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Top 5 number 5s in Tests for Sri Lanka

S Samaddar
Top 5 / Top 10

Sri Lanka are a relatively young Test nation, having gained Test status in 1981 and naturally, like many other newly minted Test teams they struggled in the early years.

They won their first Test in 1985 but still, the team often struggled to put up much of a fight. However, they became a far more formidable side in the 1990s and from then on, they became a force in world cricket.

That being said, Sri Lanka always did have excellent batsmen on their side and over the years, they have had some excellent batsmen in their middle-order. Many of them went on to become Sri Lanka's middle-order mainstays at the number 5 position and were responsible for the success that the team enjoyed.

Here is a look at 5 of the finest number 5s.

#5 Arjuna Ranatunga

Arjuna Ranatunga

The former Sri Lankan captain is regarded as one of the greatest leaders that the team has ever had and in addition to that, Arjuna Ranatunga was also one of the most dependable batsmen in the middle-order. He played 93 Test matches for Sri Lanka from 1982 to 2000 and from out of these, he batted at number 5 in 59 of them.

The portly left-hander was a gutsy cricketer and although he wasn't the most gifted of batsmen, he provided the middle-order with a certain solidity. Ranatunga was probably one of the best players of spin bowling and throughout the course of his career, he had been excellent against the touring spinners on the turning tracks in Sri Lanka.

In those 59 Test matches, he made 2665 runs and that is the second highest aggregate among all Sri Lankan number 5 batsmen in Test cricket. Ranatunga averaged 34.16 and made 2 centuries, in addition to 19 half-centuries. 

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