Sri Lanka’s Mendis confident he remains a mystery

LONDON, June 18, 2009 (AFP) – Unorthodox Sri Lanka spinner Ajantha Mendis insisted Thursday ahead of the World Twenty20 semi-final with the West Indies that “no batsman has figured me out yet”.

Mendis had to undergo surgery to remove shrapnel from his scalp and back following March’s attack by armed militants on Sri Lanka’s team bus in Lahore.

But, as far as his cricket is concerned, there have been few noticeable detrimental effects to his extraordinary finger-flicking spin bowling.

Mendis, 24, has taken 10 wickets at 10 runs apiece during Sri Lanka’s unbeaten run to the last four and, three months to the day after he was discharged from a Colombo hospital, returned figures of three for nine against New Zealand in a 48-run Super Eights win at Trent Bridge on Tuesday.

But the modest Mendis insisted he had no great mental scars following the Lahore attack, telling the Cricinfo website on Thursday: “It is nothing special. I have got together with the team.

“Murali (star off-spinner Muttiah Muralitharan) has been helping me along. It has been going along nicely with the team-mates.”

Mendis could have to bowl to West Indies captain Chris Gayle, a team-mate with the Kol