Herath, the bowling machine
22 Number of years since either Pakistan or Sri Lanka have beaten the other in consecutive Test series. In the 10 years between 1982 and 1992, these teams played each other in four Test series, with Pakistan winning three and the other being drawn. In the fourteen series since then, the ten series that have had winners have been alternately won by both teams. The last series that had a winner was played in 2012, with Sri Lanka winning on that occasion.
|Series Start Date||Matches||Winner||Margin|
|June 2012||3||Sri Lanka||1-0|
|July 2009||3||Sri Lanka||2-0|
|March 2002*||1||Sri Lanka||1-0|
|February 2000||3||Sri Lanka||2-1|
|September 1995||3||Sri Lanka||2-1|
435 Number of overs that Rangana Herath has bowled this year, the most by any bowler (the Abu Dhabi Test which started on Dec 31 2013 has not been considered for this stat). He is well ahead of the next player on the list, England fast bowler James Anderson, who has bowled 282 overs in six Tests. Herath has taken 33 Test wickets in 2014, which is the also most wickets for the year, though not by a margin proportionate to the number of overs that he has bowled.
37 The bowling average of Sri Lankan spinners against Pakistan since 2001, and also of Pakistani spinners against Sri Lanka in the same period. Both teams have quality spinners and are known to play spin well.
|Pakistan||v Sri Lanka||19||123||37.04||2.74||80.9||4|
|Sri Lanka||v Pakistan||19||110||37.89
9 Number of Tests that Sri Lanka and Pakistan have played against each other in their last three Test series, the first of those starting on 18 October 2011. Since then, only Australia and England have played more Tests against each other - ten. In their history, Sri Lanka have played 46 Tests against Pakistan, which is far more than they have played against any other Test nation. For context, Sri Lanka have played only 48 Tests against Australia (26) and South Africa (22) combined.
80 Kumar Sangakkara's career batting average against Pakistan in Tests (80.19). This is his highest batting average against any top-eight Test nation. He has scored 2486 runs against Pakistan in 19 Tests, which is the second highest number of runs scored by a batsman against a single opposition since the turn of the century. Sachin Tendulkar, with 2528 runs against Australia, is the only batsman to have scored more, but he needed 27 Tests. This is also the most runs ever scored by a batsman in Tests between Pakistan and Sri Lanka. Second on this list is Younis Khan with 1808 runs. While Misbah-ul-Haq may not have scored as many runs (860), he does average an impressive 53.75 against Sri Lanka.
1.50 Pakistan's win-loss ratio against Sri Lanka in Sri Lanka. Pakistan are the only away team apart from Australia to have a positive win-loss ratio in Sri Lanka. Pakistan have won six matches there and lost only four. They also lost one neutral match against Australia in 2002. Including this match, their win-loss ratio in Sri Lanka comes down to 1.20.
12 Number of times that Sri Lanka have played Pakistan since the Lankan team bus was attacked by armed gunmen on 3 March 2009, midway through a Test series. While no team has travelled to Pakistan since then, it is ironic that, Sri Lanka have played more Tests against Pakistan than any other team. Since the attack, Pakistan have played only 43 Tests, with only Zimbabwe and Bangladesh having played fewer games.
57 Number of wickets that Saeed Ajmal has taken against Sri Lanka, his highest against any country. This is largely because he has played 12 Tests against Sri Lanka and not more than six against any other opposition. Despite the bunch of wickets, his strike rate against them is a below-par 73.7. He only strikes at a lower frequency against Australia and New Zealand, against whom he has played only one Test each.
2.85 Pakistan's mean run-rate in Test cricket from 2011 to 2014. Every Test playing nation apart from Zimbabwe scores at a run-rate in excess of three. Pakistan's batsmen have generally not been at their best in this period, scoring only 26 centuries in all, with only Bangladesh and Zimbabwe featuring below them on that list. Their mean batting average of 31.53 makes them look only slightly better, with only West Indies and New Zealand doing worse than them apart from Bangladesh and Zimbabwe.
Bishen Jeswant is a stats sub editor at ESPNcricinfo.@bishen_jeswant