Sri Lanka in New Zealand 2015-16 December 22, 2015

Chameera, Siriwardana give SL hope for future

Marks out of 10 for Sri Lanka's players following a 2-0 defeat on their Test tour of New Zealand

Playing only his third and fourth Tests, Dushmantha Chameera was easily Sri Lanka's best bowler © Getty Images


Dushmantha Chameera (12 wickets at 24)

In Hamilton, Chameera blasted New Zealand out with the short ball. Are Sri Lanka bowlers even allowed to do that? In just his third and fourth Tests, touching 146 kph at times, Chameera was easily the best of Sri Lanka's bowlers, and bowled perhaps the ball of the series, to Ross Taylor in that first innings at Hamilton. He looks a little fragile, though. Whippet-thin at 23, perhaps Sri Lanka Cricket can set up a body-weight exchange programme with some other Sri Lanka quicks.


Dinesh Chandimal (192 runs at 48, 5 dismissals)

Irrepressibly peppy behind the stumps and in front of them, Chandimal made Sri Lanka's first innings spark in Hamilton, and gave it substance in Dunedin. He seems lucky at times, because he mishits so many balls at the beginning of his innings, but maybe he is just an excellent judge of risk. When he hits out, he makes sure to give himself room for error. Is probably the best wicketkeeper of the few glovemen in contention for national places, but the team will want him to focus on his batting at no. 4.


Milinda Siriwardana (158 runs at 38)

One of Sri Lanka's finds of the year, Siriwardana sparkled with the bat, if only too briefly. He plays a lovely cover drive, always seems confident, and has the seeming adaptability to succeed on most kinds of surfaces. He hasn't quite cemented his place in the team, but he is close. His fielding has also been an asset, though his bowling was not required on these pitches.

Dimuth Karunaratne (152 runs at 38)

Promised plenty with his 84 in the first innings of the series, but was out cheaply twice to the short ball in Hamilton. He had the worst of the batting conditions however, so an average of 38 is serviceable. Caught well in the slips and at least gave the team a start in the remainder of his innings, even if he didn't carry on to something substantial.


Kusal Mendis (131 runs at 32.50)

Had some good fortune in both Tests, having had at least three clear-cut chances in total. He was part of two fifty-plus opening stands - something of a rarity for Sri Lanka this year - and played some dazzling leg-side shots that gave a glimpse of his talent. He is clearly a long-term prospect for Sri Lanka, but is very raw at present. The selectors might do well to get him playing as much A team cricket as possible whenever the international schedule allows.

Angelo Mathews (106 runs at 26.5, 1 wicket at 61)

His 77 helped Sri Lanka near 300 in the first innings at Hamilton, but the relative paucity of his other scores makes this an underwhelming tour, by Mathews' standards. He created the occasional chance with the ball, though he may have over-bowled himself sometimes. Sri Lanka's fields also probably veered too far towards conservatism, particularly when they were defending a small score in the second Test.

Nuwan Pradeep (6 wicket at 41)

Didn't exactly create pressure by bowling tight, but did send down some terrific balls nonetheless. Sri Lanka would have expected a little more from him in Hamilton, where the deck suited his style of bowling. Still, he has managed to stay fit for five consecutive Tests, which, for a Sri Lanka seamer, is deserving of some sort of statue or commemorative plaque.

Kithuruwan Vithanage batted too loosely and kept getting himself out © AFP


Rangana Herath (4 wickets at 57.75)

The surface at Dunedin gave him the freak wicket of Martin Guptill, but nothing else. By the time the ball started turning in Hamilton, Sri Lanka had already lost the Test. Was attacked in that second innings in Dunedin, but maintained a good economy rate elsewhere. Also batted bravely when Sri Lanka were attempting to draw the first Test.

Suranga Lakmal (4 wickets at 44.25)

Sri Lanka needed control from Lakmal, but they didn't quite get enough of it. He was mediocre in the first innings in Dunedin, where the visiting quicks had first use of a green pitch, and only sporadically threatening thereafter. Eighteen months ago he was looked at as the leader of the seam attack, but, plagued by injury since, he hasn't quite live up to that promise.


Kithuruwan Vithanage (69 runs at 17.25)

As ever, Vithanage played some fine strokes, then batted too loosely to get himself out. The selectors keep trying him in Tests, but given his track record, it may be better for him to establish himself in the shorter formats first.


Udara Jayasundera (30 runs at 7.5)

A poor first foray into Tests on paper, but given his record, he probably deserves a longer trial at the top level. Jayasundera had started to play some shots in the first innings at Hamilton before he ran himself out. He was even unluckier to be wrongly given out by the third umpire in the second innings.

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