Pakistan v Sri Lanka, Asia Cup, final, Dhaka March 8, 2014

'Thirimanne batted with a niggle' - Mathews

ESPNcricinfo staff
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After missing most of Sri Lanka's series against Bangladesh with an ankle injury, Lahiru Thirimanne returned to the side ahead of the Asia Cup. After he scored a century in the final to help his team achieve a five-wicket win, Sri Lanka's captain Angelo Mathews said Thirimanne had batted with a "bit of a niggle" in their last two games.

"He [Thirimanne] has been amazing for us," Mathews said. "He got injured, unfortunately, in the last series but he came back for us. He had a little bit of a niggle still, while he was batting, in the last two games, and he was very courageous to come out and play, the way he did.

"[I am] very happy, because you push him up the order, you push him down the order, he's one of those players who never get a chance at one spot. And wherever he gets the opportunity he scores runs for us. And that's a team player for me, and he did amazing for us, and he's a great find for us."

Mathews agreed when asked if Thirimanne was in line to become Kumar Sangakkara's long-term replacement in the Sri Lanka side.

"Yeah, after Sangakkara, Mahela [Jayawardene] retire, Thirimanne, [Dinesh] Chandimal are the ones who are going to take their reins. It is not easy to fill their shoes, but the way they are performing right now, I'm pretty sure they'll take responsibility in the future."

After his century in the final, Thirimanne's average in the top three rose to 49.08 in 14 innings. At No. 4 or lower, he averages 22.80 in 33 innings.

"We've got to see how it goes," Mathews said, when asked if Thirimanne would retain his role as opener in the near future. "He opened the batting because [Tillakaratne] Dilshan got injured in the Bangladesh series. As I said before, he's one of those players, you give him the opportunity, wherever you bat him, he will score runs for us. We still haven't thought about where he's going to bat, but definitely he's been a find for us this tournament."

Lasith Malinga was Sri Lanka's other hero of the day, taking all five wickets that fell during Pakistan's innings. He was returning to the side after sitting out the match against Bangladesh.

"Really happy that he rested against Bangladesh," Mathews said. "It's not easy to play consistently, especially for the fast bowlers [who] especially tire out so much. We don't have a lot of time in between [matches] so it's always useful to manage the fast bowlers, especially their workloads, and we saved him for the final. He got a five-for in the first game against Pakistan, and also another five-for today, so he's been performing tremendously for us and he's been our premier bowler for so many years."

At the toss, Sri Lanka took the unexpected decision of leaving out Ajantha Mendis, who had till then been their highest wicket-taker in the tournament. Mathews said the team had wanted to play an extra fast bowler after looking at the pitch.

"All we talked about was, the wicket is very good, and it played very good as well," Mathews said. "It didn't spin so much, that's why we wanted to play the extra seamer, because the wicket wasn't, it didn't look slow, initially."

Asked why it was Mendis who sat out, Mathews said it had been a hard call, but the team went with Sachithra Senanayake's ability to bowl economically in difficult situations.

"He's been performing for us, brilliantly, Mendis, and all the bowlers played their part in the last game as well, so it was a very tough decision," Mathews said. "Even though Senanayake went wicketless in the last game [against Bangladesh], in his 10 overs he went for 37 runs and he bowled in the first Powerplay and also in the batting Powerplay and also in the last 10 overs, so those are the crucial times you have to stop runs and he's been doing that for us.

"It's just that one game where he went off track today, can't really blame, because bowlers tend to have one off day. He has been a star performer for us, even though he hasn't taken a lot of wickets."

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • on March 10, 2014, 13:02 GMT

    Angelo Mathews and team with Chandimal and Thirimanne is like the SL team led by Arjuna with Aravinda and Mahanama..... at last we have got back that never give up attitude in the whole team.

  • Darkmanx12155 on March 10, 2014, 11:02 GMT

    Salman_Shakeel84: Personally, I do not blame Misbah for not walking, I do not think any batsman should "walk" when they nicks it. That's what the umpires are there for.. But as a cricket follower, I'm certain Mahela, Sanga, Gilchrist will always walk if they nicked it.. Its up to the batsman to walk or not.

    My point here is Misbah chose not to walk when he was struggling to score on a good batting wicket... he scored 65 off 98. Where as if Akmal was in he could have scored the additional number of deliveries to score a 100 + and even Afridi would have got a good 25 to 30 ball BOOM SMASH the SL bowlers. Clearly this wicket was a 320 + batting wicket.

  • tharuka88 on March 10, 2014, 10:32 GMT

    @Salman_Shakeel84.look at this and think before you comment any thing... 17.3 Shahid Afridi to Jayawardene, no run, Akmal is appealing without any restraint. The bowler does not join in. None of the fielders do. This was pushed through fuller and turns outside off. Mahela was coming forward to defend but is beaten by the turn. There seems to be a bit of noise as the ball passes the bat, but umpire Oxenford says no. I dont think there was a edge either

  • tharuka88 on March 10, 2014, 10:29 GMT

    @Salman_Shakeel84. if mahela nick sure he will walk away.you better clear your ears..

  • on March 10, 2014, 10:18 GMT

    I think Sl still need a left arm swing bowler like vaas If we have a player like him we will be stronger I see only malinga as a fast option to Sl

  • Salman_Shakeel84 on March 10, 2014, 10:02 GMT

    People Talking about Misbah's nick and not walking away

    Why did Mahela did not walk after nicking to Akmal on the bowling of Afridi

    Misbah was wrong , so was Mahela.

    But criticizing and pointing only Misbah is unfair. Mahela must also be included for a fair criticism

  • on March 10, 2014, 9:31 GMT

    @Un_Citoyen_Indien You are well come mate.

  • idealeyeflash on March 10, 2014, 8:30 GMT

    I request to Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) to please change the captain with some enthusiastic captain like Shahid Afridi. As I guess Pakistan Team no more required Misbah Services, he just plays for his own self rather than playing for Pakistan. He is an middle order Batsman, have not ability to analyze that what the run rate is required to accelerate with that speed, he simply plays for his own self to secure his place as he scored 57 of 97 balls and at a point when he should must hits smoothly so he just gets out usually with an stupid shot. It's totally bullshit. We had Inzama ul Haz, Ijaz Ahmad, Miyandad etc. when they were playing so they were looking to the required run rate and were taking risks when required. Actually at a time when it is required to take risk and that is the only option so Misbah cannot take it and that's what his failure is. I request PCB to replace Captain with some aggressive one like Afridi or hafeez and also replace misbah with fresh middle order batsman

  • Darkmanx12155 on March 10, 2014, 8:20 GMT

    All the fans seems to forget one point here... Well done SL and Thiri Slinga all that... But the true hero who gave the game on a sliver platter to SL is non other than Misbah. No one seems to thank him for his contribution of the match which made it possible for SL to win. IF he walked when he nicked it, then it would have been Akmals chance to go against SL bowlers. Like we all saw, it wasn't a mine field of a pitch to bat on. Just that Misbah couldn't score fast! If Afridi got 25 to 35 balls to bat SL would have been chasing something like 325 +. So SL fans, pls show your gratitude to the true MOM...

  • on March 10, 2014, 4:32 GMT

    All Cricket fans badly refused that Umar Guls bad behavior in the field. How many timed he came with FOUR LEGS to Thirimanna after bowling ?. But nothing happened,Cambrian ( Prince of wales` college , Moratuwa ) Thirimanna was playing a gentlemen's game. Well-done Srilankans Keep it up.

  • on March 10, 2014, 13:02 GMT

    Angelo Mathews and team with Chandimal and Thirimanne is like the SL team led by Arjuna with Aravinda and Mahanama..... at last we have got back that never give up attitude in the whole team.

  • Darkmanx12155 on March 10, 2014, 11:02 GMT

    Salman_Shakeel84: Personally, I do not blame Misbah for not walking, I do not think any batsman should "walk" when they nicks it. That's what the umpires are there for.. But as a cricket follower, I'm certain Mahela, Sanga, Gilchrist will always walk if they nicked it.. Its up to the batsman to walk or not.

    My point here is Misbah chose not to walk when he was struggling to score on a good batting wicket... he scored 65 off 98. Where as if Akmal was in he could have scored the additional number of deliveries to score a 100 + and even Afridi would have got a good 25 to 30 ball BOOM SMASH the SL bowlers. Clearly this wicket was a 320 + batting wicket.

  • tharuka88 on March 10, 2014, 10:32 GMT

    @Salman_Shakeel84.look at this and think before you comment any thing... 17.3 Shahid Afridi to Jayawardene, no run, Akmal is appealing without any restraint. The bowler does not join in. None of the fielders do. This was pushed through fuller and turns outside off. Mahela was coming forward to defend but is beaten by the turn. There seems to be a bit of noise as the ball passes the bat, but umpire Oxenford says no. I dont think there was a edge either

  • tharuka88 on March 10, 2014, 10:29 GMT

    @Salman_Shakeel84. if mahela nick sure he will walk away.you better clear your ears..

  • on March 10, 2014, 10:18 GMT

    I think Sl still need a left arm swing bowler like vaas If we have a player like him we will be stronger I see only malinga as a fast option to Sl

  • Salman_Shakeel84 on March 10, 2014, 10:02 GMT

    People Talking about Misbah's nick and not walking away

    Why did Mahela did not walk after nicking to Akmal on the bowling of Afridi

    Misbah was wrong , so was Mahela.

    But criticizing and pointing only Misbah is unfair. Mahela must also be included for a fair criticism

  • on March 10, 2014, 9:31 GMT

    @Un_Citoyen_Indien You are well come mate.

  • idealeyeflash on March 10, 2014, 8:30 GMT

    I request to Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) to please change the captain with some enthusiastic captain like Shahid Afridi. As I guess Pakistan Team no more required Misbah Services, he just plays for his own self rather than playing for Pakistan. He is an middle order Batsman, have not ability to analyze that what the run rate is required to accelerate with that speed, he simply plays for his own self to secure his place as he scored 57 of 97 balls and at a point when he should must hits smoothly so he just gets out usually with an stupid shot. It's totally bullshit. We had Inzama ul Haz, Ijaz Ahmad, Miyandad etc. when they were playing so they were looking to the required run rate and were taking risks when required. Actually at a time when it is required to take risk and that is the only option so Misbah cannot take it and that's what his failure is. I request PCB to replace Captain with some aggressive one like Afridi or hafeez and also replace misbah with fresh middle order batsman

  • Darkmanx12155 on March 10, 2014, 8:20 GMT

    All the fans seems to forget one point here... Well done SL and Thiri Slinga all that... But the true hero who gave the game on a sliver platter to SL is non other than Misbah. No one seems to thank him for his contribution of the match which made it possible for SL to win. IF he walked when he nicked it, then it would have been Akmals chance to go against SL bowlers. Like we all saw, it wasn't a mine field of a pitch to bat on. Just that Misbah couldn't score fast! If Afridi got 25 to 35 balls to bat SL would have been chasing something like 325 +. So SL fans, pls show your gratitude to the true MOM...

  • on March 10, 2014, 4:32 GMT

    All Cricket fans badly refused that Umar Guls bad behavior in the field. How many timed he came with FOUR LEGS to Thirimanna after bowling ?. But nothing happened,Cambrian ( Prince of wales` college , Moratuwa ) Thirimanna was playing a gentlemen's game. Well-done Srilankans Keep it up.

  • gularan on March 10, 2014, 3:04 GMT

    Chandimal is failing badly and it is time to give other young guns a chance in his stead rather than keep on keeping him. Maybe that'll give him the proverbial kick in the derrier to come good.

  • gularan on March 10, 2014, 2:53 GMT

    It is good that MJ came off in the final but he should have trialled coming in at positions other than No. 4 when he was failing continuously. Maybe that would have solved the series of low scores that befell him.

  • on March 10, 2014, 0:56 GMT

    The way the things stand at the moment, I don't think Dilshan could walk in to his opening position in the SL ODI team when he's fit. Since of late, it is evident that the laws on nature are catching up with Dilshan. He's not the batsman he used to be.

  • on March 10, 2014, 0:53 GMT

    @ Anand Herath. I guess then you will be equally disappoint with Mahela for not walking also...

  • rezauk on March 9, 2014, 19:25 GMT

    wapuser - don't be disappointed that Misbah didn't walk - The problem being is that when the opposition doesn't want to walk we get this stalemate.

    There'a a saying " people who live in glass houses shouldn't throw stones" . Unfortunately with Sanga this applies with several aspects of his game.

    Tremendous Player but dispicable "CRICKETER"

  • on March 9, 2014, 18:42 GMT

    @Imran Salat, a low point in the game was when Misbah-ul-Haq was given not out when he was caught by Sanga and both of them knew clearly that there had been a definite edge. Misbah's guilty and sheepish grin skywards when Sanga gestured to him something like, "Come on mate, you know you're out! " told it all. I like Misbah very much and therefore I found this incident very disappointing.

  • Htc-Android on March 9, 2014, 18:27 GMT

    Dilshans Injury was a blessing in disguise for us. that prompted us to Open the innings with Thirimanne.My question is who will be dropped when Dilshan comes back. Also I think we should keep Thirimanne as an Opener. He has scored 3 centuries and 2 50s in the 14 innings he batted at the top order. He can be consistent like Amla or Kohli if he let him to bat at the top order.

  • dhanuhskaS on March 9, 2014, 17:55 GMT

    As pointed out in many of my postings since last year, Thirimanne is a naturally talented opening batsman with perfect technique to give a solid start & establish an inning (with a perfect strike rate in ODIs) as well as the ability to stay long in Tests. But, unfortunately he was denied this chance until now & floated all-over down the order, preferring a "privileged" lucky-go-happy SLOGGER to fill the opening slot created by SLC (unjustly axing another established opener Tharanga). Upul Tharanga's feat of reaching 5000 in 157 iings is the 2nd fastest by a SL player in ODIs (Athapattu took 152 innings to achieve that). He is the ninth SL player (64th overall) to complete 5,000 runs or more in ODIs - 5153 (13x100 + 28x50) at an Av. of 34.81 in 164 ODI. Just 29yrs of a When Dilshan retires, he is the best SL opener to carry forward to the future with Thirimanne! Chandimal is another talented front-order batsmen who needs a correct spot to bat, but never got! What a waste of talent SLC.?

  • on March 9, 2014, 17:49 GMT

    @sidh78, I don't know where you get your stats. You are typcially similar to Indian media who blatantly make up stats and theories and make them news. Anyway, do some research on cricinfo, we beat England 5-0 in India in 2006.We have won ODI series in Australia and NZ multiple times. I can't be bothered to personally look for the stats and disprove you because there are too many instances where we won series outside SL.

  • sidh78 on March 9, 2014, 17:14 GMT

    Noticed one thing how the nature of the tracks(pitchs) change the quality of team.SL wins on super flat roads of bangaladesh.but same SL team thrashed by india in CT & tri series in ENG & WI on fast seaming bouncy tracks & SL not win a single series OUt side SL since 2000.really cricket is funny game.

  • dhanuhskaS on March 9, 2014, 16:31 GMT

    Congratulations ..!!! to SL for defeating all the sides & some double standard poor umpiring at vital stages in matches… to win the Asia Cup, clearly being the worst effected side due to lack of DRS.

    Well done Pakistan..! for being the most competitive side in the tournament!

  • on March 9, 2014, 16:01 GMT

    next sanga. great inning thiri.....

  • on March 9, 2014, 15:56 GMT

    Congratulations, Lankans. This is the perfect line up , including Dilshan, so keep these players for T20. How can allow to play just only for the Captaincy perposes?...

  • Un_Citoyen_Indien on March 9, 2014, 15:53 GMT

    Congrats to our Lankan brothers on a tremendous win. Deserving Asia Cup winners.

    Lots of love, from India.

  • on March 9, 2014, 15:15 GMT

    You all have gave joy and enthusiasm for us. Thanks guys.

  • on March 9, 2014, 15:02 GMT

    Congrads.Srilanka you deserve this win. Well played Angelo and team mates. Now you need to forecast for world T-20 Next week, good luck boys.

  • Poholiyadda on March 9, 2014, 14:25 GMT

    Thiri is a good prospect for Sri Lanka as the no3 batsman. But they should not ignore Dinesh Chandimal who is also a very talented young batsman. He averages 51 in test cricket and should be given a permanent place in the shorter formats too as the three down batsman. He rescued Sri lanka many times when they were in trouble specially in ODIs in the recent past and is a better batsman than Ashan Priyanjan who played in the Asia Cup final.

  • on March 9, 2014, 14:22 GMT

    Sri Lanka is no ordinary team anymore its a world power in cricket beside Australia and South Africa

  • NonyNiz on March 9, 2014, 13:59 GMT

    now days lanka is really very much consist

  • on March 9, 2014, 13:53 GMT

    Congrats Sri Lanka from a Pakistan fan. Though Pakistan were 20/30 runs short, I still believe it could have ended differently had Jayawardene been given out (twice). He should have been out early in his innings caught behind from a thin edge and also leg-before. The dropped catch by Umar Akmal of Thirimanne was also extremely costly as it was also early in his innings.

  • on March 9, 2014, 13:22 GMT

    Well done SL. But I will give credit to PAK as well , it was our bad luck that the bowling didn't clicked the way it suppose to. It was SL day so they won. For me whenever PAK beat IND is much more greater win then a CUP!!!! Love you Green Shirts!!!!

  • on March 9, 2014, 13:06 GMT

    Sri lanka deserved this victory' they disciplined ' calm and hardworking' i m pakistan fan bt have to admitt that lankan are most consistabt team at the moment'

  • cricketfan10752 on March 9, 2014, 12:24 GMT

    Congrats SL and thanks for not letting PAk making headlines and also Afridi, This guy known as Blind Batting, but he got luck in Asia Cup.

    Great Job SL.

  • on March 9, 2014, 12:17 GMT

    Lankans are the most consistent side in the cricket world today and are among top two favourites to win the T20 world cup. Their consistency and top status could be witnessed by their four time qualifying for the ICC WC event final since 2007 WC. I completely support them. They have been clinical, in time, punctual, reading the situation perfectly and have a 90% percent chance to score if not stopped with110% effort by India or Pakistan. As to their chances, they have been the most world class team in Asia and is among the three best teams overall in the world besides SA and Australia. Australia I think also carry a good chance this time around. But Lankans are sure shot semi finalists and probable finalists and champions.

  • Nirvana-light on March 9, 2014, 12:13 GMT

    Your best batsmen in the cup did not even face a single ball.Bad captaincy for not reading the pitch( batting paradise by the way) and then not unleashing the Beast( Afridi) He scares the...out of other teams .Poor mangagment. With this attitude and style Pakistan can not win Wc 2015.

  • Khans_word on March 9, 2014, 12:13 GMT

    SL played super consistently and took home- the prize, deservingly! Pak played some great thrilling and sapping games to the final. Players were injured who should have been benched no matter who they were. Bowlers were poor in the preceding games and were selected for the final. In the end the selection was terrible and the decision at the toss to bat was equally terrible. The batting was dynamite going to the final, so why change a winning attribute, just CHASE!!! The poor quicks should have been dropped, Gul and Talah. Afridi should have been benched as he was clearly injured. The two young all-rounders should both have played- Bhatti and Anwar Ali. These guys won his the South Africa and Sri Lanka series. They would have extended the batting lineup and could not have been put the sword any more that the quicks. Hope they turn the bowling around as its won us many matches over the past 2 years. One more request - induct Fawad Alam into the T20 team, looks to be in prime form!

  • SShinwari on March 9, 2014, 12:03 GMT

    well done Srilanka, for the brilliant performance against India and Pakistan.

  • Oracle_Magus on March 9, 2014, 11:49 GMT

    It was a rather tame end to a hard fought battle. Lankans have the right mixture of youth and experience and it paid off. Mahela as usual delivered in the finals and the 5th Asia Cup in the Lankans Kitty. After the initial onslaught by Malinga, it required the calmness of Misbah to resurrect the innings and finally the fireworks of Fawad and Akmal to take them to a respectable score. But with the present form of the Lankans even a score of 300 may fall short. All teams have done well in the tournament and let's now get ready to witnesses the T20 WC. Cheers

  • on March 9, 2014, 11:32 GMT

    @Nikko Chunn,

    You can (day)dream to dance in the moonlight, nobody stops you. But, in Bangladeshi pitches especially in Chittagong, New Zealand is next to nothing for Sri Lanka. Take my word and see the proof of my words on 31st March night (or April fool day in NZ). Do not forget that your high ranking NZ team was humiliated by lower ranked Bangladeshi in Bangladesh not long ago. (rofl)!!!

  • rsrajan2005 on March 9, 2014, 11:15 GMT

    SL deserved to win and rightly so. Just a mystery as to why Pakistan is n't consistent. Indians have had a poor run in the recent past and think that the zing has been lost. The overseas losses cannot be substantiated and it defies logic as to how India is rated so high, despite series of losses. A comical statement of Dr Lakson that the team with largest supporters should be in Finals. The response by wapuser that china should play a part, was a good one.

  • on March 9, 2014, 11:09 GMT

    nice win for srilanka... they were the deserving champions.. pakistan though fought hard but didnt score enough runs on this wicket to defend... srilanka though droped ajantha mendis but their decision ws not that much bad because paistan has played mendis really well in the recent years.

  • on March 9, 2014, 11:02 GMT

    Really? Fair enough - good knock and what else could he really say? BUT - Pakistan sent out Afridi with no time left with ample wickets in hand earlier. They missed a trick, potentially another 20-40 runs, and in doing so they handed the game to anyone who wanted to bat out a patient, riskless hundred.... the guy above did that. I picked Sri lanka pre-tournament and before this match again, but was disappointed they were able to win nearly untested. Hats off to Sri Lanka though... they look balanced on the low, slow pitches. Danger signs for the t20 tournament and my kiwi side have them in our side of the draw.... figners crossed for sweet revenge for the 'getting to dark' cheating that cost us a series win in Sri Lanka and ironically gave them 'victory'... We shall dance in the moonlight again sweet, sweet Sri Lanka... we shall dance again... LOLZ!! Can you feel the approaching t20 and the fighting talk (most of yours deluded, but kiwis, aussies and SL ones being fair enough)? Yeah!!

  • on March 9, 2014, 10:40 GMT

    Dr Lakson. I do not know what you mean. I tkink you are an indian thats why you are upset.....the best team makes it to any final regardless of the market share. If you want a country with a bigger market share, then you should try and bring China in to it....

  • nickexplore on March 9, 2014, 9:40 GMT

    A great victory, earned without 3 of SLs first choice players - Dilshan, Herath and Kulasekara - that shows the strength in depth of SL cricket. A promising all-rounder Chaturanga de Silva, plucked from the SL A team, played all 5 games...a hard-hitting and confident Ashan Priyanjan selected for the final ahead of a more experienced Chandimal....Sacithra Senanayake charged with bowling key power-play overs of the innings.... Lahiru Thirimanne accepting the challenge of opening the innings and scoring 2 brilliant centuries.... Malinga with devastating match-winning displays of fast bowling. To Sangakkara, Mahela, Kusal, Ajantha, Thisara, Lakmal, Prasad and captain Angelo Mathews -congratulations - Asia Cup champions 2014.

  • Dr.Lakson on March 9, 2014, 7:10 GMT

    Surprised by the lack of interest in the final...... Only way to make the Asia cup final economically relevant would be to amend the rules to include the team that is supported by the largest market by default in the final. Removing DRS and getting the umpires to help did not work this time. There is no other way to save cricket in Asia!......A case for Democracy taking over Meritocracy!

  • on March 9, 2014, 7:08 GMT

    I still cannot understand why did they dropped highest wicket taker at the final game. Angelo's explanation is not acceptable at all. Shame on selectors for that decision. Pakistan wouldn't have scored 260 if Ajanta was there.

  • rjzone2000 on March 9, 2014, 5:33 GMT

    Obviously, Thirimanna should play in the first 3. I would say Kusal & Dilshan will be a great combination for us in The ODIs and Thirimanna can play at number 3 as he can stay in the crease under difficult situations. I'd vote for Thirimanna over Chandimal in any format. We should not forget that we have a classy all rounder, Nuwan Kulasekara. He should have a permanent position in the team.

  • RoshJ on March 9, 2014, 5:16 GMT

    Well played SL!

    The forum looks quite deserted in the absence of doom sayers :).. the ones who said so & so teams will treat SL games as practice matches, another equating a horribly overated team (only by their own fans) to SL and finally, predicting SL will simply buckle to the "final" pressure..oh where are thou??

    ...you know who they were!

  • Merny on March 9, 2014, 5:13 GMT

    Congratulations Sri Lanka!! Convincing Asia Cup Cricket Champions. Brought back some nostalgic moments of our 1996 World Cup Cricket Team who also coincidentally won all their pre final matches and finally lifted the World cup. There were a lot of high points, especially the emergence of the young cricketers. Sadly, Chandimal has made no significant contribution. Maybe, a bit of time away from cricket will help the young man get back to the real cricketer he can be. I wish him all the best because he is talented but needs to do a SWOT analysis of himself. Malinga was fantastic in his last two outings against Pakistan where he got ten of his eleven wickets in the tournament.Keep the Sri Lankan Flag flying high, Mathew & Co.

  • on March 9, 2014, 4:19 GMT

    Well played SL. Thanks for keeping SL fans alive. Now there will be a problem on selection of the team for 20-20 series. With availability of likes of Kusal Perera, Rangana Herath, Nuwan Kulasekere etc. is there any possibility to accommodate both Dilshan and Chandimal?? From batsmen Thirimanne, Kusal, Sanga, Mahela Angelo should have slots.Select one of Dilshan or Chamdimal for the 6th slot. Lasith and Suranga should get there positions. Thisara or Kula should get the 9th place. Two of spinners out of Prasanna, Ajantha, Herath and Sachithra would complete the eleven. Good luck selecters..Anyway this squad is extremly talented.

  • on March 9, 2014, 4:09 GMT

    I don't think SL replaced Mendis by Senanayake, I think they did so with Lakmal. He was really good at death bowling which proved good in the end. Also it helped the batting depth of the team too. Up to 10th player.

  • on March 9, 2014, 3:20 GMT

    I really hope they don't push Thiri down the order agaun, he'll just be a waste of talent lower down the order l. And Chandi is the perfect replacepment for Mahela if you think about it... One good innings followed by a lot of poor ones...

  • VinothSam on March 9, 2014, 3:09 GMT

    As the way Lankans took the game looked like they were even able to chaser 300 plus. Losing Mendis was not that much of a bad idea when they replaced him by Senenayaka. Second 100 of the series for an opener was the most effective to the team. Lahiru made it in his style. I think it wasn't bad to lose Dilshan at all.

  • nickexplore on March 9, 2014, 0:46 GMT

    Yes, what a bold and unexpected decision from the SL selectors to drop Mendis (9 wickets in 3 games) for Senanayake, for such a big game. No-one saw that coming. Mathews' rationale is interesting, but it meant the captain had no wicket-taker to turn to in the middle overs, when Pakistan plundered and got away from SL. But the damage had been done early by Malinga, when he spectacularly skittled the top 3, and 260 was not enough. Kusal, Thirimanne and Mahela clinically saw to that.

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  • nickexplore on March 9, 2014, 0:46 GMT

    Yes, what a bold and unexpected decision from the SL selectors to drop Mendis (9 wickets in 3 games) for Senanayake, for such a big game. No-one saw that coming. Mathews' rationale is interesting, but it meant the captain had no wicket-taker to turn to in the middle overs, when Pakistan plundered and got away from SL. But the damage had been done early by Malinga, when he spectacularly skittled the top 3, and 260 was not enough. Kusal, Thirimanne and Mahela clinically saw to that.

  • VinothSam on March 9, 2014, 3:09 GMT

    As the way Lankans took the game looked like they were even able to chaser 300 plus. Losing Mendis was not that much of a bad idea when they replaced him by Senenayaka. Second 100 of the series for an opener was the most effective to the team. Lahiru made it in his style. I think it wasn't bad to lose Dilshan at all.

  • on March 9, 2014, 3:20 GMT

    I really hope they don't push Thiri down the order agaun, he'll just be a waste of talent lower down the order l. And Chandi is the perfect replacepment for Mahela if you think about it... One good innings followed by a lot of poor ones...

  • on March 9, 2014, 4:09 GMT

    I don't think SL replaced Mendis by Senanayake, I think they did so with Lakmal. He was really good at death bowling which proved good in the end. Also it helped the batting depth of the team too. Up to 10th player.

  • on March 9, 2014, 4:19 GMT

    Well played SL. Thanks for keeping SL fans alive. Now there will be a problem on selection of the team for 20-20 series. With availability of likes of Kusal Perera, Rangana Herath, Nuwan Kulasekere etc. is there any possibility to accommodate both Dilshan and Chandimal?? From batsmen Thirimanne, Kusal, Sanga, Mahela Angelo should have slots.Select one of Dilshan or Chamdimal for the 6th slot. Lasith and Suranga should get there positions. Thisara or Kula should get the 9th place. Two of spinners out of Prasanna, Ajantha, Herath and Sachithra would complete the eleven. Good luck selecters..Anyway this squad is extremly talented.

  • Merny on March 9, 2014, 5:13 GMT

    Congratulations Sri Lanka!! Convincing Asia Cup Cricket Champions. Brought back some nostalgic moments of our 1996 World Cup Cricket Team who also coincidentally won all their pre final matches and finally lifted the World cup. There were a lot of high points, especially the emergence of the young cricketers. Sadly, Chandimal has made no significant contribution. Maybe, a bit of time away from cricket will help the young man get back to the real cricketer he can be. I wish him all the best because he is talented but needs to do a SWOT analysis of himself. Malinga was fantastic in his last two outings against Pakistan where he got ten of his eleven wickets in the tournament.Keep the Sri Lankan Flag flying high, Mathew & Co.

  • RoshJ on March 9, 2014, 5:16 GMT

    Well played SL!

    The forum looks quite deserted in the absence of doom sayers :).. the ones who said so & so teams will treat SL games as practice matches, another equating a horribly overated team (only by their own fans) to SL and finally, predicting SL will simply buckle to the "final" pressure..oh where are thou??

    ...you know who they were!

  • rjzone2000 on March 9, 2014, 5:33 GMT

    Obviously, Thirimanna should play in the first 3. I would say Kusal & Dilshan will be a great combination for us in The ODIs and Thirimanna can play at number 3 as he can stay in the crease under difficult situations. I'd vote for Thirimanna over Chandimal in any format. We should not forget that we have a classy all rounder, Nuwan Kulasekara. He should have a permanent position in the team.

  • on March 9, 2014, 7:08 GMT

    I still cannot understand why did they dropped highest wicket taker at the final game. Angelo's explanation is not acceptable at all. Shame on selectors for that decision. Pakistan wouldn't have scored 260 if Ajanta was there.

  • Dr.Lakson on March 9, 2014, 7:10 GMT

    Surprised by the lack of interest in the final...... Only way to make the Asia cup final economically relevant would be to amend the rules to include the team that is supported by the largest market by default in the final. Removing DRS and getting the umpires to help did not work this time. There is no other way to save cricket in Asia!......A case for Democracy taking over Meritocracy!