England v Sri Lanka, 1st ODI, The Oval May 22, 2014

Only the start of the short stuff

Sri Lanka's bowlers had propelled their World T20 campaign, often bailing out lacklustre batting displays, but when the bowlers had a bad evening in London, the batsmen could not reciprocate
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When Graham Ford departed from his role with Sri Lanka, and Paul Farbrace arrived in late January, both coaches issued identical appraisals of the team's chances in the two upcoming global tournaments.

"They have a terrific opportunity to win the World T20 in Bangladesh," Ford said, "there's no doubt about that." But both men were a little less hopeful about the World Cup. "We're not quite there yet," Farbrace had said. "There are some key things to develop, and the England series should give us a fair indication where we are at as a side."

As Sri Lanka faltered for the first time in 11 ODIs, at The Oval, many of their shortcomings on quicker, bouncier conditions were made plain. Sri Lanka's bowlers had propelled their World T20 campaign, often bailing out lacklustre batting displays, but when the bowlers had a bad evening in London, the batsmen could not reciprocate.

Lahiru Thirimanne got late-swinging delivery early in his innings, but several other batsmen failed to account for the bounce and movement typical in England, and surely forthcoming in Australia and New Zealand as well.

Tillakaratne Dilshan failed to put away short balls at his body, early in the innings, piling pressure on himself to explode, as the run rate climbed. He is often a consummate player of the pull - a stroke he executes with typical homespun swagger - but has recently struggled with it on faster surfaces. In the end, it would be a slash through the offside that undid him, as he underestimated the bounce Chris Jordan's hit-the-deck pace would achieve.

Before Dilshan departed, a leaden-footed Kumar Sangakkara had played Harry Gurney on, when the bowler nipped one back. It is unlike Sangakkara to have footwork out of order, but Sri Lanka could do themselves much good if they arrive at the Tests on the back of a big ODI series win. If the visitors are to keep England's spirits low, even uncharacteristic mistakes may have to be omitted by the senior players, who have considerable experience in similar conditions.

Dinesh Chandimal was targeted with the short ball in the T20 match as well, and here departed to it, heaving forcefully at Jordan, to offer thin top-edge to the keeper. The previous ball had been a bouncer, which Chandimal had hooked at and missed - further suggestion that England will persist with this plan to him.

He has flourished in England before, but this uncertainty against the short ball was unearthed by Pakistan in the Test series in January, when Junaid Khan had him caught at fine leg in successive innings. Interestingly, Farbrace, then about to take Sri Lanka's reins, had been in the stands on the second occasion. However England came by their mode of attack, it is out in the open now. Chandimal was already under significant scrutiny when he arrived in this series, and will now be watched even closer, while Ashan Priyanjan awaits his turn in the middle order.

The requirement was too steep even for Angelo Mathews, who lately has grown as a finisher. Perhaps more intent at the top of the innings would have eased the middle-order's burden, and to that end, Kusal Perera may be reconsidered for the coming matches. Kusal has been notoriously inconsistent, but few young Sri Lanka batsmen sustain excellence in the first years of their careers. What is more, when he delivers a good knocks, he leaves the side well in control of the innings.

If he is to come in at opener, he will displace Thirimanne, but perhaps that creates an opportunity of its own. Sri Lanka's batting concentrates its experience in the top four, but if Sangakkara and Mahela Jayawardene were to move down to Nos. 4 and 5 respectively, Thirimanne could remain in the top three where he prefers, and the unit becomes more balanced overall. Jayawardene has long been the most versatile ODI batsman Sri Lanka have, and a lower position may free him to play the finishing innings he has often provided. Sangakkara, meanwhile, has now acquired the aptitude for sustained aggression that might make him a good No.4.

The bowlers' quality and track record suggests they will recover quickly from a poor outing. But if Sri Lanka's tour, and their World Cup preparations, are to go to plan, the batsmen would do well to give their team-mates more cover than they did on Thursday.

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

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • nickexplore on May 25, 2014, 14:08 GMT

    Thirimanne's 10 runs from 37 balls in the 2nd ODI vs England just isn't quick enough and leaves SL 20 runs short. Kusal is a better open to open the innings with Dilshan. Even if he fails it's at a run a ball or better and if he stays in for 10 overs plus SL wins.

  • nickexplore on May 25, 2014, 10:39 GMT

    @Lenard Fernardo. I am not comparing Tharanga, Vithanage or Kusal, just noting Tharanga's crucial ODI innings vs Ireland and Kithuruwan's T20 blitz (52 off 24 balls) vs Sussex. And noting that neither Tharanga nor promising Kithuruwan are in the current ODI squad, and Kusal is. This leaves only an under-performing Kusal as a selection option to open with Dilshan, which would allow Thirimanne to drop to 3. Why Tharanga with his impressive England record was not selected for the England tour (only for Ireland ODIs) especially after 2 centuries for SL A vs England Lions, and why he was dropped from SLs ODI and Test teams in the first place are the key questions. I watched his excellent 149 for SL A vs England Lions in the 3rd Test at the Premadasa in February. The selectors should recall Tharanga for both home series vs South Africa in July and Pakistan in August (4 Tests and 6 ODIs in total) and give the SL A captaincy for the mid-July tour of England to someone else.

  • trueSLfan2010 on May 24, 2014, 14:44 GMT

    @FawltyBean: Good... who needs experience or skills.! In the near future, Reality will strike with a Bang, when it appears in Practical Terms.!! Don't worry pal, Tharanga wouldn't be even considered for a place in the squad, as usual. I have posted my opinion to the broadminded SL cricket fans, who are capable to understand simple logic.

  • FawltyBean on May 24, 2014, 13:46 GMT

    @Compton-Effect - We don't thankfully need anyone to partner with Dilshan for Tests. Dilshan retired from tests last year to concentrate on ODI's and T20 leagues around the world.

  • trueSLfan2010 on May 24, 2014, 12:54 GMT

    When you think about the upcoming Test series in Eng, the obvious question is, do we have any opener with experience to partner Dilshan in those conditions? We have Kaushal Silva, who is new. Although, Tharanga had been given just 15 Tests, he had accumulated 713 Test Runs, Averaging 28.52 , 165 HS + 3 x 50+ scores during that short period in Test format.

    When you consider his ability to stay at the wicket, in any condition, and his recent performances in SL-A, I think Tharanga is a worthwhile option to try out in Tests too, especially in England.

    His unique record of long partnerships in ODIs, is a Golden Testimony for his ability to stay at the wicket to play a long inning. Which is the prime factor required from a Test batsmen.

    Upul Tharanga is holding the WORLD-RECORD for the MOST number of 200+ PARTNERSHIPS in ODI. 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

  • SLCricketFan-72 on May 24, 2014, 10:35 GMT

    @nickexplore: Why are you trying to compare a player like Upul tharanga with such an exceptional track record (spreading over 5000+ ODI runs) with Kithuruwa & Kusal? Remember, this Thranga boy had scored 13 big CENTURIES & 28 Fifty plus scores for SL, in every corner of the world, handling BOUNCE,SEAM, PACE & SPIN equally well.! It seems you don't properly understand what is cricket. In Ireland he had to play the anchor role withstanding that hostile seam bowling, when Kusal vanished within 4 balls and the 2nd wicket also fell pretty quickly. If not for his valuable contribution of being there until the end of hostile morning session, with 24 runs, SL may have lost that ODI to Ireland. Tharanga accomplished what an opener suppose to do in ODIs. This format is entirely different from T20, where you may whack as you wish, since there are 11 players to share the bite in that short spell of 20 overs!

    Tharanga is an exceptional opener, that cannot be compared with any other opener in SL.

  • nickexplore on May 24, 2014, 9:18 GMT

    If Upul Tharanga was in SLs ODI squad I bet he would be selected to open in the 2nd ODI (averages 33.88 with a 174*). Likewise Kithuruwan Vithanage, whose 52* off 24 balls in the T20 vs Sussex showed just how explosive he can be. Kusal Janith certainly has competition for his spot. If Kusal could just stay in for 10-15 overs, SL would win everytime because he scores so quickly. I know he has licence to attack from the outset but his success rate is just too low. Maybe Tharanga will be recalled for the series against South Africa in SL in July, in which case Sri Lanka A will need a new captain for their England tour.

  • LALITHKURUWITA on May 24, 2014, 9:06 GMT

    I prefer the same team to play next 2 matches and see. Then bring changes. This is the best 11 for WC in NZ/AU. Hope SL will improve in the next match.

  • nickexplore on May 24, 2014, 4:42 GMT

    Neither Upul Tharanga (24 off 52 balls vs Ireland) nor Kithuruwan Vithanage are in SLs current ODI squad, so the selectors will probably recall Kusal Perera for the 2nd ODI vs England to open with Dilshan and put Thirimanne at 3. Ashan Priyanjan and Chathuranga de Silva provide the selectors with middle-order options should Chandimal and others continue to under-perform, while Ajantha Mendis gives the team the x-factor missing from the bowling attack in the 1st ODI.

  • on May 24, 2014, 3:00 GMT

    Sri Lanka would have given a better show if both teams batted in the same weather conditions.That is natural after the rain ,fast bowlers have very big advantage due to the moisture in the air.Nothing wrong with Sri Lankans.They will come up in second game with adjust to the england conditions.I hope SL should try Upul Thranga to open with Dilshan.One of the openers should play a long game.

  • nickexplore on May 25, 2014, 14:08 GMT

    Thirimanne's 10 runs from 37 balls in the 2nd ODI vs England just isn't quick enough and leaves SL 20 runs short. Kusal is a better open to open the innings with Dilshan. Even if he fails it's at a run a ball or better and if he stays in for 10 overs plus SL wins.

  • nickexplore on May 25, 2014, 10:39 GMT

    @Lenard Fernardo. I am not comparing Tharanga, Vithanage or Kusal, just noting Tharanga's crucial ODI innings vs Ireland and Kithuruwan's T20 blitz (52 off 24 balls) vs Sussex. And noting that neither Tharanga nor promising Kithuruwan are in the current ODI squad, and Kusal is. This leaves only an under-performing Kusal as a selection option to open with Dilshan, which would allow Thirimanne to drop to 3. Why Tharanga with his impressive England record was not selected for the England tour (only for Ireland ODIs) especially after 2 centuries for SL A vs England Lions, and why he was dropped from SLs ODI and Test teams in the first place are the key questions. I watched his excellent 149 for SL A vs England Lions in the 3rd Test at the Premadasa in February. The selectors should recall Tharanga for both home series vs South Africa in July and Pakistan in August (4 Tests and 6 ODIs in total) and give the SL A captaincy for the mid-July tour of England to someone else.

  • trueSLfan2010 on May 24, 2014, 14:44 GMT

    @FawltyBean: Good... who needs experience or skills.! In the near future, Reality will strike with a Bang, when it appears in Practical Terms.!! Don't worry pal, Tharanga wouldn't be even considered for a place in the squad, as usual. I have posted my opinion to the broadminded SL cricket fans, who are capable to understand simple logic.

  • FawltyBean on May 24, 2014, 13:46 GMT

    @Compton-Effect - We don't thankfully need anyone to partner with Dilshan for Tests. Dilshan retired from tests last year to concentrate on ODI's and T20 leagues around the world.

  • trueSLfan2010 on May 24, 2014, 12:54 GMT

    When you think about the upcoming Test series in Eng, the obvious question is, do we have any opener with experience to partner Dilshan in those conditions? We have Kaushal Silva, who is new. Although, Tharanga had been given just 15 Tests, he had accumulated 713 Test Runs, Averaging 28.52 , 165 HS + 3 x 50+ scores during that short period in Test format.

    When you consider his ability to stay at the wicket, in any condition, and his recent performances in SL-A, I think Tharanga is a worthwhile option to try out in Tests too, especially in England.

    His unique record of long partnerships in ODIs, is a Golden Testimony for his ability to stay at the wicket to play a long inning. Which is the prime factor required from a Test batsmen.

    Upul Tharanga is holding the WORLD-RECORD for the MOST number of 200+ PARTNERSHIPS in ODI. 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

  • SLCricketFan-72 on May 24, 2014, 10:35 GMT

    @nickexplore: Why are you trying to compare a player like Upul tharanga with such an exceptional track record (spreading over 5000+ ODI runs) with Kithuruwa & Kusal? Remember, this Thranga boy had scored 13 big CENTURIES & 28 Fifty plus scores for SL, in every corner of the world, handling BOUNCE,SEAM, PACE & SPIN equally well.! It seems you don't properly understand what is cricket. In Ireland he had to play the anchor role withstanding that hostile seam bowling, when Kusal vanished within 4 balls and the 2nd wicket also fell pretty quickly. If not for his valuable contribution of being there until the end of hostile morning session, with 24 runs, SL may have lost that ODI to Ireland. Tharanga accomplished what an opener suppose to do in ODIs. This format is entirely different from T20, where you may whack as you wish, since there are 11 players to share the bite in that short spell of 20 overs!

    Tharanga is an exceptional opener, that cannot be compared with any other opener in SL.

  • nickexplore on May 24, 2014, 9:18 GMT

    If Upul Tharanga was in SLs ODI squad I bet he would be selected to open in the 2nd ODI (averages 33.88 with a 174*). Likewise Kithuruwan Vithanage, whose 52* off 24 balls in the T20 vs Sussex showed just how explosive he can be. Kusal Janith certainly has competition for his spot. If Kusal could just stay in for 10-15 overs, SL would win everytime because he scores so quickly. I know he has licence to attack from the outset but his success rate is just too low. Maybe Tharanga will be recalled for the series against South Africa in SL in July, in which case Sri Lanka A will need a new captain for their England tour.

  • LALITHKURUWITA on May 24, 2014, 9:06 GMT

    I prefer the same team to play next 2 matches and see. Then bring changes. This is the best 11 for WC in NZ/AU. Hope SL will improve in the next match.

  • nickexplore on May 24, 2014, 4:42 GMT

    Neither Upul Tharanga (24 off 52 balls vs Ireland) nor Kithuruwan Vithanage are in SLs current ODI squad, so the selectors will probably recall Kusal Perera for the 2nd ODI vs England to open with Dilshan and put Thirimanne at 3. Ashan Priyanjan and Chathuranga de Silva provide the selectors with middle-order options should Chandimal and others continue to under-perform, while Ajantha Mendis gives the team the x-factor missing from the bowling attack in the 1st ODI.

  • on May 24, 2014, 3:00 GMT

    Sri Lanka would have given a better show if both teams batted in the same weather conditions.That is natural after the rain ,fast bowlers have very big advantage due to the moisture in the air.Nothing wrong with Sri Lankans.They will come up in second game with adjust to the england conditions.I hope SL should try Upul Thranga to open with Dilshan.One of the openers should play a long game.

  • dhanuhskaS on May 24, 2014, 2:47 GMT

    Mr Andrew-Silva@: As a true fan of Cricket & a well-wisher of motherland SL, I wish to thank you for the valuable insight provided for the betterment of SL Cricket. Your 4 POSTINGS filled with intellectual substance, were the best I have ever seen in a Cricket forum. I wish, we have intellectual people like you among SL cricket administrators, local SL media and our fans. Thank you Sir, for the valuable assessment & input!

  • FawltyBean on May 23, 2014, 19:42 GMT

    Agree with Sageleaf. Bouncers are not an issue for Sri Lankan players. They'll use it for their advantage IF the weather is right and score ton of runs.

  • Sageleaf on May 23, 2014, 17:32 GMT

    Well...Sri Lanka is not like other countries...try the short ball again with Sri Lanakans and England will regret trying....SL is not scared of the short ball...only thing was the condition suited well for England on Thursday. Sri Lanka did have a bad day in the office..i did not see any player focusing what they had to do. just threw their wickets away. Do not get excited they will bounce back and I'm sure of it. just a little sun needed and they will be fine...SL won a one day series in Australia..and the last limited over games played in South Africa they chased more than 300 runs and won both games...so this is nothing for them...i feel England does not have a good bowling unit...

  • on May 23, 2014, 14:32 GMT

    Really woeful batting display by Sri Lnakan whats going wrong ? there is senior & junior mix up with batting line up but all are not consistent we need good opening partnership then only we can win the remaining matches so try with Tharanga as a opener with dilshan or vithanage all the best next match

  • SLMaster on May 23, 2014, 14:18 GMT

    Sure SL played bad in dowling....but it is still the first game. Give them a chance. One on-off game all are ready to thrash SL team. COME ON....every team has to loose. Let's see what is going to happen in next game.

  • FawltyBean on May 23, 2014, 13:52 GMT

    Kavum, well said. We need to get rid of Malinga from the ODI team, he's a one trick pony only good for T20's. He also seems to have issues with Angelo, this T20 captaincy thing has gone to his head in a bad way.

    Mahela, Sanga and Dilshan are the new Sanaths(sadly, three not one) in the team that overstayed their welcome in a format doesn't suit them anymore.

  • trueSLfan2010 on May 23, 2014, 13:36 GMT

    @Christopher De J Seneviratne: Amazing to see some comments like this! When did this happen man? Kusal was a throughout burden for other batsmen in ODIs, outside Bangladesh. Please open your eyes and look at the Reality with an open mind! Can you justify your point? Kusal's Disgusting ODI batting Average of 2.9 on seaming fast-decks in Eng/Ireland/WI (since June 2013) & poor overall average of 14.2 from 21 Innings-without Bangladesh in all ODIs!

    He struggled to survive and opened the "Gate" within 3 overs in all 5 consecutive ODIs, played in Eng/Ireland with a pathetic failure record: 0R-01B, 6R-10B, 4R- 2B, 4R-10B, 0R-4B Accumulating just 14 Runs, Averaging 2.8! Are you joking or really thinking that he should be the opener in places other than Bangladesh.???? Please be sensible when posting some thing. Otherwise, it is an open insult to all SL fans!

  • rizwan1981 on May 23, 2014, 13:36 GMT

    Kusal does not have the technique for English or Australian pitches - The selectors should consider CHAMARA KAPUGEDERA and BHANUKA RAJAPAKSHE , both of whom are explosive players and can bowl a few overs .

    No one ( except Aravinda De Silva ) has flayed an express Brett Lee on hard pitches down under .

  • on May 23, 2014, 12:54 GMT

    I think the weather did not help the SL at all. It was difficult match to win at least our guys should try to get the condition by batting sensibly which they did not do will might have impact on future matches well. If Kusal is going play next world cup he should be opening regardless of warming up match results. Kusal job is get 25 - 30 runs in 1-5 overs that help the down to order take their time to adjust to the condition and bat long innings. That has been our strategy and should continue same.

  • nickexplore on May 23, 2014, 12:29 GMT

    Those clamouring for Upul Tharanga's inclusion in SLs Test and ODI teams certainly have a point and the compelling statistics to back it up. Tharanga scored two centuries for Sri Lanka against the England Lions in February: 116 at Dambulla and an impressive 149 at the Premadasa. He has not been forgotten by the selectors though, as he is captain of SL A for their England tour in mid-July. If he again does well, he may well be recalled to play Tests and ODIs against Pakistan in SL in August. Then maybe a place for Tharanga in SLs World Cup squad, especially as Kusal Perera is not convincing the selectors at the moment. As for the Tests, Kaushal Silva and Dimuth Karunaratne are the selectors first choice openers, but Tharanga is well in the reckoning.

  • Andrew-Silva on May 23, 2014, 11:39 GMT

    1st ODI showed again, the VALUE of MISSING EXPERIENCE at The TOP! SL missing the services of a stable, EXPERIENCED OPENER, who can stem the side and play a long inning in these conditions! Opener should be able to stay there, until the middle order is exposed (min. 25 ov), while Dilshan is making the initial impact from one end. Otherwise, its going to be a real burden for others in front/middleorder, as repeatedly seen during the past 10 months! Middle order cannot handle this pressure as they did in subcontinent The only SL opener who can prevent this is Tharanga. His track record proves it!

    Tharanga was the Main Architect of 5-0 rubbing in 2006, His average stay at the wicket is 26.2 Overs! He had the highest Batting Average 69.4 with 2 x100s

    120 R - 76.92S/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- 106.86S/R v Eng-Leeds (Tha 31.5 ov)

  • itsthewayuplay on May 23, 2014, 11:02 GMT

    It's disappointing the author doesn't give England credit for their performance in the same way he did for SL in the T20. SL played as best they could yesterday and England were too good for them.

  • on May 23, 2014, 10:51 GMT

    Yet another woeful batting display. Sanga's shot was a terrible cross bat shot played away from the body.The top order is brittle with nothing to fall back on unlike in earlier times.Why on earth don't they play Kaushal Silva as an opening bat in the 50 over format? He is a batsman with a solid technique and a brilliant fielder. His career will be ruined by playing him in only tests which are few and far between. Sidat Wettimuni was ruined by this approach.As for the bowling they don't know how to change when the going got tough- continued bowling in the slot when they should have bowled the rising ball at face & chest height

  • on May 23, 2014, 10:04 GMT

    @cricfan100 totally agree with you. Chandimal will only deliver once in a blue moon batting at no.6. By nature, he is best placed at no.4, which is stubornly occupied by out of form Mahela. Chandimal's avg at no.3 and 4 is miles higher than his career avg, which was devastated by management demoting him down to no.6. It has ruined his confidence, and may end up ruining his career if they keep him there...

  • Sepathie on May 23, 2014, 8:13 GMT

    Why Rangana Herath not Playing . He is going to be sri lankas main spinner for the world cup. And he has most experience in england conditions. I dont think he is being rested for test... what a joke....

  • cricfan100 on May 23, 2014, 7:55 GMT

    I think this is a very timely article. Lot of fans here have pointed out that we shouldn't read much into this based on one bad performance. But these weaknesses in the batting department have been there for last couple of years, somehow they were covered up because we were winning due to excellent bowling and ground fielding. Sangakkara and mahela should have moved down the order long time ago. Giving number three to either thiri or chandi, which never happened. Chandimal' s batting style doesn't suit his batting position at all. He could be an excellent no 3 batsman but he is not a good no:6. Either you play him top of the order or you don't play him at all. To be frank kusal has been more consistent than mahela in the shorter format in the recent past. Mahela scored his first ODI 50 after a good year and half in the last Asia cup final. And you don't know how long it will take him to score the next. When the great mahela himself is inconsistent why so much talk about kusal.

  • gsamiru on May 23, 2014, 7:34 GMT

    I still believe that SL should have added Upul Tharanga at least in the squad, if not in the playing XI. This gives the back up option of having a condition known opener. ..... The other thing is, SL should give all the players a chance to play at least a game in these alien conditions in the process of preparation for WC 2015, without considering much of the out come of the games. ..... Selectors also should emphasize that Kusal's role is not just hitting run a ball 10-15 and getting out, he should be able to perform consistently without worrying of being Jayasuriya. .... ! Good Luck SL

  • Kavum on May 23, 2014, 7:16 GMT

    Good one AFF. Were you named after Castro?

    Sri Lanka needs to jettison some of the dead wood. Even Sanga should be put out to pasture and maybe retained as a mentor/adviser. Dilly is well past it and Mahela's timing and nous seems to have eroded with age. Sadly its a young man's game in the ODI/T20I formats and there is no place for ageing limbs and slowing reflexes.

    In bowling even Isuru Udana managed to bowl averagely faster than the contemporary Malinga. Even if he can be made to listen to Vass or Pillock (at the Mumbai Indians), he does not seem to have the noodle to absorb advice. Lakmal is better material to work with since he has some pace. Kula is sadly just an also-ran (albeit slowly) and his away swinger just a myth. On true pitches with reasonable pace and bounce SL's magic men are just bad street conjurers.

    I see 600 plus scores for England in test matches unless Herath can wrap his cold fingers around the ball effectively. Yaay SL Lions! Meaow.

  • Ellis on May 23, 2014, 6:41 GMT

    Once again, we have the fair weather SL supporters looking for changes after one game. Nobody, including Andrew Fernando, saw slowing reflexes when Dilshan batted in the T20 International. Thirimanne got a good ball, as did Sangakkara. Kusal Perera does not at this stage, have the technique and shot selection to open the innings in England. Vithanage is promising, but one swallow does not a summer make. If the team is going to be selected on one game performances, we will have chaos, not teamwork. The match was lost in the last ten overs of England's innings. Changes may be needed because of pitch conditions, but, not on the basis of one game performances.

  • on May 23, 2014, 4:14 GMT

    I can't find any reason why Upul Tharanga is not in the current squad! Pls check the stats given by Mr. Andrew_Silva. Also, his skills and temperament is terrific. If we want to perform well and challenge for the 2015 world cup title in Australia and New Zealand, we have to select the best available team from now and fine tune each player and their combinations.

  • SLFan-2200 on May 23, 2014, 4:03 GMT

    Why SL desperately need an experienced Opener? In addition to the posting I sent just now, here are some more facts to prove our best option's current batting form: Tharang has steadily maintained his batting form to date, with Two recent Centuries against Eng-A side (two months ago) and Centuries in recent domestic games plus 24 valuable runs in the solitary ODI given in Ireland last week, withstanding a hostile attack of seam bowling in a spring morning session. Worthwhile reminding, just before he was dropped from the national side, Tharanga had scored an unbeaten 174* on an extremely Bouncy fast track, in Kingston, WI July 2013. His ODI form at that point, (most recent 12 months) July 2012 to the day he was dropped in Aug 2013, Tharanga had played 20 ODIs - 2 n/o, & accumulated 567 Runs at an Av 31.5 at home & away on lively decks! Therefore, there is no issue at all, with his current form. Please read my previous posting for some interesting performance Stats on fast -decks.

  • SLFan-2200 on May 23, 2014, 3:27 GMT

    As I have said many times before, without an experienced OPENER, SL will constantly have a massive problem in ODIs outside subcontinent! Among the current players, Tharanga is the most Experienced, most Consistent Opening Batsmen to tackle the conditions that we saw today in Eng. He holds the Highest Batting Average (69.4) in Eng for a SL player. He has the HIGHEST overall Batting Average (34.5) for a SL player in countries (Eng, Aus, WI, SA, NZ ) on Seaming, Bouncy Fast- Decks! He had played 51 innings, scoring 1687 Runs (with 2 N/O) maintaining almost 35 runs per inning Average!

    in England - 5 Ing- 347 R -120 HS- Av 69.40 in West Indies - 18 Ing- 571 R- 174*HS - Av 33.58 in South Africa - 5 Ing- 176 R- 66 HS - Av 35.20 in Australia - 15 Ing- 329 R- 86*HS -Av 23.50 In New Zealand - 8 Ing- 264 R- 103 HS - Av 33.00 I can't believe how SLC, & SL Media can overlook, such a valuable young player (a humble guy)? No one can deny FACTS & STATS, HE IS THE BEST..!!!

  • shakeena on May 23, 2014, 3:10 GMT

    Hey take it easy. Just a bad day for everybody except sachithra. I think it is a blessing. You need some thing like this time to time in order to remember how ugly it is when you loose a game and then you can see through your downfall to strength your the talents . Congrats England. You guys played really well and you deserve this win.

    Always remember "A win is so precious only because you never can keep on winning forever"

  • nickexplore on May 23, 2014, 2:27 GMT

    The SL selectors usually get it pretty right, but this time the decision to leave out both explosive openers Kithuruwan and Kusal backfired badly. Especially as Vithanage had been so impressive in the T20 vs Sussex and Perera, with his licence to attack, so dynamic on his day. Yes, the SL bowlers were below their best, however with a quickfire start, this D/L chase was well within SLs range.

  • on May 23, 2014, 1:57 GMT

    agree with Badhreen Sharker , maybe andrew will say end of this series "i told you so " , maybe his criticism will become true.. but the bottom line is that you can't judge any team after one failure .

  • KingOwl on May 23, 2014, 1:54 GMT

    Dilshan has no doubt slowed down in his reaction time. He would have pulled many of the short stuff with ease a couple of years ago. Age is catching up - nobody can stop that. But on the positive side, Dilshan has done his service to SL and there are solid youngsters as back ups.

  • YsaKaru on May 23, 2014, 1:25 GMT

    batsmen(kusal or priyanjan) needs to replace lakmal and mathews,thisara and dilshan can bowl 20 overs....

  • on May 23, 2014, 0:55 GMT

    You Can't judge a teams performance by a game that not once but twice was effected by D/L. True ENG played much better cricket but. If any one is going to compare teams let both teams play the 50 overs first to get a better picture of the teams future.

  • FawltyBean on May 22, 2014, 22:51 GMT

    Three seniors are slow to react these days. When Sri Lanka won 9 games in-a-row luckily Mahela and Dilshan were out injured at one time or another, so youngsters got the chance to play. Dilshan's inability to rotate strike put pressure on Sanga today. It's about time we do away with Dilshan, and play Kithruwan and Kusal as openers and Thirimanne at three.

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  • FawltyBean on May 22, 2014, 22:51 GMT

    Three seniors are slow to react these days. When Sri Lanka won 9 games in-a-row luckily Mahela and Dilshan were out injured at one time or another, so youngsters got the chance to play. Dilshan's inability to rotate strike put pressure on Sanga today. It's about time we do away with Dilshan, and play Kithruwan and Kusal as openers and Thirimanne at three.

  • on May 23, 2014, 0:55 GMT

    You Can't judge a teams performance by a game that not once but twice was effected by D/L. True ENG played much better cricket but. If any one is going to compare teams let both teams play the 50 overs first to get a better picture of the teams future.

  • YsaKaru on May 23, 2014, 1:25 GMT

    batsmen(kusal or priyanjan) needs to replace lakmal and mathews,thisara and dilshan can bowl 20 overs....

  • KingOwl on May 23, 2014, 1:54 GMT

    Dilshan has no doubt slowed down in his reaction time. He would have pulled many of the short stuff with ease a couple of years ago. Age is catching up - nobody can stop that. But on the positive side, Dilshan has done his service to SL and there are solid youngsters as back ups.

  • on May 23, 2014, 1:57 GMT

    agree with Badhreen Sharker , maybe andrew will say end of this series "i told you so " , maybe his criticism will become true.. but the bottom line is that you can't judge any team after one failure .

  • nickexplore on May 23, 2014, 2:27 GMT

    The SL selectors usually get it pretty right, but this time the decision to leave out both explosive openers Kithuruwan and Kusal backfired badly. Especially as Vithanage had been so impressive in the T20 vs Sussex and Perera, with his licence to attack, so dynamic on his day. Yes, the SL bowlers were below their best, however with a quickfire start, this D/L chase was well within SLs range.

  • shakeena on May 23, 2014, 3:10 GMT

    Hey take it easy. Just a bad day for everybody except sachithra. I think it is a blessing. You need some thing like this time to time in order to remember how ugly it is when you loose a game and then you can see through your downfall to strength your the talents . Congrats England. You guys played really well and you deserve this win.

    Always remember "A win is so precious only because you never can keep on winning forever"

  • SLFan-2200 on May 23, 2014, 3:27 GMT

    As I have said many times before, without an experienced OPENER, SL will constantly have a massive problem in ODIs outside subcontinent! Among the current players, Tharanga is the most Experienced, most Consistent Opening Batsmen to tackle the conditions that we saw today in Eng. He holds the Highest Batting Average (69.4) in Eng for a SL player. He has the HIGHEST overall Batting Average (34.5) for a SL player in countries (Eng, Aus, WI, SA, NZ ) on Seaming, Bouncy Fast- Decks! He had played 51 innings, scoring 1687 Runs (with 2 N/O) maintaining almost 35 runs per inning Average!

    in England - 5 Ing- 347 R -120 HS- Av 69.40 in West Indies - 18 Ing- 571 R- 174*HS - Av 33.58 in South Africa - 5 Ing- 176 R- 66 HS - Av 35.20 in Australia - 15 Ing- 329 R- 86*HS -Av 23.50 In New Zealand - 8 Ing- 264 R- 103 HS - Av 33.00 I can't believe how SLC, & SL Media can overlook, such a valuable young player (a humble guy)? No one can deny FACTS & STATS, HE IS THE BEST..!!!

  • SLFan-2200 on May 23, 2014, 4:03 GMT

    Why SL desperately need an experienced Opener? In addition to the posting I sent just now, here are some more facts to prove our best option's current batting form: Tharang has steadily maintained his batting form to date, with Two recent Centuries against Eng-A side (two months ago) and Centuries in recent domestic games plus 24 valuable runs in the solitary ODI given in Ireland last week, withstanding a hostile attack of seam bowling in a spring morning session. Worthwhile reminding, just before he was dropped from the national side, Tharanga had scored an unbeaten 174* on an extremely Bouncy fast track, in Kingston, WI July 2013. His ODI form at that point, (most recent 12 months) July 2012 to the day he was dropped in Aug 2013, Tharanga had played 20 ODIs - 2 n/o, & accumulated 567 Runs at an Av 31.5 at home & away on lively decks! Therefore, there is no issue at all, with his current form. Please read my previous posting for some interesting performance Stats on fast -decks.

  • on May 23, 2014, 4:14 GMT

    I can't find any reason why Upul Tharanga is not in the current squad! Pls check the stats given by Mr. Andrew_Silva. Also, his skills and temperament is terrific. If we want to perform well and challenge for the 2015 world cup title in Australia and New Zealand, we have to select the best available team from now and fine tune each player and their combinations.