32-Year-Old Batsman Sri Lanka
October 17, 2017 Upul Tharanga News
RotoWire Fantasy Analysis
Tharanga top-scored with 112 off 144 not out including 14 boundaries in Monday's ODI defeat to Pakistan at Abu Dhabi.
With his side struggling to get anything going with the bat, the Sri Lankan skipper just kept plugging away, keeping his team in the match until the final few overs when their run rate and their loss of wickets caused their demise. Mostly adrift of form against India and for much of the year, this was his 15th ton of his storied ODI career and his second of the year, his first coming in February against South Africa.
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Fantasy AnalysisTharanga has already been suspended once in the last three month due to an over-rate problem, he was benched for two Champions Trophy matches in June. The 32-year-old has been replaced in the side by Dinesh Chandimal and Lahiru Thirimanne - Danushka Gunathilaka has also been removed from the squad after picking up an injury. Chamara Kapugedera will captain while Tharanga is out. "The main reason for appointing Kapu as the captain is because he was actually Upul's deputy in the first two matches, and we wanted to stick with him, rather than bringing someone from outside," said Asanka Gurusinha, Sri Lanka's cricket manager and selector.
Fantasy AnalysisTharange has been in excellent form in the 50-overs format of late, at one point recording three half-centuries in a row and not getting out in the first three matches against Zimbabwe, leading to his eventual call-up to the captaincy whence Mathews stepped down. Capped 207 times at the ODI level, Tharanga has 14 centuries and 34 half-centuries in his tenure with the squad, but has yet to break 37 with the T20I squad in 16 appearances. He'll begin his tenure as skipper on 20 August against India at the start of the five-match ODI series.
Fantasy AnalysisTharanga has been in exemplary form against Zimbabwe, even while his teammates haven't shown quite the same sense of urgency. He's yet to get out while racking up 154 runs in the first two matches of the series. Beyond just this series, Tharanga has been excellent, with four half-centuries and one century in his last six 50-overs matches. He'll look to keep his sparkling form going in the final three matches of the series as they travel to Hambantota for the duration.
Fantasy AnalysisThe veteran Sri Lankan ODI batsman added another half-century to his collection of 33 and 14 centuries with 79 not out from 73 balls. Tharanga hit eight fours and a six in his innings and was involved in two 50-plus partnerships. He has been in fine form recently, recording two half centuries and a century in his last three games.
Fantasy AnalysisThe stand-in Sri Lanka captain was the glue holding a wobbly batting together in their first Champions Trophy 2017 clash. Tharanga, along with opening partner Niroshan Dickwella, put on a 69-run opening stand before Dickwella was out for 41. After that, the 32-year-old batsman struggled to keep a partner, losing three of them before he himself was finally out, all but handing the match to the Proteas. Tharanga brought up his 32nd ODI 50 from 59 balls and hit six fours overall.
Fantasy AnalysisIn a batting-heavy lineup, Tharanga was the belle of the ball. While everyone in top-seven had at least 10 runs, Tharanga was the only one above 60, patiently swatting ball after ball to the boundary and finding the rope 16 times in his two-and-a-half hour stint in the crease. The 32-year-old is one of the most accomplished ODI batsmen in Sri Lanka history with the most hundreds of any active player with 14. He'll look to continue his success in the format in Saturday's tournament opener against South Africa at The Oval.
Fantasy AnalysisSri Lanka's stand in captain scored his 14th career ODI century with a knock of 119 as his side went 4-0 down in the five game series against South Africa. His innings came from 90 balls and included seven sixes and 11 fours.
Fantasy AnalysisSri Lanka's stand-in captain survived two chances and his 57 runs came from a poultry 98 balls, but along with his partner, Kusal Medis, Tharanga was able to chase down the target of 161 runs. The two both made totals of 57, but combined for a 75-run fourth-wicket partnership to see it through. This 57 not-out is Tharanga's highest ODI score in three-and-a-half years and only his second 50 since he scored 174 not-out against India in the Caribbean in 2013.
Fantasy AnalysisTharanga is having a good week. He smashed his first Test hundred in more than a decade in the first match of the series against Zimbabwe and now will become his country's 18th ODI captain. The 31-year-old batsmen takes the helm in the absence of Angelo Mathews, who pulled out of the Zimbabwe tour with leg injuries. Sri Lanka play their first match of the tri-series against Zimbabwe on November 14.
Fantasy AnalysisA talented ODI batsman playing in his first Test since facing off against India on August 2015, Tharanga slowed his approach down and methodically worked ball after ball against the Zimbabwe attack. He hit for 10 fours and spent more than five hours in the crease—the longest spell of any batsman in the first innings for either squad. This was just his second Test century in his 22nd match of his career, having hit for 13 in his 188 cap ODI career.
Fantasy AnalysisMendis injured his hamstring during a training session Tuesday, and further testing extended his recovery time from 10 days to at least 2-to-3 weeks. Tharanga is coming off a disappointing year in ODI action, during which he averaged 22.20 in five games. However, he brings experience as an opening batsman during both the 2007 and 2011 World Cups, as well as 13 ODI centuries.
Fantasy AnalysisTharanga's presence is merely a precautionary measure in case Mendis is unable to recover in time to make a contribution to Sri Lanka's Cup pursuits. Mendis has been given an initial prognosis of 10 days, which would sideline the allrounder for his side's next two matches Thursday and Sunday. If Tharanga eventually joins Sri Lanka's 15-member team, he'll arrive with experience as an opening batsmen in both the 2007 and 2011 versions of the World Cup, and 13 ODI centuries to his name.