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Wisden’s all-time Sri Lanka XI at the Men’s ODI Asia Cup

Sri Lanka all-time XI at the men's ODI Asia Cup
by Naman Agarwal 5 minute read

The 2023 Asia Cup will be played in the ODI format between August 30 and September 17, with a majority of the matches being held in Sri Lanka. Here’s Wisden’s all-time Sri Lanka XI at the men’s ODI Asia Cup.

Sri Lanka, the only team to have featured in every edition of the Men’s Asia Cup, are also the second-most successful team in the tournament, having won six titles. They are also the defending champions, having won the T20 edition in 2022. Here’s an all-time XI of Sri Lankans who have done well at the men’s ODI Asia Cup.

Also read: Wisden’s all-time India XI at the men’s ODI Asia Cup.

Sanath Jayasuriya

1220 runs @ 53.04, SR: 102.52, 6 hundred, 3 fifties
22 wickets @ 30.31, ER: 4.48, 1 four-for


Jayasuriya was not only the highest scorer in the ODI format of the Asia Cup: he also scored at better than a run-a-ball and bowled regularly, often as a frontline left-arm spinner, picking more than 22 wickets. His six centuries in the Asia Cup are also a record.

Lahiru Thirimanne

363 runs @ 45.37, SR: 76.10, 2 hundreds

Thirimanne’s record as opener is better than his overall record in the Asia Cup. From five innings, he averages 55.80, including two centuries against Pakistan in 2014. The second of those came in the final where he anchored a chase of 261 and was awarded Player of the Match.

Kumar Sangakkara

1075 runs @ 48.86, SR: 84.51, 4 hundreds, 8 fifties

Sangakkara is the second-highest run-scorer in the history of the tournament. Moved around in the batting order, he was successful at almost every position. Three of his four centuries came as an opener, while the fourth, from No.3 against India in the 2014 edition.

Aravinda de Silva

645 runs @ 32.35, SR: 83.44, 0 hundreds, 4 fifties
5 wickets @ 55.60, ER: 5.45

Aravinda de Silva is the fifth-highest run-scorer for Sri Lanka. His overall record may not look outstanding, but at No.4 he averages 36.90 at a strike rate of 91 from 12 innings, including three half-centuries. He also bowled off-breaks.

Angelo Mathews

331 runs @ 82.75, SR: 82.33, 3 fifties
4 wickets @ 37, ER: 4.31

Mathews never batted above No.5 here, and carved a niche for himself as a lower middle-order batter who would finish innings. He remained not out six times in ten innings. He didn’t bowl much, but always provided his team with the option of a backup seamer if the need arose.

Arjuna Ranatunga

741 runs @ 57, SR: 82.79, 1 hundred, 6 fifties
11 wickets @ 24.81, ER: 4.20

Ranatunga was the third-highest scorer for Sri Lanka in the tournament. His highest, an epic 131 not out, came against India in Colombo in 1997. In the final of that edition, he made 62 not out in 66 balls in the final to help Sri Lanka chase 240 against India. To go with his batting, he was a regular with the ball in the tournament’s history as well.

Thisara Perera

85 runs @ 21.25, SR: 72.03
11 wickets @ 27.81, ER: 5.35, 1 four-for

Thisara makes it to the all-rounder’s slot just above Ravi Ratnayeke courtesy of his big-hitting abilities. He was, however, more impactful with the ball, picking 11 wickets from seven innings, including a five-for against Afghanistan in the 2018 edition.

Chaminda Vaas

129 runs @ 16.12, SR: 75.88
23 wickets @ 27.78, ER: 4.19

Vaas is the second-highest wicket-taker among Sri Lankan seamers in the ODI version of the Asia Cup. He picked three wickets only once in 19 games, but was consistent throughout, going wicketless in only four games in the tournament’s history.

Ajantha Mendis

26 wickets @ 10.42, ER: 3.98, 4 four-fors

The name Ajantha Mendis is synonymous with the Asia Cup. In 2008, after going wicketless against Bangladesh, he took the world by storm with his ‘mystery spin’, picking 17 as he picked 17 wickets across the next four games including six against India in the final. No bowler has taken more wickets in a multi-nation tournament at a better average than what Mendis managed in the 2008 Asia Cup.

Lasith Malinga

29 wickets @ 20.55, ER: 4.65, 4 four-fors

Malinga is the highest wicket-taker among fast bowlers and the second-highest overall for Sri Lanka in Asia Cup history. His most productive tournament was the 2014 one where he took two five-fors in four games, including in the final against Pakistan.

Muttiah Muralitharan

30 wickets @ 28.83, ER: 3.75, 2 four-fors

With 30 wickets, Muralitharan was predictably the highest wicket-taker. His two best performances – 5-31 in 2008 and 4-23 in 1995 – both came against Bangladesh.

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