Friday Fights | The Big ODI Fight – Tillakaratne Dilshan vs Mohammad Hafeez

Friday Fights | The Big ODI Fight – Tillakaratne Dilshan vs Mohammad Hafeez

A fight we wouldn’t have dreamt of before, a fight that certainly has an opening mettle to it, Tillakaratne Dilshan and Mohammad Hafeez are two of the finest all-rounders who have opened the batting for their sides. But in this contest of runs, wickets and purely numbers, who would triumph?

In an age where increasingly we’ve had more specialist batsmen at the top of the order, Tillakaratne Dilshan and Mohammad Hafeez are two of the finest all-rounders to have opened the batting and have performed for a crazy number of years. While purely on cricketing terms, the two have certainly etched a name for themselves in their respective country setups, on an international level too, they have left a mark. 

While Dilshan has scooped his way to headlines, the calm and collected Professor from Pakistan, Mohammad Hafeez, has certainly been a long-standing feature of the Pakistani outfit. But today, on pure statistics, who would survive and more importantly, come out on top?

ROUND 1 -> CAREER BATTING AVERAGE: DILSHAN – THE TRUE OPENER

Staying true to his name, Tillakaratne Dilshan has certainly a long-lasting legacy in Sri Lanka, especially in the same decade where they were said finding a replacement for Sanath Jayasuriya was thoroughly impossible. Dilshan has not just emerged out of the shadows but in this fight, has also taken the initiative, with a punch on Hafeez, with a batting average of 39.27 in comparison to Hafeez’s 32.9

Tillakaratne Dilshan – 10; Mohammad Hafeez – 9

ROUND 2 -> CAREER BOWLING AVERAGE: EL PROFESSOR STRIKES BACK

Wait, what is happening? I can certainly hear “Bella Ciao” ringing in the background but why? I’m perplexed! Oh, now I get it, El Professor has struck back after losing the first round with the ball. A bowling average of 38.84 in comparison to Dilshan’s 45.07 is a huge ‘W’ for him, game on.

Tillakaratne Dilshan – 9; Mohammad Hafeez – 10

ROUND 3 -> BOWLING AVERAGE IN ICC COMPETITIONS: MR.H FEASTS ON DILSHAN

Dilshan might have been a great opener, he won the opening round, fair points to him but ever since that, Hafeez has lit up the stage with his moves, nothing quite Jagger-esque but impressive nevertheless. This time around, in ICC competitions, a bowling average of 39.56 just topples Dilshan’s 40.41, so cracking close!

Tillakaratne Dilshan – 9; Mohammad Hafeez – 10

ROUND 4-> CONVERSION RATE (50s to 100s): DILSHAN KEEPS THE CLOCK TILKING

Not yet, don’t rule the Lankan lion out yet, NEVER DO THAT! He might have been down in the last two rounds, but this time he isn’t wasting any time certainly with a punch that has a resonating sound around in the arena. A conversation rate of 31.88 in comparison to 22.44 is certainly a joke and only Dilshan can dominate in such a way, the DILSCOOP!

Tillakaratne Dilshan – 10; Mohammad Hafeez – 8

ROUND 5-> AWAY BATTING AVERAGE: DILSE-DILEMMA

At home, anyone can be the king but away from home is where the real test lies. Who out of the two Asians have ruled the roost outside their familiar territory? Dilshan is certainly in that territory, he’s feeling it, the contest is wide open and so is Hafeez’s defence. The Lankan makes full use of it with a 38.98 punch to leave him struck at 34.85, Dilshan is on fire!

Tillakaratne Dilshan – 10; Mohammad Hafeez – 9

ROUND 6-> WICKETS PER INNINGS: KEEP CALM AND TRUST BELLA CIAO

When the music is on, the bout is on and when the bout is on, the Professor is ready with the formulae for a comeback. That is certainly what he is intending to do, or at least, it looks that way from here. An almost punch, a shimmy and a fierce punch – with that Hafeez takes this round with 0.78 wickets per innings in comparison to Dilshan’s 0.47.

Tillakaratne Dilshan – 8; Mohammad Hafeez – 10

ROUND 7-> BATTING STRIKE-RATE: SORRY THE EXPERIMENT FAILED!

While the experiment worked out last time around, in that particular round, since then, it really seems to have faded out, especially with Dilshan being in such a prime form. We really saw in the World Safety series, sound and impressive and here too, he isn’t lacking a punch. A strike-rate of 86.23 over 76.61 any day, anytime, any freaking year. 

Tillakaratne Dilshan – 10; Mohammad Hafeez – 9

ROUND 8-> 100+ SCORES IN RUN CHASES: DILSHAN REALLY NEEDS A BREAK

Stop it, stop the round – Dilshan is on a rampage, stop the mad-man for he surely will break Professor and his experiment into pieces. Nine 100+ scores in run-chases, especially when the team requires, Dilshan has stood up and performed. Meanwhile, Hafeez had a bit of lul, in the ring and in that segment, with just four centuries during run-chases. Is that the last straw in the draw? 

Tillakaratne Dilshan – 10; Mohammad Hafeez – 8

ROUND 9-> BOWLING AVERAGE IN NEUTRAL VENUES: PRO-FESS-ES BACK

Stop it, will you two? You guys are having a go at each other for the last eight rounds and we are tired of you two fighting, I can’t type anymore, at least at the pace at which you guys are certainly fighting. Oh btw, Professor is back, with a punch, a mighty one, to be honest, taking this round with a bowling average of 38.21 on neutral grounds and let’s just keep Dilshan’s bowling figures, for another day?

Tillakaratne Dilshan – 8; Mohammad Hafeez – 10

ROUND 10-> BOUNDARIES PER INNINGS: HE STRIKES IT HARD, DOESN’T HE?

Oh, come on, you really know who we are talking about, ya that guy, who somehow found boundaries in places there weren’t too many gaps, yes Dilshan! 3.84 boundaries per innings is insane, especially considering that Hafeez just had 3.58 boundaries per innings. So, are we done? Oh, he hangs on, by the thinnest of threads, does Hafeez. 

Tillakaratne Dilshan – 10; Mohammad Hafeez – 9

FINAL ROUND-> BATTING AVERAGE IN H2H MATCHES: DILSHAN DOESN’T HOLD BACK!

Read it out aloud, “Dilshan doesn’t freaking hold back,” he’s a monster, he knows it only one way – with a vengeance punching back at Hafeez, he took the first round and now he has taken the last one as well. Hmmm, interesting, really interesting, with a batting average of 40.08 against 38.88 in Head-to-Head clashes. I’m sure after this bout, Hafeez wouldn’t want to see Dilshan anywhere, not even on YouTube. 

Tillakaratne Dilshan – 10; Mohammad Hafeez – 9

RESULT BY TECHNICAL KNOCKOUT: TILLAKARATNE DILSHAN 104-101 MOHAMMAD HAFEEZ

Now, we are finally done and this is it, Tillakaratne Dilshan has taken this contest, all by himself, with 104 points in comparison to Mohammad Hafeez, who has 101 on his side, not a bad effort from the Pakistani all-rounder. But in reality, we all know that the contest was tilted, Dilshan seemed possessed and in a good way, to win the bout and take back some of the pride from this contest. The crowd are disappointed, not because Hafeez lost or because Dilshan won but because – this encounter, this close-fight is coming to an end. 

Sorry for the curtains, this is it from us, join us next week for a similarly exciting and enticing contest between two of the world’s great cricketers. A hint? Look for the all-rounders!

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