Most contrasting outcome of the SLC- T20 League- 2018 tournament is the repeated re-endorsement of most valuable, but grossly underrated/overlooked Opener in SL, Upul Tharanga's value to SL Cricket.
His astonishingly steady up-rise seen since the begriming of 2017; as the Most CONSISTENT & ATTACKING Opener of SL is well above the rest..! THIS IS A FACT ENDORSED BY PURE PERFORMANCE (not by never materialized mere expectations, potentials, technicalities than success in the middle, that kept going some other lucky ones, always preferred over Tharanga for more than 3 years now).
(mostly over hyped & less productive favorites in limited over formats – ie; Chandimal, K Mendis, Danushka Gunathilake etc.- of SL Coach & Selectors, who were always preferred above Upul Tharanga…. as seen in recent AXING from solitary t20 vs SA, due to a brief lean patch of Tharanga seen in the recent Odi series Vs SA. Even after having a well maintained consistent productivity over past 2 years 41.27 Average, he was immediately axed after his first lean patch in 2 yrs .! The biggest joke is, Constant failures in past 12 months like Chandimal 23.25 Av / Kusal Mendis 18.77 Av / Dhanushka Gunathilake 17.75 Av were in the playing XI.
Upul Tharanga's consistently outstanding batting Achievements since January 2017:
1) Scoring over 1k (1,011) odi runs @ 48 av- 92 SR in 2017 – 2×100+ & 6 x50+ (World's 3rd best odi batter in 2017)
2) Topping Sri Lanka Super Four Provincial Limited Over Tournament (List-A), 2018 in Batting / with
– Most runs 396 @ 66 Av – 109 SR
– Most Sixes 9 x 6
– Most Boundaries 47 x 4
– Most Hundereds & Fifty plus scores 2 x 100+ & 2 x 50+
From just 6 innings @ 66 Average & 109 SR becoming the Best Batter of the tournament & winning the Championship for Galle, leading the side from front as skipper & scoring a match-winning 124 runs (122b) in the Final, filled with 13 x4 & 3 x6 @ 102 SR.!
3) Topping Sri Lanka SLC T20 League, 2018 in Batting / with
– Most Runs 414 @ 104 Av – 171 SR
– Most Sixes 28 x 6
– Most Boundaries 32 x 4
– Most Most Hundereds & Fifty plus scores 2 x 100+ & 2 x 50+
From just 6 innings @ 104 Average & 171 SR becoming the Best Batter of the tournament & winning the Championship for Colombo, leading the side from front as skipper & carrying the bat throughout the inning in the Final with a match-winning unbeaten 104* runs (55b) filled with 6 x4 & 9 x6 @ 189 SR …!
Upul Tharanga also reaffirmed his value as a Match Winning batter in crucial FINALS, apart from the above; again in 2018 Triangular International ODI Tournament played in BD in 2018; winning the Man of The Match award in the final that SL won mainly thanks to his vital highest score (56 runs) of the side helping to build 3 vital stands of 34 for the 2nd wkt, 72 for the 3rd wkt & 45 for the 4th wkt on an extremely difficult wicket.
I am always backing this genuinely gentleman guy Upul Tharanga, for his humbleness. I hate to see continuous victimizations faced by him despite truly amazing batting talents, seniority, genuineness & most of all…. because of half-blind dummies always criticize him in these forums & Nepotistic society clearly prevailing in Sri Lanka cricket's Colombo based administration ! I challenge anyone to prove me wrong.