Balapuwaduge Ajantha Winslo Mendis (born March 11, 1985 inMoratuwa) is a cricketer who plays for the Sri Lankan national cricket team.
Mendis, although classified as slow-medium, bowls a mixture of deliveries, including googlies, off-breaks, top-spinners, flippers and leg-breaks, as well as the Carrom Ball, released with a flick of his middle finger. For Sri Lanka Army in 2007-08 he averaged a mere 10.56 and took 46 wickets in six games, his strike rate a startling 31. This gained him a call-up to the full Sri Lanka squad for the Caribbean tour in April 2008.
His best bowling performance in a one-day international came in the final of the 2008 Asia Cup, where he took 6 wickets for 13 runs in just his eighth match. His 17 wickets in the tournament earned him the Man of the Series award.
Mendis made his One Day International debut against the West Indies at Port of Spain in 2008 and took 3 for 39. He also plays for the Kolkata Knight Riders in the Indian Premier League.
His first Test Match was against India at Colombo on July 23, 2008 in which he returned match figures of 8-132, thereby becoming the first Sri Lankan bowler to get an eight-wicket haul on Test debut.
Ajantha Mendis won the Emerging Player of the Year award at the LG ICC Awards ceremony held in Dubai in September 2008.
On March 3, 2009, the bus that carried the Sri Lankan cricketers to the Gaddafi Stadium in Lahore, for the third day's play of the second Test match between Sri Lanka and Pakistan, was fired at by masked gunmen. Mendis was among seven Sri Lankan cricketers who were injured in the attack, which killed five policemen who guarded the bus.