Ravichandran Ashwin (left, bottom) entered the history books by dismissing Kumar Sangakkara (batsman) four times in four innings © AFP
Ravichandran Ashwin (left, bottom) entered the history books by dismissing Kumar Sangakkara (batsman) four times in four innings © AFP

Kumar Sangakkara’s emotional farewell outshone his battle against Ravichandran Ashwin. The engaging contest between the two might have received more attention had Sangakkara not been playing the final series of his career. Ashwin got Sangakkara out in every innings of the two Tests; in doing so he became the only man to ever dismiss Sangakkara in four consecutive innings. Shiamak Unwalla looks at the final four dismissals of Sangakkara’s celebrated career. READ: Kumar Sangakkara: The master and his legacy

Few batsmen in the history of cricket have numbers to match Kumar Sangakkara. He is, quite simply, one of the greatest batsmen of all time. That his last four dismissals in international cricket came at the hands of Ravichandran Ashwin is a laurel the Indian off-spinner will wear with pride for the rest of his career. READ: Kumar Sangakkara retires: Will we ever get to see the perfect mix like the Sri Lankan legend?

Ashwin has achieved the unique distinction of becoming the only man to ever dismiss Sangakkara in four successive Test innings. The battle between the two was engaging, but Ashwin ultimately came out on top. Let us look at each of the dismissals: READ: Kumar Sangakkara’s 287 against South Africa and other great knocks

1. Kumar Sangakkara 5 (12) c KL Rahul b Ravichandran Ashwin: This was more the fielder’s wicket than Ashwin’s, but it was a good delivery nonetheless. Ashwin had been bowling well to Sangakkara, and was tying him down. The delivery was just full enough to fool Sangakkara into thinking he could drive. The rest was due to Rahul’s brilliant reflexes at silly point. For once, Sangakkara’s attempted drive did not come off, as the ball went off the bottom of the bat and was taken by Rahul. READ: Kumar Sangakkara’s 192 against Australia in Hobart: An aberration in a 15-year career of placid culling of bowling attacks

2. Kumar Sangakkara 40 (70) c Ajinkya Rahane b Ravichandran Ashwin: It was Sangakkara’s best innings of the series, and while he was out there Sri Lanka would have felt a degree of control on proceedings. He was batting fluently this time, but there was again a sense that Ashwin had the measure of him. Once again, it was more because of excellent fielding that Ashwin got the wicket, but that does not mean he did not deserve it. Ashwin offered Sangakkara the length to go for a cut shot, but the extra bounce did him in. Sangakkara ended up edging to second slip, but Rahane took a superb diving catch from first slip to get Sangakkara out. READ: Kumar Sangakkara — one of the very best ever

3. Kumar Sangakkara 32 (87) c Ajinkya Rahane b Ravichandran Ashwin: The Ashwin-Rahane pair once again worked over Sangakkara, and once again it required an excellent effort that was set up by some delightful bowling. This time, Ashwin drew Sangakkara forward with a well tossed up delivery on off stump, and the resultant edge was taken again by a diving Rahane. READ: Kumar Sangakkara and that cover drive: A match made in cricketing heaven

4. Kumar Sangakkara 32 (87) c Ajinkya Rahane b Ravichandran Ashwin: The final delivery Sangakkara ever faced in international cricket proved to be from his recent nemesis yet again. It might have been the weight of the occasion, it might have been 15 years worth of reminiscence; but for once, Sangakkara had no answer to Ashwin. The ball was the perfect off-spinner’s delivery to the left-hander. It had flight and turn, and for once it did not require an excellent catch by the fielder. Ashwin defeated Sangakkara for one final time, but Sangakkara walked off the field as one of finest batsmen the world has ever seen. READ: Kumar Sangakkara: Sri Lanka’s all time great

(Shiamak Unwalla, a reporter with CricketCountry, is a self-confessed Sci-Fi geek who loves cricket more than cricketers. His Twitter handle is @ShiamakUnwalla)