Bangladesh v Sri Lanka, 1st ODI, Mirpur February 17, 2014

'Absolutely terrific' Thisara delivers again


In early January, Sri Lanka's chief selector Sanath Jayasuriya recommended that Thisara Perera be denied the no-objection certificate for the Big Bash League. A month later, Thisara became Sri Lanka's saviour in the first ODI after having already played a pivotal role in the 2-0 win in the preceding Twenty20 series.

In the intervening time, he worked overtime in the nets back in Colombo and played two first-class matches for Colts. He believes the extra training helped him turn around his form, after he made only 13 runs in three ODIs against Pakistan in the UAE.

"After the UAE tour, I had one-month period for training session," Thisara said. "I worked hard with supporting staff in Sri Lanka. It was really helpful for me."

Jayasuriya was adamant that a stint in Australia playing Twenty20s would not help him progress as an allrounder, having used a similar treatment to rouse him out of a slump previously. "We are not giving him permission to play in the Big Bash. He has to work and stay in Sri Lanka," Jayasuriya had said. "The reason is poor form. He's been in very poor form with his bowling and batting. He needs to work on some things with the coaches in Sri Lanka."

Bangladesh now know how helpful the rap had been for Thisara, and how effective his confidence can be for Sri Lanka. From 67 for 8, he rescued Sri Lanka with an unbeaten 80 off 57 balls, which is the third-highest by a batsman at No. 9, and is only the second by a Sri Lankan after Guy de Alwis.

But match-winning rescue acts are not new to Thisara. His unbeaten 36 here in Mirpur four years ago was the first instance when his last-ditch hitting helped Sri Lanka to a win. Against South Africa in early 2012, his unbeaten 69 helped his side to a famous win. There have been a 21 not out and a 19 not out against Australia in 2012 and 2013, as well as the unbeaten 35 against Bangladesh in the second T20 in Chittagong last week.

Sri Lanka captain Angelo Mathews called Thisara's innings "absolutely brilliant" and praised his all-round abilities. "He is one of the best allrounders that we have. He has been winning us matches in the past few years with bat and ball, he is matured. He did it in the T20s in Chittagong, and he has improved quite rapidly. Hopefully he will continue to do the same thing in the future.

'The way he batted was absolutely brilliant. When Thisara and Sachithra were batting, I thought we should get to at least 150 to give the bowlers some sort of chance. He is matured now, he has been winning games with bat and ball."

Mohammad Isam is ESPNcricinfo's Bangladesh correspondent. He tweets here

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Kaustav on February 18, 2014, 13:48 GMT

    @facebook user who had a lot to say against IPL, India has won many trophies including WC and Champions trophy after IPL started. So the effect of IPL on Indian players is debatable. They have always been average performers outside sub continent like any other sub continent team, so thats nothing new. The last couple of years have been abysmal in tests abroad but it cant be blamed on IPL alone because IPL has been there since 2008. IPL has ensured all levels of crickets feel secured about their career in India and it has made sure BCCI does not need to depend on others for money. Sure, SL board can ban Malinga and Co from playing IPL, it will only result in one more player giving up playing for national team.

  • Dummy4 on February 18, 2014, 13:29 GMT

    Tisara Was great . But I think still they should include Upul Tharanga in the One day squad. By looking at his records out the current players his centuries are more with matches he has played. 174 runs his highest score in one day among the top 10 players in the world, I think he should given another chance after all our 2 senior players go out we will have a big problem . Since we will not have any name for even the opponent team to be threat.

  • Lester on February 18, 2014, 12:30 GMT

    Well done Thisara. Such an improvement. More control with the ball and a larger array batting shots. Also Malinga look to have benefitted somehow with the extra training - a distinct reduction in paunch and and improved bowling.

    Only problem is Chandi - what to do?

  • Dummy4 on February 18, 2014, 11:41 GMT

    Like TP, Chandimal also needs to take a couple of months off to work out his weaknesses. Maybe his poor form is because the batting coach has tried to change him from his natural game. Since then, boyth his average and strike rate have dropped. Come on SL coaches, restore him into the guy who got two centuries within his first six games...

  • Nadda on February 18, 2014, 9:54 GMT

    this innings doesnt mean anything at all...being a LK fan, i actually wanted Bangladesh to win the match..

  • sanjeeva on February 18, 2014, 9:48 GMT

    Where is Thirimane? He is suited for ODI's and Sri Lanka need a stable accumulator like him when wickets start stumbling. Chandimal should be replaced with Thirimane

  • Dummy on February 18, 2014, 6:55 GMT

    I dont think so that srilanka win their match by their capabilities, they win that only by luck as well in t20.

  • Amila on February 18, 2014, 6:21 GMT

    @Widura89 Chandimal has already taken a time off ( during the last IPL season) and worked on his batting , but seems no affect. he should be dropped at least now

  • Widura on February 18, 2014, 5:30 GMT

    I think Chandimal needs the same .He needs to overcome his weak performance in batting.Or he should send with kusal perera .

  • Dummy4 on February 18, 2014, 4:30 GMT

    Of course, Thisara is brilliant. He is always a match saver. So he is indeed brilliant. Also, other players who went for single figures, low figures and naught are really brilliant. Thank you Thisara ans Sachitra for saving the match.

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