Kent v Sri Lankans, Tour match, Canterbury May 16, 2014

Sri Lankans start to hit their stride

44

Sri Lankans 301 for 7 (Mathews 51, Thirimanne 49, Chandimal 47*, Joseph 4-58) beat Kent 173 (Blake 60, Lakmal 3-16, Perera 3-33, Mendis 3-55) by 128 runs
Scorecard

Angelo Mathews hit fifty and Dinesh Chandimal an unbeaten 47 off 31 balls to set up a hefty thumping of Kent in Sri Lanka's second tour match in England. Having put out a strong side - only Lasith Malinga was rested - Sri Lanka gave a truer measure of themselves than in defeat to Essex on Tuesday, sweeping up a mixture of Kent first-teamers and irregulars for 173 on a cool, clear evening.

Suranga Lakmal immediately applied a tourniquet at the top of the innings, his opening spell of 4-1-10-2 providing both control and penetration. Alex Blake played neatly for his 60, which included reverse-sweeping Ajantha Mendis for four, but Thisara Perera plucked out key wickets during the middle overs and a long tail succumbed quickly. Without the likes of Rob Key, Darren Stevens and Brendan Nash, a Kent target in excess of 300 proved steeper than the Dover cliffs.

A partnership of 84 between Lahiru Thirimanne and Mathews provided the ballast for Sri Lanka, after a sprightly but evanescent performance from the top order. Thirimanne's high front elbow was a feature of his strokeplay, his first and only boundary coming off his 63rd delivery, while Mathews showed greater muscularity in an innings replete with bottom-handed clubs to the rope.

Mathews struck the first sixes of the contest before spooning a full toss to mid-off but Chandimal and Perera skipped along in his footprints during a rapid 71-run stand from 48 balls. Chandimal might have been caught at deep midwicket attempting to go to his half-century from the penultimate delivery of the innings but Fabian Cowdrey had to throw the ball back in as he fell towards the boundary rope.

Robbie Joseph, the one-time England Lions bowler who returned to Kent at the start of the summer, claimed 4 for 58, while James Tredwell also put in the sort of dependable shift he is known for, ahead of his involvement in the limited-overs series against Sri Lanka. He dismissed Thirimanne with one that lured the batsman out to be stumped for 49, though his figures were slightly smudged when Chandimal lofted the fourth and fifth balls of his final over for four and six.

Kent lost Daniel Bell-Drummond and Cowdrey, grandson of Colin, with the score on 17, as they struggled to get going during the Powerplay. Blake's half-century, his third in the format and first since 2010, came at a run-a-ball and a stand of 68 with Sam Billings kept them afloat but, from 148 for 5, Kent lost their last five wickets for 25. Only the combined figures of spinners Mendis and Tillakaratne Dilshan - 3 for 92 from 15 overs - would have given the tourists a moment's pause.

Sri Lanka were beaten in their first warm-up fixture, a soggy, 21-over affair in Chelmsford, but with the sun shining over hop country they found the St Lawrence ground to be a more welcoming venue. Kent's is probably the closest English ground to Colombo (though still 8,000km as the crow flies) and there were several Sri Lanka shirts on display in the crowd, as well as a flag being waved in the breeze on the Old Dover Road grass bank.

The vexed issue of Sri Lanka's junior-senior question will not be solved by one tour match but, after Dilshan, Kumar Sangakkara and Mahela Jayawardene fell for scores between 30 and 35, the contributions from Nos. 5, 6 and 7 will have encouraged Marvan Attapatu, the team's interim coach.

Sangakkara joined up with the Sri Lanka squad on Thursday, having missed the early part of the tour to play in two Championship matches for Durham, and reclaimed the wicketkeeping gloves off Chandimal (before swapping halfway through the innings). Following his 159 at Hove, he looked in good order until playing down the wrong line against Kent left-armer Adam Ball to have his stumps rattled.

After Sangakkara's dismissal, Sri Lanka appeared content to settle in, only for the longueurs to get the better of Jaywardene. Between the end of the 14th over and the beginning of the 36th only three boundaries were struck, before Mathews and Thirimanne, then Chandimal and Perera redoubled their efforts. The rate had dipped below five an over but 129 runs flowed from the last 15 as a team that should be a contender at the 2015 World Cup flashed their credentials.

After Sri Lanka's well-oiled start on a decent pitch, 300 always looked in range. Dilshan could not be much more buccaneering if he batted with a parrot on one shoulder while wearing a tricorne hat. He cut, pulled and drove his way to 35 off 28 balls before Joseph, bowling with decent pace and hitting an awkward length in his first List A game since August 2012, had him caught skying a piratical hack high to third man.

That was Joseph's second wicket, having removed Sri Lanka's other opener, Kusal Perera, with his first delivery, the batsman caught on the crease and fencing to slip. David Griffiths was not able to match Joseph's economy, however, as the tourists reached the end of the ten-over Powerplay on 64 for 2.

Charlie Hartley, Kent's 20-year-old debutant, came on for his first bowl against a pair with more than 25,000 ODI runs between them. Both Sangakkara and Jayawardene dismissed him for boundaries as the over leaked 10 runs but Hartley found better control after switching ends. Jayawardene became the third member of Sri Lanka's illustrious triumvirate to depart in the 30s when he miscued a lofted drive to mid-on to provide Hartley with his first senior wicket.

Alan Gardner is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo. @alanroderick

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • on May 17, 2014, 20:21 GMT

    Not sure why the Sri Lankans persist with Perera. From what I have seen if him he plays from the crease and away from his body. They should give the poms a run for there money if they can find a decent opening batsmen.

  • SLFan-2200 on May 17, 2014, 19:58 GMT

    What you are saying is right @goldeneye075, any national team should have their best resources in the squad all the time and should field the best 11 suited for the prevailing conditions. If SL is seriously thinking about the up coming WC in Aus/NZ, they should follow this policy! I hope the destructive political hands will stay away from the selection process, for the sake of SL & millions of SL cricket fans, who would die to see their country winning next WC! Please let the selectors do their job properly and utilize the most valuable players with experience, without discarding them.This is the only way to have any success in World Cup!

  • VikumHerath on May 17, 2014, 16:22 GMT

    @Priyal De Zoysa: Kusal has a much bigger problem than that. Don't you see that he doesn't have the basic skills to survive on any fast track in seaming or bouncy environment. His attacking shots are extremely limited, apart from that slog, across the line to the cow-corner, he doesn't have any proper drives, pulls in front of the wicket or glances, scoops, cuts etc. behind the wicket. He is lacking a proper difference against spin as well. His skills are extremely limited. There is no wonder why he can't survive outside subcontinent's slow decks. Kusal opened the gate within the first 5 overs, 12 times in 19 innings that he opened, since June 2013 (within 3 overs in all 7 consecutive 50over innings that he opened in Eng/Ireland - record:( 0R-01B, 6R-10B, 4R- 2B, 4R-10B, 0R-4B, 1R-3B)! He is a productive T20 player in subcontinent.

  • on May 17, 2014, 16:06 GMT

    Priyal De Zoysa - If an opening batsman is regularly getting out caught in the slips off a defensive shot that means there is something horribly wrong with his technique. Openers are more vulnerable for this mode of dismissal than others but that is why they are supposed to be specialists batting at that position. Either they should move across the stumps to counter the movement of the ball or learn to make expert judgment in leaving the ball. Sanga may be getting out this way occasionally. Only occasionally means he has mastered his technique. I am also not sure whether reasons other than cricket are involved in keeping Tharanga out. In spite of possessing same weakness as Kusal, Tharanga has learned through experience to succeed as an opener. He had a phenomenal ODI series in 2006 opening with Sanath. I am not sure after 8 years later he would enjoy same success but that was a gamble worth taking.

  • on May 17, 2014, 16:01 GMT

    I saw some harsh comment from our fans againts kusal.pls guys think, there is only 3 games.when he is playing well we are talking too much about him but when he is out of touch we criticizing him as a week point of our team.This is not good we should give time him to adjust this seaming condition.He will be our permanent opening batmen we have found like Sanath.Pls be calm friends.....He will success next game...He will be our hero in next wc.

  • on May 17, 2014, 14:46 GMT

    BTW there was not nothing wrong with the defensive shot Kusal played yesterday when he got out. I think bowlers have figured out his weakness that he has with the ball leaving him. (Actually Upul Tharanga also has the same wekness....and even Sanga). Joseph put it in the right place with the first ball to Kusal. I think Kusal needs to compensate for this by either 3-6" further down the crease or by moving acros his stumps to compensate for this early in his innings. Not sure if Marvan would agree with my suggestion.

  • goldeneye075 on May 17, 2014, 14:25 GMT

    Tharanga is a class act, and a sweet timer of the ball, likes of Mahela and Sanga. But for the moment the politics have got the better of him. It is shame such things occur, but this is Sri lanka, so it is true. Until Dilshan is in the team, there is no hope for Tharanga... I assume every one knows the story ;-)

  • goldeneye075 on May 17, 2014, 13:53 GMT

    Any team should have their best 11 players playing for their national side. At the moment Sanga and Mahela are the best you can find to play the number 3 & 4 positions and if so they should be always be playing at that position. As they have battled for many years to get that experience. Chandi and Thirimanna should need to get experience and need to prove them self, I do believe they are class acts as well. But they need to show and get experience batting at any position for the moment till they have their time. Let Sanga and Mahela bat at their current positions, and no team has the luxury that we have at the moment.

  • Andrew-Silva on May 17, 2014, 12:46 GMT

    I completely agree with @Andrew_Silva, this is what I have been saying throughout. The SL squad missing the services of a stable, experienced opener who can stem the side and play a long inning until the middle order is exposed (minimum 25 overs), while Dilshan is making the initial impact from the other end. Otherwise, its going to be a real burden on other front-order batsmen. It could trigger a middle order collapse very easily under pressure. The only SL opener who can do this is Tharanga. His track record proves it.

    Upul Tharanga is holding the WORLD Record for the MOST number of 200+ PARTNERSHIPS in ODIs. He has involved SEVEN times in 200+ partnerships for SL!. The only other player in the world, who has equaled this World Record is Aussie player Ricky Ponting! I feel that SL is going to muddle-up the whole series due to this poor selection, which cannot be explained! Anyhow, I wonder why they didn't wait until the preliminary games are over, to announce the FINAL SQUAD.???

  • Andrew-Silva on May 17, 2014, 12:21 GMT

    It is interesting to note the ALL-TIME Record of Eng Vs SL: Upul Tharanga has the highest Batting Average followed by AN Cook. Mahela had scored 5x100, Aravinda, Jayasuriya 4x100, Upul Tharanga 3x100, Sangakara 1x100. It is hard to understand why Upul Tharanga is missing in the Squad.??

    Upul Tharanga (SL) - Ing 11 - Runs 578 - Av 57.80 - S/R 78.00 - 3x100 - 2x50 AN Cook (Eng) - Ing 13 - Runs 592 - Av 49.33 - S/R 78.51 - 1x100 - 3x50 GA Hick (Eng) - Ing 13 - Runs 587 - Av 48.91 - S/R 72.73 - 1x100 - 3x50 HP Tillakaratne (SL) - Ing 12 - Runs 258 - Av 43.00 - S/R 55.72 - 0x100 - 2x50 M Jayawardene (SL)- Ing 32 - Runs 1242 -Av 42.82 - S/R 85.59- 5x100 - 5x50 MTrescothick (Eng) - Ing 17 - Runs 697 - Av 41.00 - S/R 85.94- 1x100 - 4x50 KC Sangakkara (SL) - Ing 28- Runs 879- Av 38.21 - S/R 72.04- 1x100 - 7x50 PA de Silva (SL) - Ing 15- Runs 458- Av 38.16 - S/R 86.41- 4x100 - 1x50 ST Jayasuriya (SL) - Ing 15- Runs 152- Av 37.34 - S/R 101.3- 4x100 - 3x50

  • on May 17, 2014, 20:21 GMT

    Not sure why the Sri Lankans persist with Perera. From what I have seen if him he plays from the crease and away from his body. They should give the poms a run for there money if they can find a decent opening batsmen.

  • SLFan-2200 on May 17, 2014, 19:58 GMT

    What you are saying is right @goldeneye075, any national team should have their best resources in the squad all the time and should field the best 11 suited for the prevailing conditions. If SL is seriously thinking about the up coming WC in Aus/NZ, they should follow this policy! I hope the destructive political hands will stay away from the selection process, for the sake of SL & millions of SL cricket fans, who would die to see their country winning next WC! Please let the selectors do their job properly and utilize the most valuable players with experience, without discarding them.This is the only way to have any success in World Cup!

  • VikumHerath on May 17, 2014, 16:22 GMT

    @Priyal De Zoysa: Kusal has a much bigger problem than that. Don't you see that he doesn't have the basic skills to survive on any fast track in seaming or bouncy environment. His attacking shots are extremely limited, apart from that slog, across the line to the cow-corner, he doesn't have any proper drives, pulls in front of the wicket or glances, scoops, cuts etc. behind the wicket. He is lacking a proper difference against spin as well. His skills are extremely limited. There is no wonder why he can't survive outside subcontinent's slow decks. Kusal opened the gate within the first 5 overs, 12 times in 19 innings that he opened, since June 2013 (within 3 overs in all 7 consecutive 50over innings that he opened in Eng/Ireland - record:( 0R-01B, 6R-10B, 4R- 2B, 4R-10B, 0R-4B, 1R-3B)! He is a productive T20 player in subcontinent.

  • on May 17, 2014, 16:06 GMT

    Priyal De Zoysa - If an opening batsman is regularly getting out caught in the slips off a defensive shot that means there is something horribly wrong with his technique. Openers are more vulnerable for this mode of dismissal than others but that is why they are supposed to be specialists batting at that position. Either they should move across the stumps to counter the movement of the ball or learn to make expert judgment in leaving the ball. Sanga may be getting out this way occasionally. Only occasionally means he has mastered his technique. I am also not sure whether reasons other than cricket are involved in keeping Tharanga out. In spite of possessing same weakness as Kusal, Tharanga has learned through experience to succeed as an opener. He had a phenomenal ODI series in 2006 opening with Sanath. I am not sure after 8 years later he would enjoy same success but that was a gamble worth taking.

  • on May 17, 2014, 16:01 GMT

    I saw some harsh comment from our fans againts kusal.pls guys think, there is only 3 games.when he is playing well we are talking too much about him but when he is out of touch we criticizing him as a week point of our team.This is not good we should give time him to adjust this seaming condition.He will be our permanent opening batmen we have found like Sanath.Pls be calm friends.....He will success next game...He will be our hero in next wc.

  • on May 17, 2014, 14:46 GMT

    BTW there was not nothing wrong with the defensive shot Kusal played yesterday when he got out. I think bowlers have figured out his weakness that he has with the ball leaving him. (Actually Upul Tharanga also has the same wekness....and even Sanga). Joseph put it in the right place with the first ball to Kusal. I think Kusal needs to compensate for this by either 3-6" further down the crease or by moving acros his stumps to compensate for this early in his innings. Not sure if Marvan would agree with my suggestion.

  • goldeneye075 on May 17, 2014, 14:25 GMT

    Tharanga is a class act, and a sweet timer of the ball, likes of Mahela and Sanga. But for the moment the politics have got the better of him. It is shame such things occur, but this is Sri lanka, so it is true. Until Dilshan is in the team, there is no hope for Tharanga... I assume every one knows the story ;-)

  • goldeneye075 on May 17, 2014, 13:53 GMT

    Any team should have their best 11 players playing for their national side. At the moment Sanga and Mahela are the best you can find to play the number 3 & 4 positions and if so they should be always be playing at that position. As they have battled for many years to get that experience. Chandi and Thirimanna should need to get experience and need to prove them self, I do believe they are class acts as well. But they need to show and get experience batting at any position for the moment till they have their time. Let Sanga and Mahela bat at their current positions, and no team has the luxury that we have at the moment.

  • Andrew-Silva on May 17, 2014, 12:46 GMT

    I completely agree with @Andrew_Silva, this is what I have been saying throughout. The SL squad missing the services of a stable, experienced opener who can stem the side and play a long inning until the middle order is exposed (minimum 25 overs), while Dilshan is making the initial impact from the other end. Otherwise, its going to be a real burden on other front-order batsmen. It could trigger a middle order collapse very easily under pressure. The only SL opener who can do this is Tharanga. His track record proves it.

    Upul Tharanga is holding the WORLD Record for the MOST number of 200+ PARTNERSHIPS in ODIs. He has involved SEVEN times in 200+ partnerships for SL!. The only other player in the world, who has equaled this World Record is Aussie player Ricky Ponting! I feel that SL is going to muddle-up the whole series due to this poor selection, which cannot be explained! Anyhow, I wonder why they didn't wait until the preliminary games are over, to announce the FINAL SQUAD.???

  • Andrew-Silva on May 17, 2014, 12:21 GMT

    It is interesting to note the ALL-TIME Record of Eng Vs SL: Upul Tharanga has the highest Batting Average followed by AN Cook. Mahela had scored 5x100, Aravinda, Jayasuriya 4x100, Upul Tharanga 3x100, Sangakara 1x100. It is hard to understand why Upul Tharanga is missing in the Squad.??

    Upul Tharanga (SL) - Ing 11 - Runs 578 - Av 57.80 - S/R 78.00 - 3x100 - 2x50 AN Cook (Eng) - Ing 13 - Runs 592 - Av 49.33 - S/R 78.51 - 1x100 - 3x50 GA Hick (Eng) - Ing 13 - Runs 587 - Av 48.91 - S/R 72.73 - 1x100 - 3x50 HP Tillakaratne (SL) - Ing 12 - Runs 258 - Av 43.00 - S/R 55.72 - 0x100 - 2x50 M Jayawardene (SL)- Ing 32 - Runs 1242 -Av 42.82 - S/R 85.59- 5x100 - 5x50 MTrescothick (Eng) - Ing 17 - Runs 697 - Av 41.00 - S/R 85.94- 1x100 - 4x50 KC Sangakkara (SL) - Ing 28- Runs 879- Av 38.21 - S/R 72.04- 1x100 - 7x50 PA de Silva (SL) - Ing 15- Runs 458- Av 38.16 - S/R 86.41- 4x100 - 1x50 ST Jayasuriya (SL) - Ing 15- Runs 152- Av 37.34 - S/R 101.3- 4x100 - 3x50

  • on May 17, 2014, 10:31 GMT

    This should be a morale boosting win for sl

  • on May 17, 2014, 10:03 GMT

    thirimanne should bat at 3 and chandimal should bat at 4. After big 3 retirement, SL can have a solid middle order with Chandimal, Priyanjan, Mathews etc. The only thing looking shakey is the openers slot. Kusal can be a T20 star, he is currently ranked at 5 or 6 in T20I ratings, but his ODI revord is poor outside Asia. Unless he can improve his ODI performances, he should simply be limited to a T20 specialist...

  • on May 17, 2014, 9:54 GMT

    Rangana Herath is our trump card to win the test series. On a wearing fifth day wicket even in England he could pose a huge threat. That is why selectors are preserving him. However, they could have included him in the ODI squad with the intention of not playing him in every match. If Kusal cannot rectify his technique, he should be overlooked and Thirimanne can open. The temptation is there to have Mahela opening. Mahela has made huge scores as an opener. But these days probably with the age catching up he is not in the sort of form he used to be. Hope he will regain that peak form during ODI series. One worrying factor for me is not having 5 bowlers in our lineup who are used to bowl their full quota of overs in an ODI.

  • premilrd on May 17, 2014, 9:34 GMT

    Chandimal must bat at no 4 or 5 at least. He is not only the best young batsman in SL but also he is the best batsman for these conditions where the best of cricket can be seen>

  • kiya-tutu on May 17, 2014, 8:56 GMT

    after the retirement of big 3 younger players can match them.

  • vkumar_086. on May 17, 2014, 7:48 GMT

    @LoveTheWayLionsPlay, I think for T20s Kusal should open with Seekuge Prasanna.

    Your ODI team is perfectly fine to me. Kusal Perera must be dropped until he addresses his weakness against swing bowling. His failure so far is absurd. Vithanage might have been better for the ODIs instead of Kusal Perera.

  • cricat16 on May 17, 2014, 7:19 GMT

    If chandimal can thrown away from captaincy and team when he is under performing , it is a fair thing to give him the best place to bat when he is performing . Seeing the last 2 practice matches i see sri lankan management put him not in No4 but even No6 . Such a wast of a player if that continues for the Eng matches .

  • ----LoveTheWayLionsPlay--- on May 17, 2014, 6:26 GMT

    My xi for ODI's: Thirimanne, Dilshan, Sanga, Chandimal, Mahela, Mathews, Thisara, Kula, Sachithra, Malinga, Lakmal Mendis is not an effective bowler in these conditions & England play well against him even in sub continent pitches.( eg: wt20 2012 and wt20 2014 )

    T20 XI : Kusal, Dilshan, Chandimal, Seeku(if he is in the squad or Priyanjan), Thirimanne, Mathews, thisara, Kula, Sachitra, Malinga, Lakmal

  • YsaKaru on May 17, 2014, 5:20 GMT

    much more like our boysszz... Hopefully kusal will learn from his mistakes... GOOD LUCK!!!!!

  • SriLankanYoungBlood on May 17, 2014, 4:29 GMT

    Good performances from Sri Lanka.Specially Mathews,Chandi and Thri and all the bowlers. Surely Chandi is best batsmen in this conditions. Also note Kusal form gives some worry to SL camp. It's better temporary out from playing XI. Also should want a rotating policy for seniors both. Either 2 of Mahela,Sanga,Dilshan should play this gives chance to Priyajan and inform Chandi to play 4,5 Otherwise Chandi would play 6 or 7.Best Batsmen playing no 6,7 not is not good to any team. Etiher 1 of Malinga,Kula should rest. this gives chances to inform Lakmal. Also it's better to rotate Either 1 of Sachie and Mendis and give chance to more than useful all rounder Chathuranga de Silva.don't forget his 20 runs with 2 Sixes last game. This is suggestion regarding ODI series.

  • Ramansilva on May 17, 2014, 4:28 GMT

    Why do the selectors want to persist with Kusal Perera. He fails again and again. He opens the gate for the opposition very early in the innings. No.3 batsman has to do damage control too often. I think he is not suitable for 50-50 games.

  • on May 17, 2014, 4:23 GMT

    It is such bad Chandimal promoted to be the Captain and suddenly not even Vice Captain. In First place he would have not been made the Captain only a vice Captain. He is a ethical and patriotic player who even refused to play in IPL and sacrificed Captaincy voluntarily when he was under performing. Happy he is back in the game. If he is only good at fast wickets, why not we play him only on those wickets and all formats as the Vice Captain?

    Thirimanne had a far bad period but was lucky to retain the place...He is not a T20 player yet.

  • on May 17, 2014, 4:13 GMT

    It is all too easy to expect our boys to come over and play in alien conditions. Even those of us who have lived in UK for years find it difficult to get accustomed to the variable weather conditions we have. A bit of sunshine on their backs, SL will give their best shot. Practice matches are practice matches, that is all. Let us wait for the real matches then we will no who reigns. England need to play much better than we played against Netherlands haven't we.

  • lazyone on May 17, 2014, 3:56 GMT

    Where is Rangaha Herath? He should be picked ahead of mendis or senanayake. Kusal will have two more chances to perform. Otherwise Thirimanne should open in ODIs.

  • Lion83 on May 17, 2014, 3:41 GMT

    Kusal must be dropped after the next warm up game. Thirimanne should open and let Chandimal bat at No 5 he can be the force for SL in fast bouncy wickets.

  • rajithwijepura on May 17, 2014, 2:46 GMT

    Chandimal will be the man to watch out in AUS / NZ / ENG / SA bouncy pitches. Well played SL

  • on May 17, 2014, 2:33 GMT

    chandimal is the best sri lankan player outside asian conditionens.

  • on May 17, 2014, 2:27 GMT

    Where those people insult at chandimal? he is the best batsman of our team at the moment..! he should play top 4 in ODI's. by the way very good practice match for sri lanka! Mendis now finished! even country cricket players easily getting runs from him..!

  • C0l0mb0 on May 17, 2014, 1:59 GMT

    Just one queastion.. Can Kushal Perera bat against moving ball..?

  • diyagama on May 17, 2014, 1:39 GMT

    Great to see Chandimal is batting well again. Looks like he plays without any pressure. Hope he produces some quality innings.

  • vkumar_086. on May 17, 2014, 1:32 GMT

    Seems Chandimal's love for fast tracks is coming to light again. In 2011 and 2012, he had a good average following tours of Australia, England and SA. He simply hates slow low pitches I guess. So his latest performances show that he can be a matchwinner for us. Chandimal's best test scores have been outside Asia.

    Priyanjan must open the batting for the next game tomorrow and Kusal Perera better be dropped. Oh wait a bit, just realized that it is a T20 game tomorrow and not 50 over. Kusal's form is a major worry for me now though.

  • vkumar_086. on May 17, 2014, 1:25 GMT

    So nice to see our batsmen click other than Kusal Perera. Middle order contributions were solid to the maximum. Lakmal is becoming another Chaminda Vaas. If we lost last night, more reasons to worry. Hope we win tomorrow's practice game too and go for the T20 on Tuesday on a high.

  • Sunil_Syd on May 17, 2014, 0:27 GMT

    I am a big fan of Kusal Perera, but he seems to be the weak lnk in our our batting line up at the moment.

  • criclanka on May 17, 2014, 0:23 GMT

    its very interesting that in Asia Chandimal looks like a average player but in other parts of the world he looks much better batsman..looking forward to a great battle between SL Vs Eng..Good Luck to borth of the team.

  • on May 16, 2014, 23:55 GMT

    Sri Lankan coaching staff need to teach and train Ajantha Mendis to calm himself and take a bit more time. Somehow he's got to get over the initial nervousness and be more solid. His record is amazing for good reason. If he addresses this he may become one of the destructive bowers ever.

  • SLFan-2200 on May 16, 2014, 23:45 GMT

    I think SL has a huge problem ahead, due to the strange squad selection done before the warm up games. Why an incomparable opener like Upul Tharanga was dropped from the squad is INEXPLICABLE. After all he has the all time best batting track record (Av 69.4) in England among SL players. He was the main contributor in 5-0 white wash in 2006 and has wide experience in handling conditions outside Sri Lanka. Dropping such a player is unthinkable! We don't have any experienced player like him to carry forward to the future, especially when the big 3 guys retire next year. I think this is a big MISTAKE. He is only 29 and he can contribute at least another 8yrs and even suitable to lead the side. We have younger players, but considering them over Tharanga is not going to do any good for SL. We saw what happened to the players like Mubarak & Kandampy. Kusal is suitable only forT20, since his skills are extremely limited. Pushing them to the deep waters too early, may break them altogether.!

  • on May 16, 2014, 22:39 GMT

    seriously good effort by a full strength squad of SL team. but repeating such performance against eng is what is gonna matter. whether SL top order can manage Eng bowler s swing and seam. and also how SL youngsters manage themselves. also a vital tour for kumar and mahela as they can prove that they r not flat track bullies also can play in tough conditions

  • on May 16, 2014, 22:39 GMT

    I thought Chandi scored 52 (not out) off 32 balls and Kula 1 (not out)?? That was what the live commentators on BBC were saying anyway.

    According to them, the last over went: 49.1 Joseph to NLTC Perera, no run 49.2 Joseph to NLTC Perera, OUT NLTC Perera b Joseph 29 (37m 22b 1x4 1x6) SR: 131.81 49.3 Joseph to Kulasekara, 1 run 49.4 Joseph to Chandimal, FOUR 49.5 Joseph to Chandimal, 2 runs 49.6 Joseph to Chandimal, FOUR

    Anyway, good to see Chandi among the runs again, and scoring fast and fearlessly like his old self. He has proved, once again, that he is one of the best batsmen in SL on these pitches and in unfriendly conditions.

    And Kusal needs to CALM DOWN, at least on these pitches. He can do what he's good at, and what he normally does, in the subcontinent but here, he needs to change his temperament and play himself in. No need to attack every ball in ODIs, especially on these wickets. Just get some match practice, at least!!!

    Everyone contributed with bat and ball, good win.

  • on May 16, 2014, 22:15 GMT

    SL looks very strong and dangerous in coming ODIs against England. Only weak point is Kusal , who is not good to open the innings for SL. All three oldies are in good shape. Young Chandimal is excelent. Lakmal is very impressive. Also they have Malinga, Mendis & Sachitra as well as talented allrounders Mathews & Thisara. Good luck SL!!!!

  • Daran_Cool on May 16, 2014, 22:06 GMT

    Well Done Sri Lanka. True Sri Lankan cricket followers who also follow the world of cricket very closely would understand what Sri Lanka is trying to get out of this English tour.

    Fact of the matter is Sri Lankans are tough cookies when it comes to play limited overs game. They never get the respect they deserve. But they wouldn't mind. They will keep on doing their basics right and play for each other. That is what is special about these boys.

    Glad to see that being a small nation with humble cricketers. Among all the top cricket playing nations Sri Lanka do not attract the much media coverage compared to other nations who talks a lot and get into lot of troubles in many ways as possible and deliver less on the field .

    Good Luck Mathews & Co for this tour . Try and make use of this opportunity provided to play in England particularly for youngsters. I am sure you will do well in all formats and surprise lot of fans around the world.

  • Modestman on May 16, 2014, 21:38 GMT

    Ajantha Mendis is gone as a bowler.Selectors pleaseee...bring young Tharindu Kaushal in. Enuf of this "good for nothing mystery spin.Bring the boy who can spin to win...

  • on May 16, 2014, 21:32 GMT

    I watched this game at the St. Lawrence ground today. My conclusion was that Sri Lanka strolled this one effortlessly...a bit to much for Kent. Sri Lanka need a specialist spin bowling coach. Chaminda is doing a great job with the quicks. But Mendis is bowling medium pace and the batsmen play him like a medium pacer. Mendis was a brilliant bowler but needs to recharge the batteries with the right guidance. I also saw Prasanna bowl in the nets and was very impressed at his accuracy, loop etc., Why don't Sri Lanka use Mushtaq Ahmed as spin bowling coach so both these will benefit greatly with Mushy. I have heard England don't want Mushy anymore. I think he would be great for SL spin bolwers on tours. As for the quicks I saw Eranga bowl in the nets and was making the ball "spit". Lakmal bowled really well.....but I am amazed at how much Thissara has improved. He bowled with some venom and he played a lot of shots along the ground. Watch out England !

  • LALITHKURUWITA on May 16, 2014, 21:26 GMT

    SL need to open with Lahiru and to drop Kusal for Lasith. Then SL have very good batting and bowling unit with 3 fast and 2 medium fast bowlers ODI series. When a ground favours Spin Sachithra can be included for Lakmal. Kusal can open in T20. I like to see Dilshan bowls 10 overs so that 20 overs can be covered with Ajantha.

  • on May 16, 2014, 21:14 GMT

    Was delighted to see the performance of the younger players.

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  • on May 16, 2014, 21:14 GMT

    Was delighted to see the performance of the younger players.

  • LALITHKURUWITA on May 16, 2014, 21:26 GMT

    SL need to open with Lahiru and to drop Kusal for Lasith. Then SL have very good batting and bowling unit with 3 fast and 2 medium fast bowlers ODI series. When a ground favours Spin Sachithra can be included for Lakmal. Kusal can open in T20. I like to see Dilshan bowls 10 overs so that 20 overs can be covered with Ajantha.

  • on May 16, 2014, 21:32 GMT

    I watched this game at the St. Lawrence ground today. My conclusion was that Sri Lanka strolled this one effortlessly...a bit to much for Kent. Sri Lanka need a specialist spin bowling coach. Chaminda is doing a great job with the quicks. But Mendis is bowling medium pace and the batsmen play him like a medium pacer. Mendis was a brilliant bowler but needs to recharge the batteries with the right guidance. I also saw Prasanna bowl in the nets and was very impressed at his accuracy, loop etc., Why don't Sri Lanka use Mushtaq Ahmed as spin bowling coach so both these will benefit greatly with Mushy. I have heard England don't want Mushy anymore. I think he would be great for SL spin bolwers on tours. As for the quicks I saw Eranga bowl in the nets and was making the ball "spit". Lakmal bowled really well.....but I am amazed at how much Thissara has improved. He bowled with some venom and he played a lot of shots along the ground. Watch out England !

  • Modestman on May 16, 2014, 21:38 GMT

    Ajantha Mendis is gone as a bowler.Selectors pleaseee...bring young Tharindu Kaushal in. Enuf of this "good for nothing mystery spin.Bring the boy who can spin to win...

  • Daran_Cool on May 16, 2014, 22:06 GMT

    Well Done Sri Lanka. True Sri Lankan cricket followers who also follow the world of cricket very closely would understand what Sri Lanka is trying to get out of this English tour.

    Fact of the matter is Sri Lankans are tough cookies when it comes to play limited overs game. They never get the respect they deserve. But they wouldn't mind. They will keep on doing their basics right and play for each other. That is what is special about these boys.

    Glad to see that being a small nation with humble cricketers. Among all the top cricket playing nations Sri Lanka do not attract the much media coverage compared to other nations who talks a lot and get into lot of troubles in many ways as possible and deliver less on the field .

    Good Luck Mathews & Co for this tour . Try and make use of this opportunity provided to play in England particularly for youngsters. I am sure you will do well in all formats and surprise lot of fans around the world.

  • on May 16, 2014, 22:15 GMT

    SL looks very strong and dangerous in coming ODIs against England. Only weak point is Kusal , who is not good to open the innings for SL. All three oldies are in good shape. Young Chandimal is excelent. Lakmal is very impressive. Also they have Malinga, Mendis & Sachitra as well as talented allrounders Mathews & Thisara. Good luck SL!!!!

  • on May 16, 2014, 22:39 GMT

    I thought Chandi scored 52 (not out) off 32 balls and Kula 1 (not out)?? That was what the live commentators on BBC were saying anyway.

    According to them, the last over went: 49.1 Joseph to NLTC Perera, no run 49.2 Joseph to NLTC Perera, OUT NLTC Perera b Joseph 29 (37m 22b 1x4 1x6) SR: 131.81 49.3 Joseph to Kulasekara, 1 run 49.4 Joseph to Chandimal, FOUR 49.5 Joseph to Chandimal, 2 runs 49.6 Joseph to Chandimal, FOUR

    Anyway, good to see Chandi among the runs again, and scoring fast and fearlessly like his old self. He has proved, once again, that he is one of the best batsmen in SL on these pitches and in unfriendly conditions.

    And Kusal needs to CALM DOWN, at least on these pitches. He can do what he's good at, and what he normally does, in the subcontinent but here, he needs to change his temperament and play himself in. No need to attack every ball in ODIs, especially on these wickets. Just get some match practice, at least!!!

    Everyone contributed with bat and ball, good win.

  • on May 16, 2014, 22:39 GMT

    seriously good effort by a full strength squad of SL team. but repeating such performance against eng is what is gonna matter. whether SL top order can manage Eng bowler s swing and seam. and also how SL youngsters manage themselves. also a vital tour for kumar and mahela as they can prove that they r not flat track bullies also can play in tough conditions

  • SLFan-2200 on May 16, 2014, 23:45 GMT

    I think SL has a huge problem ahead, due to the strange squad selection done before the warm up games. Why an incomparable opener like Upul Tharanga was dropped from the squad is INEXPLICABLE. After all he has the all time best batting track record (Av 69.4) in England among SL players. He was the main contributor in 5-0 white wash in 2006 and has wide experience in handling conditions outside Sri Lanka. Dropping such a player is unthinkable! We don't have any experienced player like him to carry forward to the future, especially when the big 3 guys retire next year. I think this is a big MISTAKE. He is only 29 and he can contribute at least another 8yrs and even suitable to lead the side. We have younger players, but considering them over Tharanga is not going to do any good for SL. We saw what happened to the players like Mubarak & Kandampy. Kusal is suitable only forT20, since his skills are extremely limited. Pushing them to the deep waters too early, may break them altogether.!

  • on May 16, 2014, 23:55 GMT

    Sri Lankan coaching staff need to teach and train Ajantha Mendis to calm himself and take a bit more time. Somehow he's got to get over the initial nervousness and be more solid. His record is amazing for good reason. If he addresses this he may become one of the destructive bowers ever.