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Mahela Jayawardene, the Sri Lankan run machine to end test career among greats

India TV News Desk 16 Aug 2014, 10:46:22 AM IST
India TV News Desk
At age 37 and with hundreds of innings behind him, Mahela Jayawardene tried something new in his next-to-last test match   a move typical of his innovative attitude when it involves pursuing victories for Sri Lanka.

Jayawardene is one of only five batsmen to score more than 11,000 runs in both Test and one-day cricket  the others being Sachin Tendulkar, Ricky Ponting, Jacques Kallis and team-mate Kumar Sangakkara.

He opened the innings for the first time in a test match his 148th on the last day at Galle as Sri Lanka chased 99 runs to win, with time running out and rain imminent. He propelled the hosts to a seven-wicket win over Pakistan with a few overs to spare, giving him the chance to clinch a series win on his home ground when he plays his last test from Thursday.
One of cricket's most elegant and enduring batsmen takes an average of 50  he has 11,756 runs from 250 test innings  into the second test at the Sinhalese Sports Club, where he will be a key to Sri Lanka's goal of achieving the win or draw it needs to hold off Pakistan.

Jayawardene broke into test cricket in 1997 on the strength of his solid batting technique but a broadening of his stroke-play meant he also established himself as an accomplished limited-overs batsman.

His fluent drives, deft cuts and fine flicks made him a popular player to watch, as he seemed to play most of his shots with the soft grip and supple hands reminiscent of batsmen of earlier eras.