On a day when Ajinkya Rahane hit yet another Test hundred, to win more fans with his mature batting, Sri Lankan legend Kumar Sangakkara, who had an equally good start to his Test career, called it quits. Sangakkara made 18 in his last Test innings, off as many balls, hitting three fluent boundaries, before Ravichandran Ashwin got him to edge one to gully. In the first innings as well, he got a start and reached 32 when Ashwin had him caught at slip by Rahane. Here’s a look at how other Lankan legends fared in their final Test match.
Sanath Jayasuriya: The former Lankan skipper played his last Test at Kandy against England in December 2007. He was out for 10 in the first innings, caught by Kevin Pietersen off Ryan Sidebottom, as Lanka folded up for 188. He prospered in his final innings though. Jayasuriya made a fluent 78 from 106 balls with the help of 10 fours and a six. He was eventually trapped lbw by Matthew Hoggard. Sri Lanka made a healthy 442 in their second innings and went on to win the Test by 88 runs.
Aravinda de Silva: Mad Max, as he was famously known, played his last Test against Bangladesh at Colombo in July 2002. He had a spectacular end to his Test career. Bangladesh were bowled out for 161 batting first and, in response, de Silva alone smacked the hapless Bangladesh bowlers all over the park en route to his magnificent 206. He needed only 234 balls to make his runs, hitting 28 fours and a six. He was out lbw to Enamul Haque, having batted for over 300 minutes. Lanka won by a massive innings and 196-run margin, and this was to remain de Silva’s last Test knock.
Arjuna Ranatunga: Arguably Sri Lanka’s most astute captain, Ranatunga played his last game at the Sinhalese Sports Club in Colombo against South Africa in August 2000. He was clean bowled by Nicky Boje for 14 in the first innings. South Africa had batted first and posted 279, after which Lanka responded with 258. Ranatunga was undefeated in his final Test knock as Lanka drew the match, chasing a tough 263. Ranatunga made an unbeaten 28 from 42 balls. At the other end, Mahela Jayawardene was unbeaten on 101.
Marvan Atapattu: He played his final Test against Australia at Hobart in November 2007. Atapattu made 25 in his first essay. They were set a massive 507 to win the Test and went down fighting. Sangakkara stood out with his 192 from 282 balls. He was very well supported by Atapattu, who made a typical 80 from 164 balls in his final visit to the crease. Lanka went on to lose by 96 runs.
Mahela Jayawardene: His final Test was against Pakistan at Colombo in August 2014. Jayawardene managed just four in the first innings before being trapped lbw by Saeed Ajmal. He made a hard-fought 54 in his last Test knock. Pakistan were chasing 271 to win the Test, and Rangana Herath bowled them to victory with a five-for as Jayawardene got a winning send-off.
-- By A Cricket Analyst