150th Test - an occasion to celebrate
The fact that Sri Lanka are playing their 150th Test match within a
period of 24 years after receiving Test status from the International
Cricket Council (ICC) is in itself an achievement.
Along the trodden path towards this historic Test Sri Lanka cricket
has had many ups and downs not only on the field but more so off it that
today we find the game being administered by a Sports Minister appointed
If one delves into the recent past this is nothing new in Sri Lanka
cricket administration. We've had four interim committees within the
past six years and this is not a good sign for the development of the
game at grassroot level.
While our cricket administration has become the laughing stock of the
whole world, thankfully our cricket has not been affected by it.
The concept of bringing in a foreign coach for the national team
which was pioneered by former president of the Cricket Board Gamini
Dissanayake in the early eighties was used in a more professional way by
Ana Punchihewa, another former president 15 years later which has seen
Sri Lanka's cricketing stocks rise in the world.
Even today that trend continues and we have a new coach handling the
national side Tom Moody. He is the fourth coach within the past ten
years to take charge of the team, the first being Dav Whatmore who was
followed by Bruce Yardley and then John Dyson. The common factor among
these four coaches is that they are all past Australian Test cricketers.
Although Sri Lanka's cricket was still in its infancy in the eighties
its administration was on par with some of the best in the world
compared to what it is today. Dissanayake foresaw the team's
requirements to be on equal terms with other established Test nations.
He was instrumental in bringing coaches in the caliber of Sir
Garfield Sobers, Peter Philphott and Don Smith to assist the national
team besides local coaches like Abu Fuard, W.A.N. Silva and Ranjit
Fernando. Even a reputed psychologist Dr. Rudi Webster was brought in to
work on the mental aspect of the cricketers. Ted Dexter, the former
England captain was one time assigned the task of being public relations
consultant to the national team and there was also Khan Mohammed, the
former Pakistan cricketer as the fast bowling coach.
After achieving Test status which was granted by the ICC after eight
long years of being pushed from pillar to post, Sri Lanka cricket gained
quick strides that by the 14th Test match they had already recorded
their maiden Test victory (against India) and by the 20th a Test win
over Pakistan. Indian captain Kapil Dev incensed by bad umpiring
decisions against his team vowed that Sri Lanka would never win a Test
outside the country. Kapil's words remained true for close upon ten
years when Sri Lanka finally broke the ice in 1995 by beating New
Zealand at Napier by 241 runs.
The wins over India and Pakistan came pretty close to each other in
1985-86 and Sri Lanka had to wait for another six years before recording
another Test win.
Unlike at present where the ICC has a Test championship running in
which all the countries are given equal opportunities of playing each
other on a home and away basis, Sri Lanka had to plead for Test matches
being the minnows at that time. The situation in the country at that
time from 1983 to 1991 also did not allow for frequent tours and Sri
Lanka lost out on many Test matches as a result.
England hardly raised a hand to help granting them just five one-off
Tests for 17 years before they finally agreed to give a three-Test
series in 2001.
Australia on the contrary were slightly better inviting Sri Lanka for
a two-Test series in 1989 and then coming here for three Tests three
It is an achievement that despite all these obstacles we have
averaged around six Tests a year. Playing 150 Test matches are
milestones in a country's history that must be appropriately highlighted
because these are special significant events. For instance the inaugural
Test between Sri Lanka and England at the Saravanamuttu Stadium in
February 1982 was witnessed by high profile officials, which gave
significance to the occasion.
150th Test match - how other countries fared
Sri Lanka has every chance of coming up with a better performance
than their two Asian counterparts India and Pakistan who lost their
respective 150th Test match in their countrys' history.
India led by the controversial figure of Bishen Singh Bedi were
outplayed by England in their 150th Test played at the famous Chepauk
Stadium in Madras in January 1977 losing by a margin of 200 runs.
In a low scoring game where the highest total was England's first
innings score of 262, India were dismissed for 164 and 83. John Lever
ran through their batting in the second innings and after England had
set them 283 for victory in the fourth innings they succumbed to the
wiles of left-arm spinner Derek Underwood who took three of the top four
wickets for 28 runs. England was led by all-rounder Tony Greig whose
team went onto win their first rubber in India since 1933-34.
Pakistan also suffered an ignominious defeat at the hands of New
Zealand in their 150th Test match played at Auckland in 1985 losing by
an innings and 99 runs. The pace of Richard Hadlee, Lance Cairns and
Ewan Chatfield undid the Pakistanis led by Javed Miandad.
The trio accounted for 18 wickets as Pakistan were shot out for 169
and 183. New Zealand anchored by John Reid's unbeaten 158 and half
centuries from John Wright and Martin Crowe ran up an impressive 451-9
decl. The match marked the Test debut of Pakistan fast bowler Wasim
Akram. He took two wickets for 105 bowling 34 overs.
Only two countries have managed to celebrate their 150th Test with a
win. Australia defeated England by 111 runs at Melbourne in the Bodyline
series in 1932-33. Ironically it was to be Australia's only win of the
five-match series, as they were routed 4-1 by Douglas Jardine's men.
It was a low scoring Test where Australia's first innings of 228 was
the highest ever made in the match. Don Bradman scored his only century
of the series an unbeaten 103 in the Australian second innings of 183.
England was routed by the medium-paced high-bouncing leg-break and
googlies of Bill O'Reilly who took five wickets in each innings for
match figures of ten for 129.
New Zealand's 150th Test happened to be against a depleted Sri Lankan
side hit by a breakaway rebel group to South Africa. On a seaming Basin
Reserve pitch at Wellington, Sri Lanka put up a brave front to gain a
first innings lead of 39 runs mainly due to the fine bowling efforts of
Rumesh Ratnayake and Vinothan John who took nine wickets between them.
But their capitulation for 93 in the second innings to the pace and
seam of Hadlee, Snedden and Chatfield left New Zealand chasing a mere
134 for victory which they achieved losing four wickets. No New Zealand
batsmen made a fifty (highest being 47 n.o. by Bruce Edgar) in the
bowler-oriented match although for Sri Lanka Ranjan Madugalle played a
classy knock of 79 and acting captain Somachandra de Silva made a gutsy
England, South Africa and West Indies all drew their 150th Test
matches. Sri Lanka who became the eighth Test-playing nation in 1981,
will play its 150th Test match when they meet West Indies at the SSC
grounds today with skipper Marvan Atapattu hoping to outdo his
predecessors Arjuna Ranatunga and Sanath Jayasuriya who failed to win
the country's 50th Test (drawing with West Indies at Moratuwa in 1993)
and 100th Test (losing to Pakistan by five wickets at SSC in 2000)
Scores of 150th Test matches of other countries:
* England v Australia at Lord's in 1926. Drawn. Captain: A.W. Carr.
Australia 383 (W. Bardsley 193 n.o.) and 194-5 (C.G. Macartney 133
England 475-3 dec. (J.B. Hobbs 117, H. Sutcliffe 82, F.E. Woolley 87,
E.H. Hendren 127 n.o., A.P.F. Chapman 50 n.o.).
* AUSTRALIA v England at Melbourne in 1932-33. Won by 111 runs.
Captain: W.M. Woodfull.
Australia 228 (J.H.W. Fingleton 83) and 191 (D.G. Bradman 103 n.o.)
England 169 (H. Sutcliffe 52, W.J. O'Reilly 5 for 63) and 139 (W.J.
O'Reilly 5 for 66).
* SOUTH AFRICA v Australia at Sydney in 1963-64. Drawn. Captain: T.L.
Australia 260 (R.B. Simpson 58, B.C. Booth 75, P.M. Pollock 5 for 83)
and 450-9 dec. (W.M. Lawry 89, N.C. O'Neill 88, R. Benaud 90, G.D.
McKenzie 76, J.T. Partridge 5 for 123)
South Africa 302 (T.L. Goddard 80, R.G. Pollock 122, K.C. Bland 51)
and 326-5 (T.L. Goddard 84, A.J. Pithey 53 n.o., K.C. Bland 85).
* WEST INDIES v England at Georgetown in 1974. Drawn. Captain R.B.
England 448 (D.L. Amiss 118, A.W. Greig 121, A.P.E. Knott 61)
West Indies 198-4 (R.C. Fredericks 98).
* INDIA v England at Madras in 1976-77. Lost by 200 runs. Captain:
England 262 (J.M.Brearley 59, A.W. Greig 54) and 185-9 dec. (B.S.
Chandrasekhar 5 for 50)
India 164 (J.K. Lever 5 for 59) and 83.
* NEW ZEALAND v Sri Lanka at Wellington in 1983. Won by six wickets.
Captain: G.P. Howarth.
Sri Lanka 240 (R.S. Madugalle 79, D.S. de Silva 61) and 93. New
Zealand 201 (V.B. John 5 for 60) and 134-4.
* PAKISTAN v New Zealand at Auckland in 1984-5. Lost by an innings
and 99 runs. Captain: Javed Miandad.
Pakistan 169 and 183 (Mudassar Nazar 89)
New Zealand 451-9 dec (J.G. Wright 66, J.F. Reid 158 n.o., M.D. Crowe
Test Year Opponent Venue Captain Result
1 1982 England Sara Stadium B. Warnapura Lost by 7 wkts
2 1982 Pakistan Karachi B.Warnapura Lost by 204 runs
3 1982 Pakistan Faisalabad L.R.D. Mendis Drawn
4 1982 Pakistan Lahore B. Warnapura Lost inns & 102 runs
5 1982 India Madras B. Warnapura Drawn
6 1983 New Zealand Christchurch D.S. de Silva Lost inns & 25 runs
7 1983 New Zealand Wellington D.S. de Silva Lost by 6 wkts
8 1983 Australia Kandy L.R.D. Mendis Lost inns & 38 runs
9 1984 New Zealand Kandy L.R.D. Mendis Lost by 165 runs
10 1984 New Zealand SSC L.R.D. Mendis Drawn
11 1984 New Zealand CCC L.R.D. Mendis Lost inns & 61 runs
12 1984 England Lordís L.R.D. Mendis Drawn
13 1985 India SSC L.R.D. Mendis Drawn
14 1985 India Sara Stadium L.R.D. Mendis Won by 149 runs
15 1985 India Kandy L.R.D. Mendis Drawn
16 1985 Pakistan Faisalabad L.R.D. Mendis Drawn
17 1985 Pakistan Sialnot L.R.D. Mendis Lost by 8 wkts
18 1985 Pakistan Karachi L.R.D. Mendis Lost by 10 wkts
19 1986 Pakistan Kandy L.R.D. Mendis Lost inns & 20 runs
20 1986 Pakistan CCC L.R.D. Mendis Won by 8 wkts
21 1986 Pakistan Sara Stadium L.R.D. Mendis Drawn
22 1986 India Kanpur L.R.D. Mendis Drawn
23 1986 India Nagpur L.R.D. Mendis Lost inns & 106 runs
24 1987 India Cuttack L.R.D. Mendis Lost inns & 67 runs
25 1987 New Zealand CCC L.R.D. Mendis Drawn
26 1988 Australia Perth R.S. Madugalle Lost inns & 108 runs
27 1988 England Lordís R.S. Madugalle Lost by 7 wkts
28 1989 Australia Brisbane A. Ranatunga Drawn
29 1989 Australia Hobart A. Ranatunga Lost by 173 runs
30 1990 India Chandigarh A. Ranatunga Lost inns & 8 runs
31 1990/1 New Zealand Wellington A. Ranatunga Drawn
32 1991 New Zealand Hamilton A. Ranatunga Drawn
33 1991 New Zealand Auckland A. Ranatunga Drawn
34 1991 England Lordís P.A. de Silva Lost by 137 runs
35 1991 Pakistan Sialkot P.A. de Silva Drawn
36 1991 Pakistan Gujranwala P.A. de Silva Drawn
37 1992 Pakistan Faisalabad P.A. de Silva Lost by 3 wkts
38 1992 Australia SSC A. Ranatunga Lost by 16 runs
39 1992 Australia R. Premadasa A. Ranatunga Drawn
40 1992 Australia Moratuwa A. Ranatunga Drawn
41 1992 New Zealand Moratuwa A. Ranatunga Drawn
42 1992 New Zealand SSC A. Ranatunga Won by 9 wkts
43 1993 England SSC A. Ranatunga Won by 5 wkts
44 1993 India Kandy A. Ranatunga Drawn
45 1993 India SSC A. Ranatunga Lost by 235 runs
46 1993 India Sara Stadium A. Ranatunga Drawn
47 1993 South Africa Moratuwa A. Ranatunga Drawn
48 1993 South Africa SSC A. Ranatunga Lost inns & 208 runs
49 1993 South Africa Sara Stadium A. Ranatunga Drawn
50 1993 West Indies Moratuwa A. Ranatunga Drawn
51 1994 India Lucknow A. Ranatunga Lost inns & 119 runs
52 1994 India Bangalore A. Ranatunga Lost inns & 95 runs
53 1994 India Ahmedabad A. Ranatunga Lost inns & 17 runs
54 1994 Pakistan Sara Stadium A. Ranatunga Lost by 301 runs
55 1994 Pakistan Kandy A. Ranatunga Lost inns & 52 runs
56 1994 Zimbabwe Harare A. Ranatunga Drawn
57 1994 Zimbabwe Bulawayo A. Ranatunga Drawn
58 1994 Zimbabwe Harare A. Ranatunga Drawn
59 1995 New Zealand Napier A. Ranatunga Won by 241 runs
60 1995 New Zealand Dunedin A. Ranatunga Drawn
61 1995 Pakistan Peshawar A. Ranatunga Lost inns & 40runs
62 1995 Pakistan Faisalabad A. Ranatunga Won by 42 runs
63 1995 Pakistan Sialkot A. Ranatunga Won by 144 runs
64 1995 Australia Perth A. Ranatunga Lost inns & 36 runs
65 1995 Australia Melbourne A. Ranatunga Lost by 10 wkts
66 1996 Australia Adelaide A. Ranatunga Lost by 148 runs
67 1996 Zimbabwe R. Premadasa A. Ranatunga Won inns & 77 runs
68 1996 Zimbabwe SSC A. Ranatunga Won by 10 wkts
69 1997 New Zealand Dunedin A. Ranatunga Lost inns & 36 runs
70 1997 New Zealand Hamilton A. Ranatunga Lost by 120 runs
71 1997 Pakistan R. Premadasa A. Ranatunga Drawn
72 1997 Pakistan SSC A. Ranatunga Drawn
73 1997 West Indies Antigua A. Ranatunga Lost by 6 wkts
74 1997 West Indies St Vincent A. Ranatung Drawn
75 1997 India R. Premadasa A. Ranatunga Drawn
76 1997 India SSC A. Ranatunga Drawn
77 1997 India Chandigarh A. Ranatunga Drawn
78 1997 India Nagpur A. Ranatunga Drawn
79 1997 India Bombay A. Ranatunga Drawn
80 1998 Zimbabwe Kandy A. Ranatunga Won by 8 wkts
81 1998 Zimbabwe SSC A. Ranatunga Won by 5 wkts
82 1998 South Africa Cape Town A. Ranatunga Lost by 70 runs
83 1998 South Africa Centurion A. Ranatunga Lost by 6 wkts
84 1998 New Zealand R. Premadasa A. Ranatunga Lost by 167 runs
85 1998 New Zealand Galle Stadium A. Ranatunga Won inns & 16 runs
86 1998 New Zealand SSC A. Ranatunga Won by 164 runs
87 1998 England Oval, London A. Ranatunga Won by 10 wkts
88 1999 India SSC A. Ranatunga Drawn
89 1999 Pakistan Lahore H.P. Tillakaratne Drawn
90 1999 Pakistan Dhaka P. A. de Silva Lost inns & 175 runs
91 1999 Australia Kandy S.T. Jayasuriya Won by 6 wkts
92 1999 Australia Galle Stadium S.T. Jayasuriya Drawn
93 1999 Australia SSC S.T. Jayasuriya Drawn
94 1999 Zimbabwe Bulawayo S.T. Jayasuriya Drawn
95 1999 Zimbabwe Harare S.T. Jayasuriya Won by 6 wkts
96 1999 Zimbabwe Harare S.T. Jayasuriya Drawn
97 2000 Pakistan Rawalpindi S.T. Jayasuriya Won by 2 wkts
98 2000 Pakistan Peshawar S.T. Jayasuriya Won by 57 runs
99 2000 Pakistan Karachi S.T. Jayasuriya Lost by 222 runs
100 2000 Pakistan SSC S.T. Jayasuriya Lost by 5 wkts
101 2000 Pakistan Galle Stadium S.T. Jayasuriya Lost inns & 163 runs
102 2000 Pakistan Kandy S.T. Jayasuriya Drawn
103 2000 South AfricaGalle Stadium S.T. Jayasuriya Won inns & 15 runs
104 2000 South Africa Kandy S.T. Jayasuriya Lost by 7 runs
105 2000 South Africa SSC S.T. Jayasuriya Drawn
106 2000 South Africa Durban S.T. Jayasuriya Drawn
107 2001 South Africa Cape Town S.T. Jayasuriya Lost inns & 229 runs
108 2001 South Africa Centurion S.T. Jayasuriya Lost inns & 7 runs
109 2001 England Galle Stadium S.T. Jayasuriya Won by inns 28 runs
110 2001 England Kandy S.T. Jayasuriya Lost by 3 wkts
111 2001 England SSC S.T. Jayasuriya Lost by 4 wkts
112 2001 India Galle Stadium S.T. Jayasuriya Won by 10 wkts
113 2001 India Kandy S.T. Jayasuriya Lost by 7 wkts
114 2001 India SSC S.T. Jayasuriya Won inns & 77 runs
115 2001 Bangladesh SSC S.T. Jayasuriya Won inns & 137 runs
116 2001 West Indies Galle Stadium S.T. Jayasuriya Won by 10 wkts
117 2001 West Indies Kandy S.T. Jayasuriya Won by 131 runs
118 2001 West Indies SSC S.T. Jayasuriya Won by 10 wkts
119 2001 Zimbabwe SSC S.T. Jayasuriya Won inns & 166 runs
120 2002 Zimbabwe Kandy S.T. Jayasuriya Won inns & 94 runs
121 2002 Zimbabwe Galle Stadium S.T. Jayasuriya Won by 315 runs
122 2002 Pakistan Lahore S.T. Jayasuriya Won by 8 wkts
123 2002 England Lordís S.T. Jayasuriya Drawn
124 2002 England Edgbaston S.T. Jayasuriya Lost inns & 111 runs
125 2002 England Manchester S.T. Jayasuriya Lost by 10 wkts
126 2002 Bangladesh Sara Stadium S.T. Jayasuriya Won inns & 196 runs
127 2002 Bangladesh SSC S.T. Jayasuriya Won by 288 runs
128 2002 South Africa Johannesburg S.T. Jayasuriya Lost inns & 64 runs
129 2002 South Africa Centurion S.T. Jayasuriya Lost by 3 wkts
130 2003 New Zealand Sara Stadium H.P. Tillakaratne Drawn
131 2003 New Zealand Kandy H.P. Tillakaratne Drawn
132 2003 West Indies St. Lucia H.P. Tillakaratne Drawn
133 2003 West Indies Jamaica H.P. Tillakaratne Lost by 7 wkts
134 2003 England Galle Stadium H.P. Tillakaratne Drawn
135 2003 England Kandy H.P. Tillakaratne Drawn
136 2003 England SSC H.P. Tillakaratne Won inns & 215 runs
137 2004 Australia Galle Stadium H.P. Tillakaratne Lost by 197 runs
138 2004 Australia Kandy H.P. Tillakaratne Lost by 27 runs
139 2004 Australia SSC H.P. Tillakaratne Lost by 121 runs
140 2004 Zimbabwe Harare M.S. Atapattu Won inns & 240 runs
141 2004 Zimbabwe Bulawayo M.S. Atapattu Won inns & 254 runs
142 2004 Australia Darwin M.S. Atapattu Lost by 149 runs
143 2004 Australia Cairns M.S. Atapattu Drawn
144 2004 South Africa Galle Stadium M.S. Atapattu Drawn
145 2004 South Africa SSC M.S. Atapattu Won by 313 runs
146 2004 Pakistan Faisalabad M.S. Atapattu Won by 201 runs
147 2004 Pakistan Karachi M.S. Atapattu Lost by 6 wkts
148 2005 New Zealand Napier M.S. Atapattu Drawn
149 2005 New Zealand Wellington M.S. Atapattu Lost inns & 38 runs
[compiled by Saíadi Thawfeeq]