Mendis gets double promotion in army

Colombo, July 9:

Sri Lanka’s new spin sensation Ajantha Mendis has been given a double promotion in the army after his exploits in the Asia Cup final, officials said on Wednesday.

Mendis, 23, a gunner, was promoted to second lieutenant by President Mahinda Rajapakse, who is also commander-in-chief of the armed forces. Mendis destroyed India with record-breaking figures of 6-13 as Sri Lanka won Asia Cup final in Karachi by 100 runs.

It was the best bowling performance in the Asia Cup, surpassing Pakistani Aaqib Javed’s 5-19 against India in Sharjah in 1995. Mendis finished with 17 wickets in the tournament. “I am delighted to have played a part in Sri Lanka’s victory,” Mendis said after returning from Pakistan. “I just want to bowl as best as I can every time I come to the bowling crease.”

The young Mendis uses an unusual grip in which he appears to squeeze the ball out of his fingers, bowling off-spin, leg-spin, googly, the top-spinner and the flipper. India captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni was the first to concede that Mendis was simply unplayable.