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

'Absolutely terrific' Thisara delivers again

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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

  • neanderthal 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.

  • 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.

  • buncers 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?

  • 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...

  • NAD_SL 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..

  • scwijaya191 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

  • 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.

  • priceless1 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

  • Widura89 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 .

  • 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.

  • neanderthal 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.

  • 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.

  • buncers 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?

  • 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...

  • NAD_SL 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..

  • scwijaya191 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

  • 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.

  • priceless1 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

  • Widura89 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 .

  • 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.

  • on February 18, 2014, 4:28 GMT

    @ Wannabekenobi: Do you think Indian players who play for IPL maintain a higher standard? IPL is competitive mainly due to the influence of foreign players. They have selected Malinga as they cannot drop him because he is the highest wicket taker in IPL ever. I would be delighted if SLC refrain from issuing no objection letters to Malinga and Thisara to participate for the IPL. See what has happened to the Indian team due to IPL mentality? They cannot even grab a victory (vs NZ) which they were gifted. What a shame!!! So go and mind your own business.

  • Udendra on February 18, 2014, 4:11 GMT

    the not-happening of SLPL is a blessing in disguise too.

  • pradeep_dealwis on February 18, 2014, 3:59 GMT

    I think Sanath has used the carrot and the stick effectively here, and it has paid off. But all credit to Perera for his hard work. Yes, there was a lot of luck here, but it's great to see how he has matured with both bat and ball. I think he should bat a position or two up the order. Also, using the very same stick against Chandimal won't be a bad idea for Jayasooriya. Long overdue.

  • Rambo-123 on February 18, 2014, 3:57 GMT

    Thisara I always admire your character you are a GREAT ALL ROUNDER keep on going and enjoy cricket.

  • KingOwl on February 17, 2014, 21:02 GMT

    Wow, this has become a debate about SL politics! First of all, great all round performance by Thisara. Brilliant batting and good controlled bowling. He has a great future. But he has to stay fit (he is getting too big for a fast bowler). And he has to keep training hard. Re. local politics: Sure, cricket is highly political in SL. But let's not forget some major facts. SL, despite its small size has been one of the greatest limited overs teams over the last 20 years or so in international tournaments. And selectors have in most instances been absolutely brilliant. And re. Thisara staying in SL and not playing in the BB: He was asked to stay back so that he can train with the coaches (not just to play a couple of club matches). In T20 leagues, it is a constant series of matches, day after day. There is no time to correct mistakes, regain form, etc. So, kudos to Sanath. He made the right call. I don't agree with his party politics, but that is a different matter all together.

  • SyedAreYouDumb on February 17, 2014, 20:45 GMT

    Haha I always thought he was a batsman and never realised he bats so low... his bowling is OK but he is great for SL.

  • on February 17, 2014, 20:27 GMT

    We dont' need any premier leagues or bashes to produce quality players in SL. As long as we stay away from them, it's the best for our cricket. SL have gone on to win a world cup + qualified for 4 finals is all due to hard work. Hats off Sana.

  • Blade-Runner on February 17, 2014, 19:48 GMT

    @Wannabekenobi ; "playing cricket in Sri Lankas below par club standard" ???? Are you kidding me ?? Jayasuriya, Aravnda, Sanga, Mahela, Marvan, Mathews all became world beaters after playing what you call "cricket in Sri Lankas below par club standard". Stop being so ignorant and calling SL domestic cricket below far coz SL domestic cricket have produced ATG's.

  • TheKeeper on February 17, 2014, 19:25 GMT

    @ Wannabekenobi - please leave your local politics out of cricket. Jayasuriya's decision in preventing Thisa is definitely the correct one as it's justified...and also picking Ramith Rambukwella was the correct decision - Ramith got 3 wickets on debut and I would like to see him again in blue. You are blinded by your political biases, and also let me remind you that Sanath Jayasuriya is a national (WC96) hero and a national selector and you are just a nobody.

  • merandy on February 17, 2014, 19:24 GMT

    @ Wannabekenobi: By just playing competitive cricket will not help to correct your techniques. Jayasooriya's point was Thisara should go through training with local coaches and correct his techniques and show his desire to play good quality cricket. I am not a 100% supporter of SJ's selection, however seems to me SJ made a good decision here by not allowing Thisara to play Big Bash.

  • on February 17, 2014, 19:12 GMT

    Mr. Angelo Mathews, can you prove to me one other match perera won for us with such impact full performance?

  • on February 17, 2014, 18:59 GMT

    Thisara scores a match winning innings through some hard work and commitment. Same person who labeled him as a non worker and questioned his work ethic gets points. Wow, what a spectacular theory by some fans of you know who. Give the guy the credit for working himself out of a difficult situation. If he is managed properly he could be a real match winner for SL. But managing does not mean training only. You have to respect him as a professional and let him do his work. I hope that he is given that chance and that he will use that for his own good.

  • Blade-Runner on February 17, 2014, 18:51 GMT

    Rahim should have known better, when one of the all time great wicket keepers is keeping wickets, you don't try funny stuff. When Rahim was getting ready to scoop the ball, Sanga had already adjusted his position to take the catch.

  • Wannabekenobi on February 17, 2014, 18:39 GMT

    Mr. Uppercut, this doesn't prove anything about Jayasuriyas decision. The only two current Sri Lankan players who were picked for the IPL were Malinga and Thisara, meaning the two that were out of form were still picked. This is because everyone believes in their ability to snatch victory from the jaws of defeat. You are a fool if you really believe that playing cricket in Sri Lankas below par club standard has improved his game as opposed to playing against world class oppositions and players in the big bash. Use your noggin before you comment unnecessarily. Like it or not Sri Lankan cricket has been ruined by politics and constantly eroded everyone at the helm has been worst than the last. Ramitha Rambukwella's questionable inclusion into the lankan side was proof enough, when he had one first class fifty after playing 11 first class matches. I wonder what he saw in these statistics to prompt a T20i call up. Maybe book cricket scores!

  • durber99 on February 17, 2014, 18:21 GMT

    Thisara always read Mauntra while batting & that is why Catch slips from the hand. BD fielders wants to know that Mantra. Lol. In this level missing catch is not acceptable. Shohag Gazi & Mahmudullah is responsible for this lose against Srilanka. Mahmudullah was sleeping in slip & Shohag Gazi was getting relax in boundary. Otherwise Srilanka could Bowled out by 100. And during batting Gazi played a rush shot & Mahmudullah knows there was a fielder and he played the shot on that side. Careless, he was also careless in Asia cup final. If u don't have the confidence & capability then u r not expect to get a chance in the team only as a relative of Mushfiq. Under any circumstances Mushfiq should play his normal shot rather than playing a chicky shot. No hope for u guys. Again & again & agin. We guys decided to stop watching BD cricket match.

  • Uppercut07 on February 17, 2014, 18:18 GMT

    please... i really really like to hear from the people who bashed SJ for denying Thisara the No-Objection for BBL now..... please.. where u at???????

    have told it earlier... and telling it again..... the man(SANATH) has made some questionable decisions as a politico... bash him for that in a politics site.... but keep the politics out when taking on the man's cricket instinct and knowledge... and let him do his job

  • Uppercut07 on February 17, 2014, 18:14 GMT

    please... i really really like to hear from the people who bashed SJ for denying Thisara the No-Objection for BBL now..... please.. where u at???????

    have told it earlier... and telling it again..... the man(SANATH) has made some questionable decisions as a politico... bash him for that in a politics site.... but keep the politics out when taking on the man's cricket instinct and knowledge... and let him do his job

  • ksquared on February 17, 2014, 18:06 GMT

    what a gem of a cricketer this man is. He really is the superman of SLcricket both with bat and ball. Expect bigger things in the future!!!!!!

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  • ksquared on February 17, 2014, 18:06 GMT

    what a gem of a cricketer this man is. He really is the superman of SLcricket both with bat and ball. Expect bigger things in the future!!!!!!

  • Uppercut07 on February 17, 2014, 18:14 GMT

    please... i really really like to hear from the people who bashed SJ for denying Thisara the No-Objection for BBL now..... please.. where u at???????

    have told it earlier... and telling it again..... the man(SANATH) has made some questionable decisions as a politico... bash him for that in a politics site.... but keep the politics out when taking on the man's cricket instinct and knowledge... and let him do his job

  • Uppercut07 on February 17, 2014, 18:18 GMT

    please... i really really like to hear from the people who bashed SJ for denying Thisara the No-Objection for BBL now..... please.. where u at???????

    have told it earlier... and telling it again..... the man(SANATH) has made some questionable decisions as a politico... bash him for that in a politics site.... but keep the politics out when taking on the man's cricket instinct and knowledge... and let him do his job

  • durber99 on February 17, 2014, 18:21 GMT

    Thisara always read Mauntra while batting & that is why Catch slips from the hand. BD fielders wants to know that Mantra. Lol. In this level missing catch is not acceptable. Shohag Gazi & Mahmudullah is responsible for this lose against Srilanka. Mahmudullah was sleeping in slip & Shohag Gazi was getting relax in boundary. Otherwise Srilanka could Bowled out by 100. And during batting Gazi played a rush shot & Mahmudullah knows there was a fielder and he played the shot on that side. Careless, he was also careless in Asia cup final. If u don't have the confidence & capability then u r not expect to get a chance in the team only as a relative of Mushfiq. Under any circumstances Mushfiq should play his normal shot rather than playing a chicky shot. No hope for u guys. Again & again & agin. We guys decided to stop watching BD cricket match.

  • Wannabekenobi on February 17, 2014, 18:39 GMT

    Mr. Uppercut, this doesn't prove anything about Jayasuriyas decision. The only two current Sri Lankan players who were picked for the IPL were Malinga and Thisara, meaning the two that were out of form were still picked. This is because everyone believes in their ability to snatch victory from the jaws of defeat. You are a fool if you really believe that playing cricket in Sri Lankas below par club standard has improved his game as opposed to playing against world class oppositions and players in the big bash. Use your noggin before you comment unnecessarily. Like it or not Sri Lankan cricket has been ruined by politics and constantly eroded everyone at the helm has been worst than the last. Ramitha Rambukwella's questionable inclusion into the lankan side was proof enough, when he had one first class fifty after playing 11 first class matches. I wonder what he saw in these statistics to prompt a T20i call up. Maybe book cricket scores!

  • Blade-Runner on February 17, 2014, 18:51 GMT

    Rahim should have known better, when one of the all time great wicket keepers is keeping wickets, you don't try funny stuff. When Rahim was getting ready to scoop the ball, Sanga had already adjusted his position to take the catch.

  • on February 17, 2014, 18:59 GMT

    Thisara scores a match winning innings through some hard work and commitment. Same person who labeled him as a non worker and questioned his work ethic gets points. Wow, what a spectacular theory by some fans of you know who. Give the guy the credit for working himself out of a difficult situation. If he is managed properly he could be a real match winner for SL. But managing does not mean training only. You have to respect him as a professional and let him do his work. I hope that he is given that chance and that he will use that for his own good.

  • on February 17, 2014, 19:12 GMT

    Mr. Angelo Mathews, can you prove to me one other match perera won for us with such impact full performance?

  • merandy on February 17, 2014, 19:24 GMT

    @ Wannabekenobi: By just playing competitive cricket will not help to correct your techniques. Jayasooriya's point was Thisara should go through training with local coaches and correct his techniques and show his desire to play good quality cricket. I am not a 100% supporter of SJ's selection, however seems to me SJ made a good decision here by not allowing Thisara to play Big Bash.

  • TheKeeper on February 17, 2014, 19:25 GMT

    @ Wannabekenobi - please leave your local politics out of cricket. Jayasuriya's decision in preventing Thisa is definitely the correct one as it's justified...and also picking Ramith Rambukwella was the correct decision - Ramith got 3 wickets on debut and I would like to see him again in blue. You are blinded by your political biases, and also let me remind you that Sanath Jayasuriya is a national (WC96) hero and a national selector and you are just a nobody.