On 18 August 2014, Sri Lanka legend Mahela Jayawardena played his last day of Test cricket, as Sri Lanka completed a 2-0 series win over Pakistan. He hung up his boots after 149 Tests, 252 innings, 11,814 runs, 34 centuries and 50 fifties.
We asked fans to pick their favourite Mahela moments, and these are five of his best and most popular, across formats.
Century in the final of CWC 2011
That century in ICC Cricket World Cup 2011 in Mumbai Wankhede Stadium. Those words from @nassercricket still echo in the air! “A high class inning from a high class player! Mahela believed! Sri Lanka believed!” What a player he is!👏— Samir Timothy Parmar (@SamirTimothy) August 18, 2018
Among the many one-day international centuries – 19 to be precise – the former Sri Lanka batsman's unbeaten 103 in the ICC Cricket World Cup 2011 final remains one of his most memorable knocks. The 88-ball innings featured 13 boundaries and powered his side to a competitive 274/6, which, however, was chased down by the Mahendra Singh Dhoni-led India.
Record partnership with Kumar Sangakkara
During the first Test of South Africa's tour of Sri Lanka in 2006, in Colombo, Kumar Sangakkara and Jayawardena piled up 624 runs for the third wicket – a world record partnership. Sangakkara's contribution was 287, while Jayawardena, the Sri Lanka captain at the time, soared his first triple hundred – 374 – which is also his career-best score.
115* in the semi-final of World Cup 2007
Century at the semifinal in 2007 wc against NZ...a great captaincy knock 😍— Poornama_edirisooriya (@PoornamaE) August 18, 2018
Jayawardena had mastered the art of tackling pressure and scoring big in major events. Prior to the century in the Cricket World Cup 2011, the Sri Lankan, in 2007, put on a class act in the semi-final against New Zealand. A diligent 109-ball 115*, studded with 10 fours and three sixes, powered his side to 289/5 from their 50 overs, which was more than enough for Sri Lanka to seal a berth in the Cricket World Cup 2007 final.
A fighting 123 against South Africa in 2006
P Sara 123 vs South Africa in 2006— Kanchana Gale (@GaLA2892) August 18, 2018
Soon after the triple century and record stand, with Sri Lanka leading the two-Test series 1-0, South Africa fought back strongly in the second Test in Colombo. Batting first, after losing the openers for nought, the visitors' middle and lower order batted with grit and posted a first-innings total of 361. In reply, Sri Lanka fell 40 runs short, managing 321.
South Africa then posted 311 and set Sri Lanka a target of 352 – which looked like an unlikely chase. The conditions were in favour of the bowlers. However, Jayawardena with a splendid 123, which also was the only hundred scored in that match, set up a thrilling one-wicket win to wrap up the series.
The maiden Test hundred
His fighting maiden test 100 against NZ.— Aakash Aggarwal (@aakash_manutd) August 18, 2018
It took Jayawardena only four Tests to bring up his maiden hundred, in 1998. It came on a Galle pitch that was hard to bat on. After New Zealand crumbled to a first-innings 193, Jayawardena showed resilience, accounting for almost 52% of his team's 323 in reply. He made a belligerent 167.
New Zealand couldn't bounce back in the second innings and lost the Test by an innings and 16 runs.
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