in the world, having hit the heights of second in the list in 2012.[13]

Although Herath made his Test debut back in 1999, he never came to the prominence as a leading spinner until the retirement of Muralitharan. Herath made a successful comeback to Test cricket in 2009 against Pakistan and took over the mantle of Sri Lanka's main spin bowler from Muralitharan. Former Sri Lankan captain Mahela Jayawardene rated Herath as Sri Lanka's number one bowler after the retirement of Muralitharan.[14]

Establishment in squadEdit

After playing second role in the team for long time behind the shadow of maestro Muttiah Muralitharan, Herath ascended to prominence against Australia in 1999 with a "mystery" ball. He broke into the national side after an impressive A tour to England. Herath while playing in two test matches in the series, deceived the visiting Australians with a delivery that darted the other way. He took six test wickets against the Australians. Herath made a comeback to the Test side, taking 15 wickets in the 3 match Test series vs. Pakistan played in Sri Lanka, also winning the man-of-the-match award in the first Test.[15] Herath then took 8 wickets in the second Test in the two match Test-series between Sri Lanka and New Zealand in Sri Lanka. This led Sri Lanka to a win, and a series victory.[16]

Herath played only in the test at Galle during the home series against India. Though Sri Lanka won, he only managed to take the wicket of Indian spinner Harbhajan Singh in that match. Herath was recalled for the second test match against the West Indies in November 2010. In that match played at the newly renovated R. Premadasa Stadium, he took three wickets in the first innings. In the second Test of Sri Lanka's tour of South Africa in December 2011, Herath took nine wickets and won the Man of the Match award. Sri Lanka won the match by 208 runs; it was their first Test win in South Africa.[17]

Herath took 12 wickets during the first test match of the 2012 England test series. His match winning performance helped him to secure the "Man of the Match" award in Galle. Herath was England's latest spin tormentor with 6 for 74 during the first inning and he took another 6 wickets for just 97 runs and confirmed the Sri Lanka's victory against the touring English team.[18]

Memorable 2014 World Twenty20Edit

Herath's best T20I bowling spells came during the 2014 ICC World Twenty20 in Bangladesh. His first World Twenty20 match was against New Zealand on 31 March 2014. By batting first, Sri Lanka scored only 119 all out, Mahela scored 25 runs as the best batsman.[19] Blackcaps came to the crease as the favorites to win the match, because 120 is not a huge task at all to them as smashers - Brendon McCullum, Martin Guptill, Ross Taylor, and Corey Anderson. During the match, Anderson was injured and so New Zealand played with only 10 players in batting. New Zealand started pretty well with Guptill and Kane Williamson. At this time, Malinga decided to go with Herath, who turned the match from nowhere. Herath balled a delivery to Guptill where he lunged forward to push to mid-on and set off for a single straight away but his partner was not at all interested. The bowler was wise to the mistake, rushed across to his right and cut the ball in its path and sent in a rocket throw and Sangakkara whipped the bails off. After this run-out, it wall all Herath. He stumped skipper McCullum, then caught Ross Taylor to lbw. Next, Herath bowled James Neesham in first ball he faced. He then captured Luke Ronchi for lbw, and New Zealand were never in the game. Finally New Zealand all out for just 60 runs, which is the lowest score by a test playing nation in Twenty20 Internationals. Herath finished with 5 wickets for 3 runs, earned him Man-of-the-match. With this win, Sri Lanka moved their fourth consecutive World T20 semi-finals and eventually won the World T20I title as well.[20]

Breaking recordsEdit

In the first innings of the second Test against Pakistan, Herath took nine wickets for 127 runs, the best figures for a left-arm bowler in Test cricket.[21] He was man of the match in both Test matches and also man of the series.

During the Sri Lankan cricket team against Pakistan in the UAE in 2013–14, Herath became the first Sri Lankan and 16th overall to be dismissed for a king pair in test history.[22][23]

In the second innings of the first Test against India in 2015, Herath took seven wickets for 48 runs, where Sri Lanka only had 175 runs behind India's total of 375. Herath was only able to take a single wicket in the first innings and had a fairly poor performance in the first innings. But his strong comeback in the second innings with other new spinner Tharindu Kaushal, India were all out for 112 runs, where Herath took 7 for 48 and Kaushal with 3 for 47. This was his 22nd five-wicket haul in Tests.[24]

In the first match at Galle against West Indies in 2015, Sri Lanka posted a huge total of 484 with the help of two centuries. In the bowling, Herath took his 23rd five-wicket haul in test cricket and the very first against West Indies. He finished with 6/68 runs and West Indies were all out for 251. This gave windies to keep follow-on and they came in to bat for the second innings just on the third day. Just as in the first innings, Herath was all over the Windies, where they all out for 227 runs, giving Sri Lanka a huge win by an innings and 6 runs. Herath took 4/79 in second innings, finished his fifth ten-wicket haul in Test cricket and adjudged man of the match award as well. The second match was a show of bowlers. Both teams do not score more than 250 in each innings, and Herath only took a single wicket in the first innings. West Indies required 245 runs to win the match, but Herath strikes again, picked up 4 wickets and sealed the game for Sri Lanka. Sri Lanka won the series 2-0 and Herath was the Player of the Series.[25]

In England tour 2016, Herath took two wickets in the first test at Leeds, with 299 test wickets. However, Sri Lanka lost the match by an innings and 88 runs. In the second match at Chester-Le-Street, Herath took his 300th test wicket by dismissing Steven Finn, caught by himself. He became the third Sri Lankan after Muttiah Muralitharan and Chaminda Vass to reach 300 test wickets in history. He also played well with the bat scoring 61 whilst batting with Dinesh Chandimal before being out to James Anderson.

On 11 February 2018, against Sri Lanka, Herath overtook the legendary Wasim Akram’s wicket tally in Test cricket to become the highest wicket-taking left-arm bowler.[26]

Limited overs retirementEdit

Herath revealed his intentions to retire from ODIs and T20Is after 2016 ICC World Twenty20. Sri Lanka exited from the World T20 in the first round and Herath announced his retirement on 17 April 2016. This was largely due to the fact that, Herath was picked to the recent limited over tournaments game after a game and with the few years to come with his age, he wants to focus more towards Test cricket.[27] Until retirement, Herath played 71 ODIs, took 74 wickets with the average of 31.91. He played 17 T20Is, where took 18 wickets with the best bowling figures of 5 for 3 against New Zealand in 2014 World T20I.[28]

Dominating test arenaEdit

Herath showed his talents in home soil back against Australian in the Warne Murali Series in 2016. In the first test, he took 4 four wickets in first innings and match-winning five-wicket haul in the second innings. Sri Lanka eventually won the match by 106 runs, which is only the second win against Australia in 27 test matches by Sri Lanka.[29] Herath has took 7 fifers in the fourth innings of Tests by 29 innings, which is the most fifers in second innings in least innings, previously held by legendary Muttiah Muralitharan, who took 35 innings to reach the milestone. Bowling figures of 5 for 58 in the match is also the best bowling figures in a Test innings in Pallekele.[30]

During the second Test at Galle, Herath took a hat-trick by dismissing Adam Voges, Peter Nevill, and Mitchell Starc in the Australian first innings. He became the second Sri Lankan after Nuwan Zoysa, and first Sri Lankan spinner to take a Test hat-trick.[31] He is also the second left-arm orthodox bowler ever to take a Test hatrick after Johnny Briggs in 1892.[32] In the process he became the oldest cricketer to take a hat-trick in Test matches.[33]

In the third Test at SSC, Herath took his 25th and 26th five-wicket haul in Test cricket. This is his fourth consecutive Test against Australia in where he has taken four or more wickets in the opponent's first innings. His 25th fifer mark is the highest by a bowler to take fifers since 2009. In this period, no other bowler has taken even 20 such hauls.[34] His ten wicket haul in the match gave the series whitewash against Number 1 ranked Australia for the first time in history. He took 13 wickets in the last test match and 28 wickets in the series. Both these wicket figures are record for a Sri Lankan against Australia.

CaptaincyEdit

After usual captain Angelo Mathews injured during ODI series against Australia, vice captain Dinesh Chandimal was also injured during T20I series of the same tour. With these major players absent, Herath was appointed as the captain of Test team for the Zimbabwe tour. On 29 September 2016, he led the team in a test match, becoming the oldest player to lead a Test team for the first time since Somachandra de Silva in 1983.[35] The match was won by Sri Lanka, where Herath led from the front, took 6 wickets in the match.[36]

On 8 November 2016, Herath took his 27th five wicket haul, becoming the third overall to take five-wicket hauls against all Test-playing nations, after Muttiah Muralitharan and Dale Steyn.[37] He took 13 wickets in the second test match, recording best bowling figures against Zimbabwe in Zimbabwe. He dismissed Carl Mumba by taking 350th wicket, recorded as the oldest player to achieve the feat. Only Muralitharan has taken more 12-wicket hauls than Herath, who has five to Murali's six. Sri Lanka whitewashed Zimbabwe 2-0 and Herath adjudged man of the match for his impressive performance.[38]

Herath was appointed as the Test captain for the March 2017 Bangladesh tour in home soil, after Angelo Mathews was not able to recover from the injuries.[39] In the fourth innings of first Test in Galle, Herath surpassed 362 test wickets by Daniel Vettori to become the most successful left-arm spinner in Test cricket history. He took six wickets at the end to give Sri Lanka a 257 runs win. With three consecutive wins, Herath became the first Sri Lanka captain to achieve this feat.[40] He was only the second left arm spinner to grab 350+ test wickets after Daniel Vettori in test history. In the second match, Herath reached another milestone, by dismissing Mustafizur Rahman, to record 1,000 first-class wickets. He is the second player from Sri Lanka and the 12th from the subcontinent to achieve the feat.[41] Despite his milestones, Sri Lanka lost the match by four wickets, which is their first defeat against Bangladesh. The Test series was drawn 1–1.

Herath was appointed as the stand-in captain for the first test against India in August 2017 as the captain Dinesh Chandimal was diagnosed with pneumonia.[42] Herath took only one wicket and conceded 159 runs in the first innings of the visitors. During the second innings where Sri Lanka had to chase 550 runs, Herath did not bat, due to an injury suffered while fielding.[43] With Asela Gunaratne too ruled out of the rest of the series due to a "pretty serious" fractured thumb which he suffered on the opening day of the match,[44] Sri Lanka had to play with nine players. Sri Lanka lost the Test by 304 runs, which as of February 2018 is Sri Lanka's biggest loss in term of runs in Tests.[45]

Late careerEdit

During the second Test against South Africa in late 2016 at Newlands, Herath surpassed 355 test wickets of Chaminda Vaas by dismissing Kyle Abbott for LBW, becoming the second highest wicket-taker for Sri Lanka.[46] During the first match, Herath ended the year 2016 as the second highest wicket-taker in Test cricket with 57 scalps, only behind Indian Ravichandran Ashwin (72 scalps). He took 5 fifers and 2 tenfers in the year with economy of 2.61.[47] Despite his achievements, Sri Lanka lost all three Tests.

Herath took 1/159 in the first innings of the first Test against India in Galle. He went wicketless in the second. In the second Test at the Sinhalese Sports Club Ground, Colombo he took 4/154 as India won the match by an innings and 53 runs. He had complained of a stiff back during the SSC Test having bowled 42 overs. Herath had also sent down 71.1 overs in the one-off Test against Zimbabwe before the series with India and had bowled 49 overs at Galle.[48][49] He was rested from the final Test in Pallekele. India went on to win the series 3-0.

The first Test against Pakistan on 28 September 2017, was one of the career highlights for Herath. In the match he took his ninth ten-wicket haul which included his 32nd and 33rd five-wicket hauls guided Sri Lanka to a 21-run victory. During the match, Herath took his 100th test wicket against Pakistan by dismissing Mohammad Amir, becoming the first bowler to achieve the feat against Pakistan in Tests. Amir's wicket was his 399th scalp in tests, until he dismissed Mohammad Abbas as his 400th Test wicket. With that wicket, Herath joined elite club of 400 test wickets, becoming the first left-arm spinner, 14th overall and second Sri Lankan to achieve the milestone.[50] Herath adjudged man of the match award as well for his impressive match-winning bowling performances.[51]

In the first Test against India Herath went wicketless on a seamer-friendly pitch in Kolkata. However, he made 67 to hand Sri Lanka a lead of 122 runs in the first innings. The rain-affected match ended in draw. In the second Test in Nagpur which Sri Lanka lost by an innings and 239 runs, Herath took 1/81 having bowled 39 overs. He had complained about back pain at the end of the Test and as a result was ruled out of the third Test in New Delhi.[52] India won the series 1–0 after the 3rd Test was drawn.

In the first Test against Bangladesh in Chittagong, Herath took 3/150 in the first innings and 2/80 in the second. During the second Test in Mirpur, Herath surpassed Wasim Akram's tally of 414 wickets to become the most successful left-arm bowler in the history of Test cricket and moved to the 12th place in the list of leading wicket takers in Test cricket history with 415 scalps.[53] Sri Lanka now has the unique record of having the greatest ever right arm bowler, Muttiah Muralitharan and Rangana Herath, the greatest ever left arm bowler in Test cricket. Although Herath gave away 31 runs in 12 overs and went wicketless in the first innings, he took 4/49 in the second and helped Sri Lanka cruise to a three-day win over Bangladesh to win the series 1-0.[54][55][56] Herath also equalled the Sri Lankan record of Muttiah Muralitharan for taking the most number of wickets in the fourth innings of test matches (106) and just second only to Shane Warne who has achieved 138 wickets.[57]

In May 2018, he was one of 33 cricketers to be awarded a national contract by Sri Lanka Cricket ahead of the 2018–19 season.[58][59] However, he only played one Test in Caribbean during the 3-Test match series against West Indies, where he missed the day-night test due to a split webbing in his hand, sustained during fielding drills.[60]

In July 2018, during an interview with BBC Sinhala, he hinted that the England tour of Sri Lanka will be his final international appearance.[61][62]

During the second test against South Africa, he took his 34th test fifer in South Africa's second innings. With that, Sri Lanka won the match by 199 runs and sealed the series 2-0.[63] This was his 12th fifer in a fourth innings of a match,[64] more than any other bowler in the history.[65]

Records and achievementsEdit

World Records are highlighted in bold.

  • Most wickets by a left-arm bowler (430) in Test cricket history.[66][67]
  • Highest wicket-taker in Tests in 2012.[68]
  • Second bowler for Sri Lanka to take 400 Test wickets.
  • Best T20 bowling (5/3) against New Zealand.
  • Best Test bowling by a left-arm bowler (9/127) against Pakistan.
  • First Left-arm spinner to take 400 Test wickets.[69]
  • CEAT International Bowler of the Year 2015.
  • Most fifers taken in the fourth innings of Tests – Herath has 12 fifers in 40 innings.[70]
  • First bowler to take 100 Test wickets against Pakistan.
  • Best bowling figures at Pallekele Cricket Stadium (5/58).
  • Second left-arm orthodox bowler and oldest player to take a hat-trick in Tests.
  • First Sri Lankan spinner to take a hat-trick in Tests.
  • Third bowler after Muralitharan and Steyn to take five-wicket hauls against every other Test playing nation.[71]
  • Second most 12-wicket hauls – Herath has 5 such instances, one behind Muralitharan.
  • Dialog Test Bowler of the Year 2015.[72]
  • Third best bowling in a Test match as captain (13/152) just after Courtney Walsh and Waqar Younis and has the record for the best Test match bowling as spin bowling captain. This is also the best match figures as a captain for Sri Lanka.[73]
  • Record for the third best bowling in a Test innings as captain (8/63), which means this is also the best bowling by a captain in an innings for Sri Lanka.[74]
  • Second Sri Lankan bowler to claim 1000 First-class wickets.
  • Second Sri Lankan and fifth overall to achieve 30 five-wicket hauls in Tests.[75]
  • Herath along with Thilina Kandamby set the record for the highest partnership for the 7th wicket in List A matches (203* v South Africa A).[76]
  • Dialog Test Bowler of the Year 2016.
  • Dialog Cricketer of the Year 2016.[77]

ReferencesEdit

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