Arjuna Ranatunga is considered as one of the best players to have donned the Sri Lankan jersey. Ranatunga is the only Lanka captain to lift the ODI World Cup. The Southpaw represented Sri Lanka in 93 Test matches and 269 One Day Internationals. The former Sri Lankan skipper has 5105 Test and 7456 ODI runs at an average of 35.7 and 35.8 respectively.
Ranatunga’s last match in the White Jersey for Sri Lanka came in the form of the last Test of the three-match series against South Africa in 2000. The last match of the series was of the utmost importance for both teams as the first Test was won by Sri Lanka by an innings and 15 runs. South Africa, on the other hand, scripted a victory in the next match by seven runs.
The tie-breaker third Test, which was also the last Test of Ranatunga, was played from August 6 to August 10 at the Sinhalese Sports Club in Colombo. The first innings saw South Africa posting 279 runs on the scoreboard. Lance Klusener was the top scorer for the visitors as he added 95 runs to the scoreboard off 175. For Sri Lanka, Chaminda Vaas was the pick of the bowler with four wickets under his belt.
In response, South Africa scored 258 runs while playing for 98.2 overs. The opening batsman Sanath Jayasuriya was the wrecker-in-chief for Sri Lanka in the second innings as he played a sublime knock of 85 runs. The man of the hour Ranatunga could score only 14 runs as he lost his wicket to Nicky Boje after facing 52 deliveries. In the third innings, South Africa saw a collapse due to the spinner Muttiah Muralitharan who returned with the figures 45.4-14-68-5.
South Africa could manage just 241 runs on the board, thus, giving Sri Lanka a target of 263 runs. Following the target of 263, Sri Lanka started off on a poor note as they lost their opening pair of Marvan Atapattu and Jayasuriya cheaply. However, Mahela Jayawardene provided much-needed stability to the Lankan side by smashing a class century.
Ranatunga also looked stelled in the middle as he was reeling at 28 not out. However, the match ended in a draw as at the end of five days, the hosts posted 195 for four.
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