Sri Lanka to rest Theekshana as Bangladesh tester looms | Sunday Observer

Sri Lanka to rest Theekshana as Bangladesh tester looms

24 October, 2021
Maheesh Theekshana (left) shows discomfort with a side strain with his captain Dasun Shanaka
Maheesh Theekshana (left) shows discomfort with a side strain with his captain Dasun Shanaka

Sri Lanka will have to take a decision on whether Maheesh Theekshana is to play or not in the opening Super 12 T20 World Cup fixture against Bangladesh on Sunday after the spinner suffered a side-strain during Friday’s qualifying round match against the Netherlands.

Theekshana bowled one over and took the first two wickets to fall to a bowler and was then substituted on the field by Dhananjaya de Silva as Sri Lanka dismissed the Netherlands for 44 in 10 overs and won by eight wickets in 7.1 overs.

“The decision might be probably to leave him out for the next game,” said team-mate Bhanuka Rajapaksa.

“We don’t want to risk it by playing him and then not having him playing in the rest of the series. For the moment he will be missing the next game as far as I know. It’s not decided yet, but most probably, he will miss the first game and then play the rest of the games.”

Sri Lanka qualified to play in the Super 12s by winning all three matches against Ireland, Namibia and the Netherlands with the bowlers doing the job in restricting the opposition for low scores with the fast bowling duo of Dushmantha Chameera and Lahiru Kumara bowling at express pace.

“I think it’s such a benefit having two bowlers (Chameera and Kumara) who are bowling above 90 mph.

“At the same time, the spinners have been extremely good for us, and they’ve been sticking to their basics and that’s one of the reasons why we have been winning throughout this tournament”, said Rajapakse.

“It’s always special to win games, whether it’s playing against Associate teams or whether it’s against good teams. Going forward, I think we’ll be facing much harder sides than Netherlands, Ireland and Namibia.”

Former captain Mahela Jayawardena who served as a Consultant in the qualifying round games has left the team and returned home in keeping with his obligations.

One of Jayawardena’s decisions was to promote Wanindu Hasaranga de Silva to bat at number five that worked against Ireland when he scored a quick-fire 71 in 47 balls to raise Sri Lanka from a perilous eight runs on the board for the loss of three wickets to a match winning total of 171.

“He (Jayawardena) is a father and he has not seen his kids for like almost six months now, and we totally understand that, but we wish that he was with us for the rest of the tournament, as well.

“The presence of him, I don’t need to comment about it.

“Everyone has seen the difference of the side. We are very thankful for the effort he has put into this squad, and we want to work with him in the future, as well,” said Rajapaksa.