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Friday Fights | The Big ODI Fight - Arjuna Ranatunga vs Aravinda de Silva

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Arjuna Ranatunga fights his compatriot De Silva

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Friday Fights | The Big ODI Fight - Arjuna Ranatunga vs Aravinda de Silva

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Harshit Anand

09/25/2020

The vengeance symbolized by fights between friends-turned-foes triumphs even the enmity between two opponents, who have been at loggerheads for ages since friends know each other and their Achilles heel inside out. Today's fight will turn ugly as Aravinda de Silva locks horn with Arjuna Ranatunga.

Two of the greatest sons of the soil for Sri Lanka, Arjuna Ranatunga and Aravinda de Silva put their country on the cricketing map with their glittering performances in the 1990s. Against all odds, all punditry, all predictions, all setbacks, the 5 ft 6 inch tall Arjun Ranatunga stood tall defying his stature with his chutzpah-laden, confrontational, no-holds-barred leadership to win Sri Lanka the 1996 World Cup while with the bat, he was all about deft touches and cheeky batting.

On the other hand, Aravinda de Silva, one of the wizardly craftsmen of the game, was renowned for his flamboyance, flair and the sheer entertainment value he brought to the game. Today, a mass leader who fought the world for his men will take on his own man Aravinda de Silva, who was as attacking and brute laden a batsman as Ranatunga the leader. I can't hold my excitement any longer for what promises to be the ULTIMATE SHOWDOWN OF THE BROTHERS.

HERE WE GO:

ROUND 1 -> CAREER AVERAGE: Ranatunga, "I AM THE BOSS BABY"

OMG! Are you freaking kidding me Arjuna? Oh boy, Ranatunga unleashes a deadly hook after what looked like a neck-to-neck encounter to start off the bout as de Silva tried to backpedal, taken away by Ranatunga's aggression but to no avail. Wait, what, these two are confronting each other.

De Silva: That's not done, captain!

Ranatunga: What did you expect my boy, a warm-up ball-esque punch upfront? It's the BLOODY RING Silva, keep cricket aside or else you die. 

Ranatunga's career average of 35.85 proves good enough against Silva's 34.90.

Arjuna Ranatunga- 10, Aravinda de Silva- 9

ROUND 2 -> CAREER STRIKE-RATE: OH CAPTAIN, MY CAPTAIN, YOU SAY I DO   

Aravinda de Silva is a captain's player and he does what his skipper demands as he is up and running in the bout. Who can forget his 1996 World Cup final ton to help Ranatunga lift the title? Now, it's proving costly for Ranatunga as de Silva shows he can work as well against his captain, as he did with him. Aravinda's strike-rate of 81.13 proves too hot to handle for Ranatungta, whose strike-rate lags behind at 77.90. 

Arjuna Ranatunga- 8, Aravinda de Silva- 10

ROUND 3 -> HOME AVERAGE: ARJUNA KNOWS HOW TO FOLD FORT

We are just into the round three of the bout and this is surging the adrenaline rush already? Now, that was as close as it gets, both Ranatunga and Silva, very well versed about their home turf, very well aware of each other, very well aware of their strengths and weaknesses are making things exciting. Ranatunga with an average of 46.54 knows a thing or two about counter-punching, and there he went full throttle after De Silva threatened him with his home average of 44.57.

Arjuna Ranatunga- 10, Aravinda de Silva- 9

ROUND 4 -> 50s to 100s CONVERSION RATE: SILVA GOES ABSOLUTE BONKERS    

Poor Ranatunga, getting ahead of himself and Silva latches onto him like a reptile to his prey. Trying to replicate his earlier hook, which won him the first round, Ranatunga got overtly ambitious underestimating Silva. But this time, Aravinda with a conversion percentage of 14.6, like a sleeping lion snarled as soon as his prey, Ranatunga with a 50 to 100s conversion rate of 7.5 came close and unruffled a peach of an uppercut to draw level at the conclusion of the fourth round. 

Arjuna Ranatunga- 8, Aravinda de Silva- 10

ROUND 5 -> AWAY AVERAGE, SO CLOSE YET SO FAR FOR DE SILVA

It's just round five and I can't stop biting my nails, god take mercy to my nails. This bout is going through as many ups and downs as the recent DC vs KXIP IPL game and just when you think, one fighter will trump the other by the scruff of their neck, the other makes a defying comeback. Another close fight, and just when Silva was thinking to go one up on his skipper using a jab, Ranatunga exhibited a GREAT CROSS, a move that won him the round. It went right down to the wire with Silva's average of 32.44 but Arjuna prevailed with 33.22, captains always lead from the font, don't they?

Arjuna Ranatunga- 10, Aravinda de Silva- 9

ROUND 6 -> 100S IN WINNING CAUSES: WHEN SILVA STRIKES, THEY ARE BEAST STYLE

SILVA UNLEASHES A SHOESHINE. Silva took the R5 loss to his heart and boy, as Ranatunga had gained a lead of 3-2, he is all angry, emotional and delivers a series of unstoppable and unconquerable rapid uppercuts one after another. Ranatunga is completely taken away, tries to duck but Silva has upped his game, ufff the sheer intensity is giving everyone chills present in the stadium. Ranatunga is down with a mere two centuries in winning games in comparison to de Silva's eight tons in such games. 

Arjuna Ranatunga- 8, Aravinda de Silva- 10

ROUND 7 -> NEUTRAL AVERAGE: RANATUNGA DOES AN "UNDERTAKER"! 

Just when we thought that de Silva will finally take a lead after winning R6 and drawing the bout at 3-3, Ranatunga rises on his feet and delivers a solo punch as Aravinda again tried to replicate his last round's move and went forward to attack. The 5 ft 6 inch tall used his reach to perfection and with an average of 33.82 beats the 5 ft 3 inch tall, de Silva, who is averaging 31.60 in neutral venues. 

Arjuna Ranatunga- 10, Aravinda de Silva- 9

ROUND 8 -> 50S IN WINNING CAUSES: IT'S THE SILVA-TSUNAMI IN THE RING

Statutory Warning: This fight is not for the faint-hearted. Viewers discretion advised in the public interest. 

What has gotten into them? I mean we all knew the fighting and confrontational knack of Arjuna Ranatunga. But Aravinda de Silva is throwing one surprise punch after another. Just like he used to slap the bowlers on the off-side, this flamboyant cricketer is showing no regard, for his skipper and has taken this akin to a soldier in a war. It's a toe-to-toe fight going on but then suddenly Silva attacks Ranatunga's rib-cage unsettling him and then lands a punch right on his face. Silva's 35 fifties are no match for Arjuna, who has 29 fifties.

Arjuna Ranatunga- 9, Aravinda de Silva- 10

ROUND 9 -> AVERAGE IN SUCCESSFUL CHASES: RANATUNGA HATES LOSING

Never attack a man's rib-cage to bluff and knock his face. de Silva learned it the hard way. Arjuna Ranatunga is visibly angry and fuming after losing R9 and he gives Silva his own medicine. Following in the footsteps of the heavyweight Joe Frazier, Ranatunga uses 'bob and weave' defense to perfection as Silva tries to cash in on the last round's momentum, but he misses the target and then Arjuna smacks him with a powerful hook followed by an uppercut. Arjuna's average of 69.2 is nowhere close to Silva's 57.45. Is there even life left in Silva after this round? Let's see.

Arjuna Ranatunga- 10, Aravinda de Silva- 7

ROUND 10-> STRIKE-RATE IN SUCCESSFUL CHASES: SHINING SILVA STUNS RANATUNGA      

Jeez! Ain't my prophecy about the friends-turned-foes enmity coming to the fore? The more the love there is, the more they hate it causes when things go awry. And such has been the case with Silva and Ranatunga, who are fighting this battle as if some seasoned boxers. I mean did Sri Lankan boys used to have boxing drills alongside cricket practices? How on earth could Silva survive the last round's smack? Guess, he is ready to die than lose against his brother from another mother. Silva with a strike-rate of 85.64 gets one better on Ranatunga as he has a strike-rate of 81.78. The southpaw seemed complacent after R9, thinking Silva is done and dusted. Will Arjuna's Mushfiqur act cost him the bout? Let's find that out.

Arjuna Ranatunga- 9, Aravinda de Silva- 10

ROUND 11-> WC AVERAGE: WHO WINS THE LAST ROUND?                                

You hit me once, I hit you back, You gave a kick, I gave a slap, You smashed a plate, Over my head, Then I set fire to our bed

The epic "Kiss With A Fist" song is playing in the background as this bout is going haywire. It is electrifying environment out here, both the men have fought with their blood, sweat and tears. The crowd is divided, a section is screaming their lungs out going SILVA, SILVA, SILVA, while one section is hooting and shouting for Arjuna Ranatunga. A dream-esque and roller-coaster journey that this bout has been, is about to conclude.

Cometh the hour, cometh the champion. After an intense bout of 10 rounds, Arjuna Ranatunga still has it in him and has apparently saved his best for the final round and reprises Wladimir Klitschko's Steelhammer right hand. Holy Cow! Ranatunga used all his might and generated a force of a battering ram, jarring Silva's skulls mercilessly. This is a single punch knockdown. There was no respite for Silva, who tried to rise on the eight counts, but it wasn't meant to be. Ranatunga's World Cup average of 46.14 betters Silva's 36.69 by a country mile. Who wins the gut-wrenching fight, let's take a look?

Arjuna Ranatunga- 10, Aravinda de Silva- 7

Final Score- Arjuna Ranatunga 102-100 Aravinda de Silva

Well, we never expected such a fierce and close fight between two Sri Lankan compatriots, who went strength to strength for winning their country laurels on the cricket field. The big man Ranatunga kept taking lead over de Silva, but the latter showed he is a man full of grit and resilience. But, ultimately the stockily-built Arjuna Ranatunga reigned supreme in the ring. Moreover, he won brownie points too as he extended a comforting hand to his compatriot and hugged out the fight to the whistling fans, who witnessed one of the greatest fights in the ring. As Ravi Shastri would say, at the end of the day, the sport is the real winner. 

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