Bangladesh v Sri Lanka, 2nd ODI, Mirpur February 19, 2014

Senanayake relishes batting responsibility


Sachithra Senanayake's two wickets in the first ODI against Bangladesh broke a run of five wicketless matches for him, all played against Pakistan in the UAE two months ago. But Sri Lanka are aware of his value as a spinner and a lower-order batsman, and have persisted with him despite other options.

Senanayake was picked as the specialist spinner ahead of Ajantha Mendis, and proved his worth with the wickets of Nasir Hossain and Mahmudullah in the same over as Bangladesh slipped from 133 for 4 to 133 for 6 in the 29th over. He was also effective earlier in the game with the bat, helping Thisara Perera add 82 runs for the ninth wicket after Sri Lanka had slumped to 67 for 8.

"We have to handle the pressure," Senanayake said. "Pitches here are really nice so we can bat through. If I get a chance, my mission is to bat till the last over. I feel I am lucky to be there in the end. We do basic things with Marvan Atapattu. He wants the bowlers to bat every day. I think because of that the bowlers are batting really well."

Senanayake had recently batted Sri Lanka to a win against Pakistan. With four runs required off five balls, he took a couple off Shahid Afridi before crashing the ball to the point boundary.

There may have been a dearth of wickets, but Senanayake has concentrated on the basics. He attributed it to his mental strength. "I think I am a cool guy. I don't take pressure," he said.

"There isn't any competition. If captain and coaches want to go with me, I am satisfied. It is not a big issue for me. If Ajantha [Mendis] is doing well, he should play."

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

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  • Android on May 1, 2014, 7:58 GMT

    need specialist batsmen who technically strong and score run with boundary any time like Kumar sangakara

  • Manesh on February 20, 2014, 9:46 GMT

    @Eranga Jayasena. It is more funny that SL bowlers not able to take at least 5 wickets of a no:10 team!!!

  • Dummy4 on February 20, 2014, 6:35 GMT

    @Fast_track_bully... It is funny that India's specialist bowlers failed collectively to take 10 wickets and even pathetic Dhoni also had to bowl.. guess what still could not escaped.

  • Manesh on February 20, 2014, 4:33 GMT

    It is funny that SL's specialist batsman failed to perform collectively and they escaped with the help of sloggers!

  • Yohan on February 20, 2014, 3:32 GMT

    SL batsmen should make sure that bowlers are not put in hot water too often . they have to take the bat and guide team . Sachitra is a valuable asset in shorter formats . My SL XI for 2nd ODI - Dilshan , Kusal , Sangakkara , Chandimal , Priyanjan , Mathews , Thissara , Sachitra , Malinga , Mendis , Lakmal

  • Dummy4 on February 20, 2014, 2:34 GMT

    Senanayake is a very intelligent cricketer. He should play all the ODIs & T20s for SL. Good luck for Senanayake.

  • Dummy4 on February 20, 2014, 1:59 GMT

    and how could we forget the first inning he batted. he came when 5 runs required from 3 balls chasing 312. He defended the first ball. hit a six in the second.

  • Dummy4 on February 20, 2014, 1:43 GMT

    @Jerryman: Kaushal Silva is not limited overs material. May be Udara Jayasundara who is unknown quantity worth giving a shot at the big stage.

  • Rizwan1970 on February 19, 2014, 18:03 GMT

    Need to chop one batsmen and add specialist spin bowler will make side more balance.

  • Amila on February 19, 2014, 17:10 GMT

    if any other spinner should play then it should be Akila Dhananjaya,where is he anyways?

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