Former Sri Lanka skipper and the lead batsman of Sri Lanka Mahela Jayawardene has once again walked into record books after reaching the 12,000 ODI runs mark during his 118-run knock in the third match against India at the Raijv Gandhi International Stadium at Uppal on Sunday.
Trying to rescue his team in a must-win game, Jayawardene has now become the part of elite company of greats including Sachin Tendulkar, Ricky Ponting, Sanath Jayasuriya and Kumar Sangakkara. While scoring his 17th ODI century, Jayawardene, 37, achieved the milestone in his 426th ODI at an average of 33.01. He has also represented Sri Lanka in 149 Test matches.
One of the senior most players in Sri Lanka, he made his debut in 1997 against India at his home ground, and still continues to be dependable striker even after 17 years of his glorious career.
India’s cricket icon Tendulkar however leads the run scoring list with 18,426 runs to his credit in his 463 ODIs during his 24-year long career.
Jayawardene can still play catch up to team-mate Sangakkara, who happens to be fourth in the list with 12,918 runs in 382 ODIs.
Also, former Australian skipper Ponting (13,704 runs) is second in the chart while ex-Lankan Jayasuriya (13,430) stands in third place in the tally. Jayawardene, combined with Tillakaratne Dilshan, facilitated a 105-run partnership and provided some respectability to Sri Lankan total.
In a true gesture of sportsmanship, the sporting Uppal crowd not only stood up to Jayawardene’s extra-ordinary feat, which came in the 43rh over off Ravichandran Ashwin, but also gave a standing ovation to the star batsman as he walked back post his marathon innings.
Jayawardene, who is counted among the most responsible players, has so far accumulated 165 runs in the three ODIs.