Jun 14, 3 months ago

Sri Lankan cricket team returns home today

http://sportsinfo.lk/wp-content/uploads/2017/06/18920229_1623896657629424_1720658435322843717_n.jpgSri Lankan cricket team returns home today

The Sri Lankan Cricket team will arrive home today after producing one of the great performances of CT17 to defeat reigning champion India , but nonetheless exited from the group stage.

Sri Lankan Cricket team will be welcomed by SLC officials at the Sri Lanka Cricket head quarters today evening followed by press briefing.

Tournament  summary :

Lost to South Africa by 96 runs
Beat India by 7 wickets
Lost to Pakistan by 3 wickets

What went wrong?

Thumped by South Africa, inspired against India and within touching distance of victory over Pakistan only for hapless fielding to let the team down at the last: the tournament was a mixed bag for Sri Lanka. Ahead of the tournament, one victory from three matches would have been regarded as a qualified success given Sri Lanka is seventh in the ICC ODI Rankings. However, the magnificent victory against India promised so much more and were it not for Thisara Perera dropping Sarfraz Ahmed at a crucial juncture in the final group match against Pakistan, Sri Lanka would more than likely have progressed to the last four. That will be a bitter pill to swallow but a valuable learning experience for Angelo Mathews’s young side.

The loss of stand-in captain Upul Tharanga for the second and third matches due to suspension for a slow over-rate against South Africa, plus injuries to Kusal Perera and Chamara Kapugedera, did not help the team’s cause.

Positives to take home?

Against the Proteas, the Sri Lankans were blown away by Imran Tahir and crumbled to 203 all out, so to respond by chasing down 322 in their next match against a much-vaunted Indian attack was a hugely impressive effort. Kusal Mendis produced a sublime 89 and looks to have an exciting future ahead of him, while Danushka Gunathilaka, a late replacement for the injured Kapugedera, also showed great promise in striking a composed half-century. Niroshan Dickwella played enterprising knocks from the top of the order against South Africa and Pakistan, Kusal Perera hit a superb unbeaten 47 in the victory over India before injury curtailed his innings, and Asela Gunaratne was nerveless in seeing his team over the line in the same match. The return of captain Angelo Mathews, who missed the opening fixture due to a hamstring injury, was a huge boost and he played a classic captain’s knock to lead his team to victory against the Indians.

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With the ball, 33-year-old Lasith Malinga is no longer at the peak of his powers but rolled back the years at key moments and could have been the match-winner against Pakistan but for two dropped catches. The right-arm seamer Nuwan Pradeep produced typically wholehearted displays, finishing as his country’s leading wicket-taker with six.

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Areas for improvement?

Consistency should be the watchword for this young side. There is plenty of emerging talent to work with, particularly within the batting group, but performances were hit and miss.

Dinesh Chandimal – 12 runs from two innings – will be disappointed with his returns, particularly as one of the more experienced players in the squad, and the seam department lacked a bit of oomph at crucial times, most notably when trying to polish off Pakistan’s tail. Sri Lanka has high hopes for the 20-year-old paceman Lahiru Kumara – a stand-by for this tournament – and if he continues his rapid development he should have a big part to play come the ICC World Cup in 2019.

And there is plenty of room for improvement in the fielding department, as demonstrated against Pakistan.

 

© SPORTSINFO | sportsinfo.lk | Source | icc cricket

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