Former Sri Lanka cricket captain Sanath Jayasuriya was widely regarded as one of the most attacking opening batsmen in the history of the game. The legendary all-rounder is credited for revolutionising the approach to batting in ODI cricket with his explosive hard-hitting at the top for Sri Lanka during the 1990s. Nicknamed the ‘Matara Mauler’, Sanath Jayasuriya scored a blitzkrieg 189 against India in an ODI at Sharjah in 2000. On the occasion of the 51st Sanath Jayasuriya birthday, here is a look back at the innings that remained his highest-ever ODI score up until his retirement in 2011.
Sri Lanka faced India in the final of the Coca-Cola Cup at Sharjah on October 29, 2000. Prior to the match, Sanath Jayasuriya won the toss and opted to bat first as the captain of the Lankan side. Opening the innings with his long-time batting partner Romesh Kaluwitharana, the stylish left-hander scored an attacking 189 off 161 balls.
His innings comprised of 21 blazing boundaries and four massive sixes against the likes of India’s Zaheer Khan, Ajit Agarkar and Venkatesh Prasad. India’s captain at the time, Sourav Ganguly, used up eight Indian bowlers in an attempt to halt Jayasuriya’s juggernaut but to no avail.
Sanath Jayasuriya’s innings propelled Sri Lanka’s total to 299-5 in their 50 overs. Such was the sheer dominance of the left-hander that he alone accounted for roughly 63 percent of his side’s total score. Sanath Jayasuriya’s 189-run knock also handed Sourav Ganguly and co. a defeat by 245 runs.
Sanath Jayasuriya’s 189-run knock was the third-highest individual ever posted in an ODI by any batsmen at the time. He could have been the joint-second highest scorer with former West Indies captain Viv Richards. While Richards also scored 189* in 1984, the reason he was placed above Sanath Jayasuriya because the West Indies batting legend remained not out in his effort.
Sanath Jayasuriya is currently serving his two-year ban from all cricket-related activities after he was handed the same by the International Cricket Council (ICC) in February 2019. The former Sri Lankan chief selector was punished by the apex body after he failed to co-operate in a corruption investigation concerning his country.