Sri Lanka vs. South Africa: Ranking All 14 SL Players from the 2014 Test Series

Antoinette Muller@mspr1ntFeatured ColumnistJuly 28, 2014

Sri Lanka vs. South Africa: Ranking All 14 SL Players from the 2014 Test Series

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    Sanka Gayashan/Associated Press

    Sri Lanka came agonisingly close to pulling off a fantastic win over South Africa and drawing the two-match Test series.

    But it wasn't to be as South Africa dug in and clung on for an impressive draw. Sri Lanka had their moments of individual brilliance, with their spinners in particular being very good in the second Test.

    However, their batsmen let them down spectacularly on more than one occasion, leaving far too much work for the senior players to do.

    The hosts made three changes in the second Tests, and here are the ratings for all the players who played in two Tests.

    All stats via ESPNCricinfo unless otherwise stated.

Upul Tharanga

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    Sanka Gayashan/Associated Press

    Runs: 138 @ 34.50 average

    Rating: 5/10

    Upul Tharanga had a very average series. A good knock in the first Test was followed by three very average outings.

    He became prone to nicking off and simply didn't have the mettle Sri Lanka needed at the top of the order leaving far too much work for the middle order.

Kaushal Silva

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    Eranga Jayawardena/Associated Press

    Runs: 116 @ 29.00 average

    Rating: 4/10

    Kaushal Silva had a horror show in this series, with a high score of just 44 in his four innings.

    After two fifties in the first Test against England, his form has started to go on the wane just a little bit.

    Of course, batting against England is nothing like the fearsome bowling of Dale Steyn and Morne Morkel, so he does get some reprieve, but that is still no excuse for such poor form.

Kumar Sangakkara

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    Dave Thompson/Getty Images

    Runs: 172 runs @ 43.00 average

    Rating: 6/10

    A fifty in both Tests reaffirmed Kumar Sangakkara's status as Sri Lanka's Mr. Reliable.

    He has an immense record in Sri Lanka and has only added to that in this series. However, he missed out on a hundred twice with both of his dismissals when he was cruising being somewhat unnecessary.

    That dips his rating just a little bit.

Mahela Jayawardene

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    Sanka Gayashan/Associated Press

    Runs: 178 runs @ 44.50 average

    Rating: 5/10

    Mahela Jaywardene added to his immense record at the SSC, but he had just one good innings out of four.

    Low scores in three out of four outings and the series result mean Jayawardene gets a rating that's probably a touch lower than he would have if Sri Lanka had managed to pull off a great victory.

Angelo Mathews

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    Sanka Gayashan/Associated Press

    Runs: 242 runs @ 121.00 average

    Rating: 7/10

    Angelo Mathews seemingly can do no wrong at the moment. Aside from declaring a little bit earlier to give Sri Lanka a chance to win, of course.

    He had an immense series with the bat, but he is still very much learning as a captain. There will be much talk about leaving the second innings declaration so late on day four, a decision which arguably didn't give Sri Lanka enough time to try and win the second Test and level the series.

Lahiru Thirimanne

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    Eranga Jayawardena/Associated Press

    Runs: 50 @ 25.00

    Rating: 2/10

    Lahiru Thirimanne only played in the first Test, but he was quite unremarkable in that outing.

    Poor technique cost him his wickets both times, and he was especially disappointing in Sri Lanka's first innings in the first Test. Thirimanne played a terrible shot to get out when Sri Lanka were in a fair bit of trouble on 190-4.

Dinesh Chandimal

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    Rui Vieira/Associated Press

    Runs: 7 @ 3.50

    Rating: 0/10

    Dinesh Chandimal had a horror Test. It was so horrible that he was axed after the first outing and sent to go tour England with the A team.  

    His 'keeping can't even make up for his lack of runs in this instance.

Kithuruwan Vithanage

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    Eranga Jayawardena/Associated Press

    Runs: 20 @ 10.00

    Rating: 1/10

    Kithuruwan Vithanage is another player who had a terrible time playing against South Africa.

    He only played in the second Test, and on a track that had much to offer for the batsmen, he failed to make even the slightest impact.

    His second dismissal was thanks to a superb catch from Faf du Plessis, but he simply never looked comfortable.

Niroshan Dickwella

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    Sanka Gayashan/Associated Press

    Runs: 88 @ 44.00

    Rating: 7/10

    In a series that didn't have many positives for Sri Lanka's batsmen, Niroshan Dickwelle shone bright like a diamond

    A player on debut, he not only showed promise with the bat, scoring a fifty in his first dig, but he also showed immense promise with the gloves.

Dilruwan Perera

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    Sanka Gayashan/Associated Press

    Wickets: 16 @ 23.12

    Rating: 7/10

    It was a series for Sri Lanka's spinners and Dilruwan Perera played a key role in that.

    He topped the wicket-taking charts and bowling in tandem with Rangana Herath made life very, very difficult for the South Africans.

    He is already 32 years old and has played just five Tests, but spinners do tend to have a fairly long career span, and if he keeps up this kind of performance, he'll have a few more years in him.

Rangana Herath

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    Eranga Jayawardena/Associated Press

    Wickets: 12 @ 28.58

    Rating: 7/10

    Since Muttiah Muralitharan retired, Rangana Herath has really stepped up to the plate.

    He is a wonderfully effective bowler who can control an innings just as well as he can fox batsmen. His contribution with the ball so very nearly helped Sri Lanka pull off an incredible win.   

Ajantha Mendis

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    Gemunu Amarasinghe/Associated Press

    Wickets: No wickets/no average

    Rating: 2/10

    Compared to the other spinners, Ajantha Mendis had a fairly rough time.

    In the limited-overs format, he is often labelled a "mystery spinner," but he hasn't quite lived up to that billing in Tests.

    He played only one of the games and failed to live up to his colleagues' wicket-taking romps. As a result, he was not entrusted to bowl many overs, meaning two bowlers were left to do most of the work.

Suranga Lakmal

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    Eranga Jayawardena/Associated Press

    Wickets: 4 wickets @ 43.75

    Rating: 3/10

    Suranga Lakmal ended up being the lone seamer in the second Test and didn't have a massive impact.

    He had a fair first Test, but his bowling isn't going to set the world alight any time soon. Struggles with keeping his foot behind the line also started to creep up in the second Test.

    Competing with spin twins for plaudits is never easy, and after an impressive showing in the first Test in Galle, there was some expectation that he would be able to do something special. He failed at that, though, and ended up bowling very little in the second Test as the spinners ran riot.

Shaminda Eranga

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    Rui Vieira/Associated Press

    No rating

    Considering Shaminda Eranga picked up an injury just nine overs into the first Test, it would be unfair to rate him. He does, however, get an honourable mention merely for taking part.