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ODI GOAT: Dilshan v Jayawardena

22 April 2016

Dilshan or Jayawardena? Have your say in round one of the #ODIGOAT // Getty

Sam Ferris


@samuelfez

Sam Ferris


@samuelfez

Two modern Sri Lanka greats clash in our round of 64 - who gets your vote?

The #ODIGOAT is cricket.com.au's knockout competition to determine the greatest ODI player of all time. We've selected our top 64 ODI players and now we're asking YOU to do the hard work – that is, narrow it down to one. Set up in much the same way as a tennis tournament, each day you'll see head-to-head match-ups, with the winner of those progressing to the next round to square off with their next challenger. From 64, we'll go to 32, to 16, 8, 4 and ultimately our final. So cast your VOTE and decide just who is the greatest ODI player in history!

TILLAKARATNE DILSHAN (SRI LANKA)

The numbers: Matches: 327 | Runs: 10,216 | Average: 39.44 | SR: 86.35 | 100s: 22 | HS: 161no

Wickets: 106 | Average: 44.39 | SR: 54.7 | Economy: 4.86 | BB: 4-4

WATCH: Best cricket shot ever?

Why he makes the list: With a crack of his wicked wrists, Tillakaratne Dilshan dispatches a ball through the field, to the boundary or over the rope like only he can. A skilful right-handed batsman, brilliant close-in fielder and useful off-spin bowler, Dilshan has served Sri Lankan cricket with distinction in his 17-year career. After nine years batting in the middle order, an inspired move to promote the natural entertainer in 2008 has been repaid in spades. Of the 22 ODI centuries Dilshan has tallied, 21 have come when facing the new ball where he averages an elite 46.45. In his first 20 innings at the top he posted four centuries and a 97. And his permanent change of address was welcomed in World Cups, where he 62.50 in 2011 and 65.38 in 2015.

Performance we loved: His highest score was a World Cup pearler at the MCG in 2015. Taking on Asian rivals Bangladesh in front of a heaving crowd, Dilshan was unstoppable on his way to an undefeated 161 from 143 balls. It had all the hallmarks of a classic Dilshan knock; the wristwork, the timing, the placement and the power. He shifted gears when he reached triple-figures, hitting seven fours in the final four overs. His innings was the highest by a Sri Lankan in World Cup and he combined with Kumar Sangakkara to post 210 for the second wicket. After Sri Lanka posted 1-332, Dilshan chipped in with 2-35 as his side won by 92 runs.

MAHELA JAYAWARDENA (SRI LANKA)

The numbers:  Matches: 448 | Runs: 12,650 | Average: 33.37 | SR: 78.96| 100s: 19 | HS: 144

WATCH: From the vault: Jayawardena shines

Why he makes the list: In a career spanning 17 years, few could rival Mahela Jayawardena's elegance, timing and sheer volume of runs. Casting a diminutive shadow, Jayawardena was a giant in Sri Lanka's middle order from 1998 to 2015, finishing his playing days as his country's third greatest ODI runs-scorer behind close friend and partner in crime Kumar Sangakkara and swashbuckling opener Sanath Jayasuriya. His best years in the 50-over format were a decade apart; in 2001 scored 1,260 runs and three tons, the same number of centuries he posted in 2011 where he averaged 46.90. As a captain he was sharp, innovative and fearless. He commanded Sri Lanka to the 2011 World Cup final, scoring a century in the decider against an India side with destiny at their side. A highlights package of any of his 19 tons would be sure to include a merciless whip of his pads, a graceful lofted drive and a scything square cut.

Performance we loved: While his 2011 WC final knock was special for obvious reasons, Jayawardena's unbeaten 115 as captain against New Zealand in the 2007 WC semi-final was pure class. Winning the toss and electing to bat, the right-hander entered at 2-67 in the 14th over and never looked back, caressing and crashing 10 fours and a trio of sixes, the last coming in the final over off supreme speedster Shane Bond to carry the momentum with his side into the change of innings. He topped off his man-of-the-match performance with a brilliant display of captaincy to deliver a crushing 81-run win and Sri Lanka's second World Cup final appearance. 

#ODIGOAT First Round: Tendulkar v Sharma

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#ODIGOAT First Round: Garner v Donald

#ODIGOAT First Round: Richards v de Silva

#ODIGOAT First Round: Azharuddin v Miandad

#ODIGOAT First Round: Dev v Vettori

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#ODIGOAT First Round: Jones v Clarke

#ODIGOAT First Round: Waqar v Johnson

#ODIGOAT First Round: Warne v Kumble

#ODIGOAT First Round: Hooper v S. Waugh

#ODIGOAT First Round: Imran v Hadlee

#ODIGOAT First Round: Lee v Akhtar

#ODIGOAT First Round: M. Waugh v Jayasuriya

#ODIGOAT First Round: De Villiers v Boucher

#ODIGOAT First Round: Lara v Amla

#ODIGOAT First Round: Gilchrist v McCullum

#ODIGOAT First Round: Gayle v Haynes

#ODIGOAT First Round: McGrath v Pollock

#ODIGOAT First Round: Anwar v Ganguly

#ODIGOAT First Round: Sehwag v Greenidge

#ODIGOAT First Round: Ponting v Gibbs

#ODIGOAT First Round: Dhoni v Sangakkara

#ODIGOAT First Round: Inzamam v Kallis

#ODIGOAT First Round: Murali v Hogg

#ODIGOAT First Round: Bond v Ambrose

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#ODIGOAT First Round: Kohli v Pietersen

#ODIGOAT First Round: Symonds v Klusener

#ODIGOAT First Round: Afridi v Saqlain

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About the Writer

@samuelfez

Sam Ferris is a Sydney-based journalist for cricket.com.au. He started in 2011 as a Big Bash League correspondent and continues to monitor the domestic scene and national sides closely.