England v Sri Lanka, 3rd ODI, Old Trafford

Herath offers Sri Lanka third spin threat

Andrew Fidel Fernando

May 27, 2014

Comments: 15 | Text size: A | A

Rangana Herath at a practice session, Galle, November 15, 2012
Rangana Herath offers Sri Lanka a third spin option © AFP

Angelo Mathews was typically measured ahead of the third ODI at Old Trafford, but he did suggest Sri Lanka held an important edge on a surface he expected to be conducive to spin.

Sri Lanka have added Rangana Herath to the squad in place of injured Suranga Lakmal, taking their number of frontline spin options to three, with slow-bowling allrounder Chaturanga de Silva also in reserve.

Offspinner Sachithra Senanayake has been by some distance the most successful bowler in the first two matches of the series, collecting seven scalps at an average of 6.14. Ajantha Mendis is the other spinner Sri Lanka may call on.

"The Manchester wicket looks pretty similar to a subcontinent wicket," Mathews said. "It might play a little bit slow. We can't control the conditions and the weather, but what we can control is our attitude and our focus.

"Our spinners have bowled pretty well in whatever conditions. Rangana was injured before we picked the squad. Now that he's fit, given the way the Manchester pitch looks, we thought of adding Rangana. We've got enough cover in our pace attack, but we needed another spinner. Now we've got plenty."

Sri Lanka lost the first ODI, but both their batsmen and bowlers had seemingly mastered England's conditions at Chester-le-Street on Sunday, when they inflicted a 157-run defeat on the hosts. After that win, Mathews said Sri Lanka would take confidence from that performance, but maintained his side had not lost sight of the bigger picture.

"It was a great victory, but we've got to keep our heads level and we can't be complacent against the English team. They can bounce back really hard at us.

"I think senior guys like Dilshan, Mahela, Sanga and Lasith - they all know how to handle situations and they've been through it so many times. We all talk to each other. We're like a family. It has to be a level-headed series for us right throughout, but we've got to play some positive, aggressive cricket."

Cold rain has been among the challenges for Sri Lanka so far. The forecast suggests Manchester may deliver both on Wednesday, with rain predicted for much of the day and the temperature not expected rise above the mid-teens. "Cold weather is cold weather," Mathews said. "It's pretty hard, but I think the boys are doing great. Hopefully the sun will be out for the rest of the series."

Andrew Fidel Fernando is ESPNcricinfo's Sri Lanka correspondent. @andrewffernando

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© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

Posted by Andrew-Silva on (May 28, 2014, 15:35 GMT)

A need of a solid opener, who has mastered these conditions PROVED yet again. Losing the first wicket inside 2 or 3 overs was the most SHOCKING feature of this tour. In 2nd ODi Dilshan managed to absorb the presuure and played a long inning, which made the difference. As I have pointed out in my previous postings, Dilshan's natural capabilities are different & hee needs support from the other opener to bloom. Missing a main ingredient in our winning formula is always going to be hard..!

Success behind the 5-0 rubbing against Eng in these seaming, bouncy conditions was Opener Tharanga, His average stay at the wicket is 26.2 Overs!

Tharanga had averaged over 80 STRIKE RATE (he has a fine career S/R 74) He had the HIGHEST Batting Average 69.4 with 2 x100s 120 R - 76.92 S/R v Eng-Lord's (Thar 48.4 ov) 17 R- 56.66 S/R v Eng-Oval (Thar 9.0 ov) 41 R - 95.34 S/R v Eng-Chester-(Thar 16.4 ov) 60 R- 75.00 S/R v Eng -Manchester (Thar 24.5 ov) 109 R- 106.86 S/R v Eng-Leeds (Thar 31.5 ov)

Posted by   on (May 28, 2014, 15:34 GMT)

lol. Even with my changes we would have had no chance. 67 all out. What a horrible series this must be for the fans.

Posted by   on (May 28, 2014, 12:35 GMT)

Surprisingly Chandimal seems to be effective in bouncy tracks so, I will retain him n might even consider sending him up the order. Mahela should open with Dilshan and Thirimanna should be sent in at 4 or 5. Its also good that Herath has come in. Dilshan, Mahela, Sanga, Chandimal, Thirimanna, Mathews, Priyanjan, Senannayake, Kulasekara, Herath, Malinga

Posted by gularan on (May 28, 2014, 10:47 GMT)

SL should take extra care to win the 3d odi as otherwise their last win would be labelled as a flash in the pan and towards this goal they should omit Thirimanne who ate up 6 solid overs for only 10 runs.They should bring in Kusal and drop chandimal in favour of Thisara.But the trump card should be the inclusion of Herath who even in the remote eventuality of not taking a wicket would still justify his inclusion by bowling his quota of overs very economically. Hope the weather stays reasonable so that SL will at least be marginally comfortable in the biting cold which affects performance of the sun loving Sri Lankans. Go the Lions- Show the poms what you are made of.

Posted by cricket_slcsupport on (May 28, 2014, 8:01 GMT)

Bring in Kituruwan Vithanage, he's good, send Chandimal back to SL net Practises.

Posted by Upyoursindia on (May 28, 2014, 7:18 GMT)

@ Ajith Gunesekera - You must be an Englishman posing as a Sri Lankan, because only the English want Chandimal to play. His record over the past 2 years has been putrid, to put it mildly. People keep on harping on the fact that he is a "good batsman" but I have yet to see it. He may be good for 1st Class cricket, but has failed miserably at International level and must be sent home as he is depriving another individual of an opportunity.

Posted by Indians-love-flattracks on (May 28, 2014, 5:57 GMT)

Ashan Prinyanjan has such a woeful technique im quite surprised how it got past the selectors. Some of the shots he plays are what you see in the school yard not on NT.

Chathuranga de silva is a better player and should be given a chance. He has this aggression which you don't see in many of the players, would have a good impact coming late.

Posted by espncricinfomobile on (May 28, 2014, 4:05 GMT)

Where is Kusal perera . He is a great potential batsman . We need to groom him . Poor selection .

Posted by DreamCricketer on (May 28, 2014, 2:49 GMT)

DreamCricketer: I have been saying this so many time that Chandimal should be dropped from all formats of first class Cricket and he should focus on domestic club cricket. They should bring Tisara Perera and Tirimanne should come 2 or 3 down the order. Chandimal's days are just numbered and not sure how he's still surviving in the team.

Posted by   on (May 28, 2014, 2:31 GMT)

No.No. Don't drop Chandimal. He is a very good batsman. SL did not give him opportunity to bat.

Posted by   on (May 27, 2014, 23:01 GMT)

I see Chandimal and Thirimanne as like-for-like replacements for MJ and KS after the 2015 world cup (and in any match where these two are to be rested/rotated). So oddly enough, I don't see the need for them in the first XI right now as they will be guaranteed places after MJ and KS retire after the world cup (highly likely). Instead we use the opportunity to give newer players more exposure.

My XI for Old Trafford, in batting order, would be: Vithanage, Dilshan, Sangakkara, Jayawardene, Matthews, Priyanjan, De Silva, Kulasekera, Senanayake, Herath, Malinga.

I would persist with this XI for ODI 4 as well. If the series is won or lost by the end of ODI 4, then I would rest Vithanage, Sangakkara, Jayawardene and De Silva and play Kusal, Thirimanne, Chandimal and Thisara in their spots. If the series is 2-2 then I would replace any of these four who failed in both games with the appropriate replacement. If nobody failed in both games then go with the same XI for the decider.

Posted by   on (May 27, 2014, 22:49 GMT)

Bringing in Herath is an excellent idea. It will give SL 4 strike bowlers (Kula, Malinga, Senanayake and Herath), something I don't remember them ever having. With Mathews a perfectly capable fifth bowler, and Dilshan to supplement with spin if necessary, it gives SL the luxury to pick their #7 almost as a bonus player.

Given that Dilshan, Sanga and Mahela are probably certainties unless injured, this leaves 3 spots open; an opener, a middle-order bat, and the #7. I would pick Vithanage over Kusal as the opener based on the limited evidence we have. I think Priyanjan - based on the one innings - should be given some continuity for at least the next 2 matches as the middle order bat. The #7 then becomes a choice between Chandimal, Thirimanne, Thisara and Chaturanga depending on the best balance for the day; ie, whether we need a batsman, seam-bowling allrounder or spinning allrounder. My vote would go for one of the allrounders, thus leaving out both Chandimal and Thirimanne. (contd)

Posted by KingOwl on (May 27, 2014, 19:47 GMT)

Sub continent like wicket in North of England in May?? I will believe it after SL has won, because if it is like a sub continent wicket, that should be the outcome.

Posted by   on (May 27, 2014, 17:07 GMT)

Spot on Jerryman..I am 100% with you..

Posted by jerryman on (May 27, 2014, 15:58 GMT)

Would like to see Thissara perera come in for Chandimal and maybe have 2 spinners herath & sachi . We can have 2 pace bowlers kula and malinga . drop Prasad . If we win the toss it might be a good idea to bat first , especially if there is a chance of rain . Extra overs can be bowled by dilshan , tissara and angelo .May not be a bad idea to open with spin at one end . either dilshan or sachi can bowl a few with the new ball

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