The results

In wins, Sanath Jayasuriya’s innings have the four highest Player Indexes with Sangakkara occupying the fifth spot. Sanath’s innings of 134 run off 65 balls versus Pakistan in Singapore in 1996 has the highest Player Index in wins for Sri Lanka. It is remarkable that Sanath features six times in the list of top ten highest Player Indexes in wins.

PlayerRunsSRPlayer IndexMatch
ST Jayasuriya134206.15276.241Sri Lanka vs. Pakistan, Singapore, 1996


ST Jayasuriya157150.96237.0072Sri Lanka vs. Netherlands, Amstelveen, 2006


ST Jayasuriya152153.53233.3656Sri Lanka vs. England, Headingley, 2006


ST Jayasuriya189117.39221.8671Sri Lanka vs. India, Sharjah, 2000


KC Sangakkara169123.35208.4615Sri Lanka vs. South Africa, Colombo, 2013



The list of highest Impact in Wins was almost identical to that of highest Player Indexes with Sanath’s innings occupying the top four spots.

PlayerRunsSRPlayer IndexTeam IndexImpact in WinsStart Date
ST Jayasuriya134206.15276.24120.49180328255.74919674/2/1996
ST Jayasuriya189117.39221.867113.35172414208.515375910/29/2000
ST Jayasuriya157150.96237.007239.69197.31727/4/2006
ST Jayasuriya151125.83190.00336.653543307183.34975675/17/1997
KC Sangakkara169123.35208.461525.36737805183.0941227/20/2013


In defeats, Dilshan’s 160 against India in 2009 occupies the first place in the list of highest Player Indexes.

PlayerRunsSRPlayer IndexStart Date
TM Dilshan160129.03206.44812/15/2009
ST Jayasuriya76271.42206.27924/7/1996
KC Sangakkara90209.3188.3712/15/2009
AD Mathews139119.82166.549811/16/2014
TM Dilshan16096.96155.1362/28/2012


Sanath Jayasuriya’s innings of 76 off 28 balls against Pakistan in 1996 has the highest Impact in Defeats for a Sri Lankan batsman.

PlayerRunsSRTeam AvgTeam SRTeam IndexImpact in DefeatsStart Date
ST Jayasuriya76271.42946.820814.213873202.06534/7/1996
TM Dilshan160129.0332.85714129.943542.69572163.752312/15/2009
AD Mathews139119.8216.7572.8260912.19837154.351411/16/2014
KC Sangakkara90209.342.85714116.279149.83389138.536112/15/2009
ST Jayasuriya112128.7316.8333393.5185215.74228128.43537/2/2002


Only three batsmen have a positive average Impact in Wins among batsmen who have featured in at least 50 wins as the rest of the batsmen have, on average, fared worse than their teammates in wins. The World Cup-winning captain Arjuna Ranatunga has the highest average Impact in Wins.

PlayerAvg Impact in Wins
A Ranatunga7.948186
ST Jayasuriya5.635613
PA de Silva4.613525
TM Dilshan-3.1615
DPMD Jayawardene-3.93408
KC Sangakkara-4.53163
AD Mathews-8.53033


It should be noted that Arjuna Ranatunga has remained not out in 33 of the 99 wins, which has aggravated his Impact in Wins. Only Angelo Mathews, who has remained not out in 31 of 71 wins, has a higher not-out percentage in wins.

Among batsmen, who have faced at least 50 defeats, Sangakkara reigns supreme having an average Impact in Defeats of 12.7. Quite contrary to average in Impact in Wins, 14 batsmen boast of a positive average Impact in Defeats.

PlayerAvg Impact in Defeats
KC Sangakkara12.69980083
PA de Silva8.18806332
AD Mathews7.924848162
TM Dilshan6.821070717
A Ranatunga6.800054447
ST Jayasuriya5.135528943


Most batsmen seem to have fared better in defeats than in wins as only two Sri Lankan batsmen have a better performance in wins.

PlayerAvg Impact in WinsAvg Impact in DefeatsMatch Winning Index
A Ranatunga7.9481866.8000544471.148132
ST Jayasuriya5.6356135.1355289430.500084
PA de Silva4.6135258.18806332-3.57454
DPMD Jayawardene-3.934082.832033691-6.76611
MS Atapattu-8.733470.688257739-9.42173
TM Dilshan-3.16156.821070717-9.98257
UDU Chandana-13.2-2.810346743-10.3896
RS Kaluwitharana-15.1821-0.289205795-14.8929
WPUJC Vaas-25.3356-10.18151509-15.1541
RS Mahanama-15.29440.170305995-15.4647
AD Mathews-8.530337.924848162-16.4552
KC Sangakkara-4.5316312.69980083-17.2314
RP Arnold-14.06624.784296761-18.8505
M Muralitharan-33.5205-14.09710578-19.4234
WU Tharanga-19.18571.626067115-20.8117
AP Gurusinha-17.65383.409164696-21.063
HP Tillakaratne-22.92792.239585256-25.1674


Arjuna Ranatunga's batting efforts are often underrated in comparison to that of both Aravinda de Silva and Sanath Jayasuriya.

Arjuna Ranatunga’s batting efforts are often underrated in comparison to that of both Aravinda de Silva and Sanath Jayasuriya.

Arjuna Ranatunga emerges as Sri Lanka’s greatest ever match winner according to this method with a Match Winning Index of 1.15, followed by Sanath Jayasuriya.

The portly left-hander has had a greater impact in wins than defeats and Sanath’s impact has been almost consistent in both wins and defeats. Surprisingly, Upul Tharanga, Asanka Gurusinha, and Hashan Tillakaratne have a lower Match Winning Index than Muttiah Muralitharan. All three of these batsmen have a very poor average Impact in Wins and possessing a positive average Impact in Defeats means that their impact in wins relative to defeats become worse. Murali’s impact in wins, in contrast, is only 19.4234 less than that in defeats.

One disadvantage of finding the difference between the average Impact in Wins and the average Impact in Defeats is that a team’s poor bowling performance or the failure of the rest of the batting lineup could contribute to a team’s defeat, thus, turning a standout stellar performance of a batsman against his own self. This also leads to peculiar observations as in Sangakkara’s case, where a batsman performs exceptionally well in defeats and not so in wins.

If a higher Impact in Defeats could be interpreted as having done well in conditions and against oppositions under which and against whom the rest of the team has struggled, then this method could be considered highly unfair on batsmen. A good batsman playing for a very bad team will definitely suffer this fate. However, most of these batsmen with a great performance in defeats have done poorly in relation to their team in wins. Sangakkara, for instance, has an average Impact in Wins of -4.53, which leads to the question as to why a batsman who performs well under conditions and against oppositions that his team has found difficulties with, performs badly in wins.

One answer could be that the failure of batsmen who usually perform well have helped these batsmen have a better Impact in Defeats since Impact in Defeats is actually is a comparison between the player’s performance against that of his team. Whatsoever, Jayasuriya and Ranatunga have performed better than their teams in defeats and even better in wins, which is a not only a testament to their great batsmanship but also to their match-winning ability. The fact that Arjuna’s impact falls by 1.14 in defeats shows how great a champion he was for the Sri Lankan team.

Arjuna’s innings of 131 off 152 balls that came while successfully chasing a score of 227 is his greatest ever performance if you go by Impact in Wins. His 88 not out off 61 balls in the 1992 World Cup that helped Sri Lanka become the first team to chase down a score in excess of 300, and his 85 off 77 balls while chasing India’s 241 show that he was always a man for the crisis.

The findings are surprising since many would have expected either Sanath Jayasuriya or Aravinda de Silva to top the list. Arjuna Ranatunga, though a feisty batsman he was during his time, had his batting expertise masked by his adroit captaincy skills. This, however, is a testimony to the man’s leadership qualities. To have been the greatest match-winner of his country but to have people rather speak about his captaincy skills shows that the bellicose Sri Lankan was truly a giant figure in the history of Sri Lanka cricket.