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Full name Rumesh Joseph Ratnayake
Born January 2, 1964, Colombo
Current age 50 years 360 days
Major teams Sri Lanka, Nondescripts Cricket Club
Batting style Right-hand bat
Bowling style Right-arm fast-medium
Other Referee, Coach
|Test debut||New Zealand v Sri Lanka at Christchurch, Mar 4-6, 1983 scorecard|
|Last Test||Pakistan v Sri Lanka at Faisalabad, Jan 2-7, 1992 scorecard|
|ODI debut||India v Sri Lanka at Bangalore, Sep 26, 1982 scorecard|
|Last ODI||Sri Lanka v West Indies at Colombo (PSS), Dec 1, 1993 scorecard|
|List A span||1980-2000|
The wiry Ratnayake made his debut as teenager and displayed the ability to generate pace and bounce with his whippy action. Ratnayake was a consistent performer during the late eighties and early nineties troubling batsman with his ability to swing the new ball at a lively pace. However, due to injury he was never able to really fulfill his potential, though he showed determination to return to test cricket he was never quite the same bowler as in his younger days. Nevertheless he was a fine test bowler and one of the better pace bowlers produced by the island nation. A capable hitter in the lower order Ratnayake played some handy innings with the bat.
Making his debut against New Zealand at Christchurch he made an immediate impression taking the new ball providing the kiwi batsman with some awkward moments. In the 1985/86 series against India he came of age bowling superbly to capture 20 wickets at 22. At SSC he bowled with sustained pace and stamina capturing 6/85 from 41 overs. In Sri Lanka's comprehensive victory in the second test Ratnayake was a major factor taking 9 wickets in the match. Along with Ashantha de Mel and Saliya Ahangama the pace trio tormented the Indian batsman leading Sri Lanka to an inaugural series victory.
Niggling injuries were always a blight on his career, though he toiled manfully in generally unresponsive conditions. On his day he remained a quality pace bowler on the 1990/91 tour of Australia he produced a outstanding display of swing bowling in his only test at Hobart capturing 6/66. At Lords he gave another a ccomplished display taking 5/69, his pace and swing causing the English bats immeasurable trouble. With the bat he then rescued the team with a bright half century. Too often though his performances were let down with lackluster batting as Sri Lanka customarily wasted opportunities to press home the advantage that Ratnayake had helped achieve. Injuries limited his effectiveness in the series in Pakistan and it proved to be his final test series.
(Johann P Jayasekera
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