Balapuwaduge Ajantha Winslow Mendis is a professional Sri Lankan cricketer who played for the Sri Lankan Cricket team in all three formats. Standing 5ft 9in, he was born on 11th March 1985 at Moratuwa.
He bowls both right-arm off spin and leg spin and is known for his mystery bowling as batsman find it difficult to read the ball. He is a good batsman for a tail ender and has a Test fifty to his name.
He still has the best bowling figure in T20I of 6/8 against Zimbabwe on 18 September 2012 and the only player to have claimed 6 wickets twice in an innings in T20I.
In the year 2000, he played in the Under-15 match representing his school and played the big matches and claiming the best-bowler award in both 2001 and 2002. He was impressive in the match against Army Under-23 and was invited to work in the regular Sri Lankan Army as a Gunner in the Sri Lanka Artillery.
He represented the Army in 23 limited over matches, claiming 38 wickets and 59 two/three-day matches, getting 244 wickets.
Ajantha made his ODI debut in a match against West Indies at Port of Spain in April 2008. Mendis finished with the figures of 3/39 with Chris Gayle being his first victim.
Three months later, he played his maiden Test in the India's tour of Sri Lanka where the hosts registered an innings victory, as Mendis claimed four wicket hauls in both the innings.
His debut in the shortest format of the game came against Zimbabwe in October 2008, when he demolished Zimbabwe’s batting line up with the figures of 4/15, claiming the Man of the Match award.
Rise to Glory
After an impressive debut against Zimbabwe in the T20 Canada tournament, he went to claim 11 wickets while conceding just 55 runs against Canada, Zimbabwe, and Pakistan. He was later adjourned the Man of the Series award.
In the 2009 ICC World Twenty20 in England, he was the third highest wicket-taker in the tournament and was a contender for the Player of the Tournament award.
He picked up the first six-wicket haul in the Asia Cup final against India with a figure of 6/13. He won the Man of the Series award after finishing the series with 17 wickets.
Mendis soon lost his place in the Sri Lankan side as he was over-reliant on the mystery ball which affected the quality of his stock ball and he became predictable by the batsman.
In the second half of 2014, he suffered a severe back injury similar to disc fracture in the back and was not able to bowl in that period. With rehab and adequate rest, he played for Lahore Qalandars in Pakistan Super League.
He plays for Wayamba in the first-class cricket competition known as the Inter-Provincial Tournament, and the Twenty20 competition known as the Inter-Provincial Twenty20 since 2007. Somerset in the County cricket in 2011, Kolkata Knight Riders for the 2008-2009 season before moving to the Pune Warriors India for a whopping $725,000 in the 2013 season.
Ajantha Mendis holds the record of claiming the fastest 50 wickets in ODI by reaching the mark in just 19 matches.
While playing in the Provincial Tournament 2008 representing Wayamba Province he became the most successful bowler by taking 68 wickets in nine matches, which is also a record in any form of domestic cricket.