The 40-year-old will call time on his 19-year international career at his favourite venue – Galle. The left-arm orthodox spinner has picked up 99 wickets at the venue for the first Test and should he get to the century-mark, he will become only the second bowler after Muttiah Muralitharan to do so at the ground.
Herath has so far picked up 430 wickets in 92 Tests for Sri Lanka at an average of under 28 since he made his international debut in 1999 at Galle.
The Sri Lanka veteran is currently in the 10th spot in the all-time leading wicket-takers list in Test cricket and he could make a jump of three places should he pick up five wickets or more in his final match.
SLC wishes to inform that Mr. Rangana Herath following a discussion he had with the SLC CEO and the selectors, notified his retirement from test cricket, after the 1st test match, in Galle against England. #ThankYouHerath https://t.co/4V6f6LjTpp pic.twitter.com/Cu12JQXZrv— Sri Lanka Cricket (@OfficialSLC) October 22, 2018
The wily southpaw is the most prolific left-arm spinner in Test history and he has managed to bag 34 five-wicket hauls along with nine 10-wicket match hauls in his distinguished career so far.
“We respect and support Rangana’s decision. His retirement will be a big loss for Sri Lanka cricket. We wish to thank him for the invaluable contribution he has made,” Sri Lanka Cricket CEO Ashley de Silva said in a statement.
For long Herath had lived in the shadow of Muralitharan but ever since the off-spinner’s retirement in 2010, he has led the team’s spin attack.
Incidentally, Muralitharan’s swansong came at the same venue.
Herath’s most memorable performance in the red-ball format came in a Test against Pakistan in 2014 where he picked up a match-haul of 14-184. His 9-127 in the first innings of that Test is the best performance by any left-arm bowler in history.
Apart from the 92 Tests, Herath has also featured in 71 ODIs and 17 T20s for his country.
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The Pakistan man’s rise was the biggest highlight in the latest ICC Test rankings published on Sunday. Abbas’ sublime display in the recently concluded Test series against Australia saw him jump 11 spots to take third.
He is now only behind England veteran James Anderson and South Africa sensation Kagiso Rabada in the rankings.
The 28-year-old bagged another man-of-the-series award after picking up a combined haul of 17 wickets across the two Tests against Australia. In Pakistan’s 373-run win in Abu Dhabi, Abbas notched up his maiden 10-wicket match haul.
The seamer has now picked up 59 wickets in only 10 Tests, which is the most by any Pakistan fast bowler at the same stage.
While Abbas had made a big jump, there were also gains for Pakistan spinner Bilal Asif who made his Test debut in the series against Australia. The nine wickets picked up by Asif in the two matches has seen him climb 17 spots to take the 52nd rank.
Another Pakistan debutant Fakhar Zaman too created a big impact in his maiden Test series with the left-handed opener registering knocks of 94 and 66 in the two Tests.
That performance has seen Fakhar debut in the 68th spot in the ICC Test rankings for batsmen.
India’s Virat Kohli continues to remain perched in the top spot in the batsmen’s rankings followed by Australia’s still suspended Steve Smith and New Zealand’s Kane Williamson.
The hosts put on 272-8 on the board in their 50 overs before restricting the visitors to 243-9.
Bangladesh skipper Mashrafe Mortaza won the toss and elected to bat first but his side were rocked early by Zimbabwe pacer Tendai Chatara.
The 27-year-old dismissed opener Liton Das for just four before removing Fazle Mahmud for a duck. Chatara’s opening burst reduced the Tigers to 17-2.
Mushfiqur Rahim and Mohammad Mithun both got starts but were unable to convert them into something big. Kyle Jarvis’ three-wicket burst in the middle rocked Bangladesh’s middle-order as the hosts slumped to 139-6.
Kayes, however, was going strong at the other hand and he found excellent support from Mohammad Saifuddin who chipped in with a crucial half-century down the order.
The pair added 127 runs between them for the eighth wicket before Kayes became Jarvis’ fourth victim of the day. The left-hander had collected 144 runs in 140 deliveries before his departure with the help of 13 boundaries and six sixes.
Zimbabwe openers Hamilton Masakadza and Cephas Zhuwao put on a 48-run stand for the first wicket before the former was run-out by Kayes.
Spinners Mehidy Hasan and Nazmul Islam kept a tight lid on things and shared five wickets between themselves to derail Zimbabwe’s chase.
Sean Williams waged a lone battle with a fighting half-century while Jarvis chipped in with 37 lower-order runs but the game had already slipped away from the visitors’ grasp by then as the hosts took a 1-0 lead in the three-match series.
Bangladesh: 271-8 (50 overs)
Imrul Kayes – 144 (140)
Mohammad Saifuddin – 50 (69)
Kyle Jarvis – 4/37
Zimbabwe: 243-9 (50 overs)
Sean Williams – 50no (58)
Mehidy Hasan – 3/46