Sri Lanka gets final fling against Aussies | Sunday Observer

Sri Lanka gets final fling against Aussies

Dimuth Karunaratne
Dimuth Karunaratne

Sri Lanka will have a second chance of taking stock of their plans for the World Cup when they meet Australia in their final warm-up match on Monday.

The Sri Lankans had a poor start to looking ahead when they crashed to a heavy defeat at the hands of South Africa in their first warm-up match on Friday.

Chasing a total of 338 made by the South Africans, the Sri Lankans were all out for 251 with skipper Dimuth Karunaratne making a top score of 87 and Angelo Mathews chipping in with 64.

Sri Lanka also suffered two injury scares when batsman Avishka Fernando was stretchered off the field and allrounder Isuru Udana suffered a crack on his hand while attempting to field a return shot off his bowling.

According to a team official the injuries are not a big worry and the two players are expected to return to the fray.

Sri Lanka also has four stand-by players taken as replacements in the form of two batsmen and two bowlers.

Monday’s match against Australia cannot be taken lightly as the defending champions also had a good work-out in the first warm-up game against England on Saturday with Steven Smith hammering a century.

The results of the matches are not recognized as One-Day Internationals by the ICC as both teams involved in the match can change their line-ups at the end of the innings.

It means the side batting first can defend the total by introducing bowlers in place of those who have batted and the team batting second can replace their bowlers with batsmen.

Dimuth Karunaratne has been the only Sri Lankan batsman to be hitting form after he made a half century against Scotland in a separate series.

Apart from him Angelo Mathews too got back into contention but would need to get a move-on against Australia on Monday to reassure the team of his presence.

Kusal Mendis also showed signs of returning to form when he made a brisk 37 against South Africa in the warm-up game but will need to maintain consistency which is lacking in him.

Two other batsmen that Sri Lanka will be hoping would come through are Kusal Perera and Lahiru Thirimanne who both failed against the South African pace.