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Sri Lanka vs England: Kamindu Mendis puts his ambidextrous bowling skills on display

Mendis learnt to bowl with both the arms when he was eight years old.

Kamindu Mendis - The new ambidextrous bowler
Kamindu Mendis – The new ambidextrous bowler. (Photo Source: Twitter)

After dominating India throughout the summer, the England cricket team will be now squaring off against Sri Lanka in five ODIs, one T20I and three Tests. The tour will commence on October 10 with the tussle in the 50-over format. Since they will be playing in quite unfamiliar conditions, the team opted for two one-day practice games. In the first game that was played on Friday, the Brits were taken by a pleasant surprise while facing Kamindu Mendis.

The bowler made the headlines earlier during the U19 World Cup in 2016. He bowled with both his hands and stunned everyone. Predominantly a right-hander, Mendis can also bowl equally well with his left hand. This is a great skill to possess as he could build different plans for different batsmen and outfox them with his ambidextrous skill.

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Kamindu bowls with both the arms in the same over

In the first one-day practice game, England won the toss and elected to bowl first. The Sri Lanka XI put up 287 runs on the board after losing 9 wickets. The skipper Dinesh Chandimal, who was back in the midst of things looked good with an 85-ball 77. Kamindu Mendis also contributed with the bat lower down the order with 61 off 72 balls and was the second highest scorer for the team.

He was handed over the ball in the second innings when Joe Root and Eoin Morgan were batting together. In the same over, he bowled with both his arms to this duo. While it was left-arm orthodox for Joe Root, he bowled right-arm off-spin for Eoin Morgan. As per a report in Sky Sports, he bowled five off-breaks before switching to left-arm spin on the last ball of the over while bowling to Root.

Although the Lankans lost the game by 43 runs (DLS Method), the ambidextrous bowler grabbed enough attention. But he failed to pick any wickets in his eight overs and conceded 37 runs.

“When I was eight years old, playing in the garden with my friends, I learned to bowl with both arms. Now I am comfortable with both and happy to do it in any match,” Mendis told the reporters after the practice game.

“Root and Morgan knew what I was going to do, they didn’t panic and are big-match players. They are two of the best I have bowled to. My aim is to play for Sri Lanka, I’ll work hard for it,” he concluded.

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