‘I kept it simple’ says LPL top run maker Gunathilaka | Page 2 | Sunday Observer

‘I kept it simple’ says LPL top run maker Gunathilaka

13 December, 2020
Dhanushka Gunathilaka
Dhanushka Gunathilaka

Leading run maker at the Lanka Premier League (LPL) Dhanushka Gunathilaka contends there is nothing special about his batting and that he was just sticking to the basics while being at the crease.

Gunathilaka is the top scorer at the LPL with 462 runs with a strike rate of 144.82 and an average of 77.00 while playing for the Galle Gladiators who booked a well deserved slot at the semi finals.

“I just try to do the basic stuff and that brings me success,” said Gunathilaka.

“It does not matter to me whether it is T20, ODI or Test cricket and I just play to my potential and I am very happy that it brought me and my team the results especially after the exit of our captain Shahid Afridi.

“As a team we did not play up to expectations at the start of the LPL and in our last match against Kandy Tuskers we had a serious meeting before the match and said to ourselves that it was a do or die occasion.”

Gunathilaka has struck as many as 64 fours which is an indication that he played good cricketing shots being well in control of his game and leading from the front. He also hit eight sixes.

“I am very keen to play the ball to any part of the ground,” said the 29 year old Gunathilaka.

“We went through a very hard period during the last seven months without any international matches although we had some special training sessions in Colombo and Kandy as part of national team training.

“But I also practice hard as an individual to improve my skills and fitness levels. In the present context we could not have asked for more and the LPL is a very good thing that has happened. We all waited for this kind of experience.”

The Galle Gladiators had a string of five defeats and managed to grab a semi final slot with victories in the last two matches while the Kandy Tuskers whom they beat last Thursday failed to qualify despite having probably a better side. Gunathilaka said the only thing he had to do was adjust to the ground and conditions to make sure he does not waste the opportunities in the LPL.

“I realized the Hambantota ground is very hard with a fast out-field and the ball always travels very fast on this field.

“So all I had to do was play my shots through the gaps that went to the boundary. So there was no risk to go for sixes and you can still build up the pressure on the bowlers,” said Gunathilaka.

Gunathilaka is a product of Mahanama College in Colombo who currently plays for the Sinhalese Sports Club (SSC) and said he was able to pick up a few tips about bowlers and bowling from his Gladiators team mate the Pakistani paceman Mohamed Amir.

“It was useful to pick Amir brains and find out something about how to face such pace at international level,” said Gunathilaka.

“These are extra benefits that we gain from the LPL and it is good for all youngsters to make use of the opportunities.”

Amir took five wickets against the Colombo Kings which Gunathilaka put down to superb fielding which eluded them in the opening games.

“Our fielding let us down badly and we need to take those catches and cut off the runs. We can surely go further in the LPL,” he said.

Gunathilaka like the other in-form batsman Lahiru Udara Igalagamage has not been selected to the tour party for the South Africa Test tour which starts on December 26.