Denagamage Praboth Mahela de Silva Jayawardene (Sinhala:දෙනගමගේ ප්රබොත් මහේල ද සිල්වා ජයවර්ධන; born 27 May 1977), known as Mahela Jayawardene, is the captain of the Sri Lankan cricket team. He is a specialist batsman.
Jayawardene made his Test debut in 1997 and his One Day International (ODI) debut the following season. In 2006 he made the highest ever score by a Sri Lankan in Test cricket, scoring 374 in the second Test of Sri Lanka's home series against South Africa. He has a Test average of over 50 and an ODI average in the 30s. He is the first and only player in the history of Sri Lankan cricket to score over 10,000 Test runs. Despite his relatively low ODI average, Jayawardene is considered to be one of the best batsmen produced by Sri Lanka and is generally held in high regard as a legend of the modern game along with team-mate Kumar Sangakkara. He is one of only three Sri Lankans—the others being Sanath Jayasuriya and Kumar Sangakkara—to have scored more than 10,000 runs in ODIs.
In 2006, Jayawardene was named by the International Cricket Council as the best international captain of the year and he was nominated in 2007 as the best Test cricket player of the year. He is also known for his fielding skills in the inner ring, with a report prepared by Cricinfo in late 2005 showing that since the 1999 Cricket World Cup, he had effected the most number of run-outs in ODI cricket of any fieldsman, with the fifth highest run-out/match ratio in ODI's. Statistics also reveal that c Jayawardene b Muralitharan is the most common bowler-fielder combination in the history of Test cricket.
Jayawardene led Sri Lanka to Pakistan for a Test series in March–April 2009. The series was conducted after the Indian team withdrew from playing in Pakistan, following the November 2008 Mumbai attacks. The first Test ended in a draw. Even though he scored a double century in the first Test, Jayawardene was to resign from captaincy after the second Test in the series. Sri Lanka was in a good position in the Test with Thilan Samaraweera hitting his second successive double hundred of the series and Tillakaratne Dilshan scoring a century. On their way to the Gaddafi Stadium for the third day's play, the bus that carried the Sri Lankan players was fired at by 12 masked gunmen. Jayawardene, along with six other Sri Lankan cricketers sustained injuries. Six policemen that guarded the bus and two civilians were killed in the attack. He resigned from vice-captaincy after 2011 world cup defeat. He was appointed as captain again after controversial Tillakaratne Dilshan's captaincy. He was the captain of Kochi Tuskers Kerala in the Indian Premier League. He now plays for Delhi Daredevils as vice captain.
On July 28 2012, Jayawardene and Sangakkara became only the fourth pair to register 30 100-plus international partnerships when they put on 121 in the third ODI against India.
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