Sri Lanka looking for batting revival | Sunday Observer

Sri Lanka looking for batting revival

Kusal Perera
Kusal Perera

BRISTOL, Saturday: The disappointment was quite obvious on the faces of rival captains Dimuth Karunaratne and Sarfaraz Ahmed as rain had the final say in their World Cup clash at the County ground here on Friday.

Both teams came to their third match with momentum on their side after bouncing back from disappointing defeats in their opening fixtures against New Zealand and West Indies. Sri Lanka were bundled out for 136 to lose by ten wickets and Pakistan were similarly rolled over for 103 to lose by seven wickets.

However both teams came back strongly with victories over Afghanistan and England and were eagerly looking to carry that momentum into Friday’s game. But unfortunately the English weather had the upper hand leaving both sides sharing the two points.

“We all came here to play cricket so it’s not good that we didn’t get to play,” said Karunaratne the Sri Lankan skipper. “We’re really disappointed as a team but we’ll look ahead to the next game.”

Having broken the shackles of a series of defeats in the one-day format Karunaratne was keen that his team should continue to win.“We won our last game against Afghanistan and while we may lose some matches along the way during the World Cup, we always give a lot of fight and that’s all we want,” said Karunaratne.

“We want to compete with the other teams. We did really well against Afghanistan to get the win and I want us to take that confidence into the rest of the matches, starting with Bangladesh,” he said.

Sri Lanka take on Bangladesh at the same venue on Tuesday. Sri Lanka were looking to reinforcing their batting order for the game against Pakistan at the expense of a fast bowler but it didn’t materialise because of the bad weather.

In their two games played so far Sri Lanka have suffered middle order batting collapses which has been of great concern, but Karunaratne believes his players will learn from their mistakes and come back even stronger in their remaining matches.

“If we make a good start to the innings then we can keep that momentum going,” said Karunaratne. “If you take the last couple of games, we couldn’t capitalise on the starts we made.

“We need those middle order contributions and I think that’s the key for us as a batting line-up. Other than that, I think as a group we’re doing really good,” he said.

Pakistan captain Sarfaraz said: “It’s disappointing but we will look at it positively and take the one point. We were on a high after the England win and we wanted to play this match very badly to keep the momentum going.

The side is very confident. The dressing room is a happy one and we hope to do very well in the future matches.”

Pakistan has been known for their unpredictability and Sarfaraz believes that all teams in the World Cup are wary of that. “Every team is scared of Pakistan because we are unpredictable and on our day we can beat anyone,” said Sarfaraz.