Sri Lanka v Pakistan, 3rd ODI, Dambulla August 30, 2014

Thisara will be major part of World Cup squad - Mathews

  shares 16

Thisara Perera: 


Thisara Perera: 

"We planned before the match that some Pakistan players can't hit the short balls" © AFP

As teams gear up for the battle royale in Australia and New Zealand next year, penetrative quick bowlers are at a premium. For months Sri Lanka's selectors and captain have been speaking of developing pace stocks for the World Cup, and they appear to have lurched closer to that goal in the series against Pakistan.



Lasith Malinga was seemingly lower on pace, but even with a quieter series for their usual spearhead, Sri Lanka's seam bowlers took 17 wickets to the spinners' eight, in the series. 


Thisara Perera has been chief among the quick-bowling assets for Sri Lanka, in the first series since his differences with team selectors appear to have been ironed out. His nine wickets at an average of 10.66 were crucial to the series outcome, while his 65 from 36 balls helped seal the second ODI. A firing Perera adds balance and depth to the Sri Lanka side, giving Angelo Mathews the freedom to make changes to the XI depending on the conditions.

"Thisara has worked really hard with the coaches to get here in the past couple of months," Mathews said. "The support staff has been fantastic. Though he wasn't part of the team, he was working really hard and improving his fitness in batting and bowling. That's what we want, because going into the World Cup he is going to be a major part of our squad. We want him to improve day by day and he's been brilliant in this series."

Doubts over Perera's ability to accurately deliver his full quota of overs had seen him left out of the ODI side in recent months, but now visibly fitter, he has returned to batting and bowling form. Perera said the opportunity to bowl with the newer ball had also helped him pick up wickets, but credited the tough work put in with coaching staff.

"During the South Africa Test series, I practised alone with three coaches whom I have to thank. Anusha Samaranayake, Sumithra Warnakulasuriya and Ruwin Peiris worked with me for one month from morning till afternoon every day, practising bowling and batting. I am really indebted to them for helping me get back into the team."

Perera's 4 for 34 was instrumental to Sri Lanka's victory in the third ODI in Dambulla, where they dismissed Pakistan for 102. Three of Perera's wickets had come from the bouncer.



"We planned before the match that some Pakistan players can't hit the short balls, so we thought of using the short balls in this match," Perera said. "Umar Akmal's wicket was a big one because he is a dangerous player."

Although Nuwan Kulasekara has had a dip in form since the England tour, Sri Lanka have also seen the resurgence of Dhammika Prasad, who has been effective in the few Test opportunities he has been granted, and impressed in ODIs on Saturday, with his 2 for 25. Mathews said his opening spell set the tone for the victory in Dambulla.

"After the last win, the confidence had been really high in our camp," Mathews said. "After losing to Pakistan in the first game, we knew it was hard for us to come back into the series.

"But the boys showed a lot of character, especially Dhammika Prasad. He was given the opportunity and he grabbed it with both hands. The turning point of the match was at the start, when Prasad got those two early wickets. Malinga then chipped in, then Thisara came in and got us those wickets. Our bowlers in the first 16-20 overs were brilliant and that did the damage for the Pakistanis."

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

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • MH19 on September 2, 2014, 3:22 GMT

    Thisara Perera is the best all rounder we have next to Mathews and i always felt Thisara was a must for 50 overs and also for test matches in countries like Australia/NZ/ ENG/SA. Also Chandimal is a must in the line up if we are to have any hopes in the WORLD CUP Dilshan/Perera/Sanga/Mahela/Chandimal/Mathews/Thisara/Malinga/(Herath/Senanayake/randiv/prassana)Kule and then we should have back ups such as Thirimanne/Prasad/I forget the batsman who had a night out recently should be in the squad for world cup. We have nothing to worry as long as Sanath is the Chief Selector as he will select the best squad and SL record in Australia in one dayers are the best especaillt MCG/SCG/Adelaide

  • on September 1, 2014, 3:45 GMT

    thisara is very dangerous batsman most of the time he comes to situation where he need to hit from the first ball. I saw 2 innings in this year . One against Bangladesh where sri lanka 70 for 8 wickets . He played sensibly then started to wack the spinners in the end took the total upto 180 and literally sri lanka won the match . similar against Pakistan he took time to get settle along with angelo then saw the moment to wack the ball. that's where he is more affective . probably he need to see the Ball for 3 overs once he got hold its hard to stop . because if he lift the ball most of the time it's out the ground just because he uses loads of power behind the shot. I have observed many times his single handed six .. that shows the iron man power and he is tall big in size all are advantages for him just need mind set to play sensible and then look for heap. He can make loads of difference in this world cup for sri lanka . specially with bat. bowling he still need to work it out

  • on August 31, 2014, 18:38 GMT

    Well Done Sri Lankan's and good luck for the next world cup

  • CricketChat on August 31, 2014, 16:17 GMT

    Thisara should be managed carefully by the captain to be effective in the ODIs. Having watched him closely since he made international debut, I feel he is not an everyday player who is capable of consistency. He is either a hit or miss type of player much like Kapil Dev of Ind used to be in the past. Don't let him think too much. Send him with less than 10 overs if batting first and between overs 15-20, if chasing, to up the run rate with instructions to go after the bowling. If the plan comes off, he will win games most of the time with his bat. As a bowler, should be used in the 20 - 40/42 over period when consolidation is in effect. He is more of a restrictive type of bowler, not a strike bowler, this series being an exception.

  • Mutukisna on August 31, 2014, 8:38 GMT

    Good article Andrew, rightfully dedicated to highlighting and promoting Thisara Perera's case for hopefully automatic selection - the others being Matthews, Sanga, Mahela, Malinga and Dilshan. SLC need to work to add one other to this list of automatic selections by having Senanayke's bowling action sorted out and cleared for participation in the World Cup well before the start. This should make up the nucleus of seven players, the other four being rotated on pitch and match conditions and additionally, the opponents on the day. It's looking good, I add, guardedly!

  • Sexysteven on August 31, 2014, 3:44 GMT

    Sri Lanka I can't see doing to well at the World Cup cos they are a ageing team the seniors are past there best almost and there's no younger players being brought just a lot of journeyman players like thirimanne n tharanga I can't them doing to much for Sri Lanka I'm sure there is talent in Sri Lanka but the selectors are not picking them for some reason we all love the Sri Lankans just wish they blood some younger players just to see if there's any more Mahela n sanga type players are out there cos it won't be long before Angelo is the only class player in the Sri Lankan team my advice would be get some young players in so when the seniors go there will be some decent support for Angelo if they don't there team will look brittle for awhile when they are forced to rebuild and it will be harder if they have to do that it that way

  • SLCricketFan-72 on August 31, 2014, 2:28 GMT

    Congratulations to SL.! Mathew's leadership is phenomenal..!! If we had the same playing XI for the SA ODI series, certainly we would have won it. Right combination of players is a must to win matches frequently!

    Thisara's capabilities as a seam bowler & a hard hitting batsmen were on display yet again! He is a REAL "master-blaster" who can whack the ball hard to all corners of the park... ! Unlike some miserably failed fake blasters, Thisara can make hefty blows facing pace & spin equally well.. in any condition on any deck! He is pretty consistent & won many matches for SL!

    He is a TRUE IMPACT-PLAYER, who deliver goods not hype..! Could be even promoted to the top, if EVER NEEDED such a short-term blast at the top!

  • on August 31, 2014, 2:24 GMT

    Pak worldcup preparation is badly hurt needs to boost and play to wi the cup needs to make a captain to win the worldcup

  • shanepe2003 on August 31, 2014, 1:20 GMT

    As a finisher T perera is the best option we have & even more valuable also proven over AB Mathews. If we are to have any hope in next World Cup we need to give consistent oppturnity to Tisara as well as A priyanjan. To strengthen middle order.

  • on August 30, 2014, 23:24 GMT

    Thisara has stood out for a long time as an all rounder with unique power. How we wasn't an automatic selection shows-up the incompetence of the selectors. It shouldn't be rocket science to accurately pick your best 11 for any Test, ODI or T20 match.

  • MH19 on September 2, 2014, 3:22 GMT

    Thisara Perera is the best all rounder we have next to Mathews and i always felt Thisara was a must for 50 overs and also for test matches in countries like Australia/NZ/ ENG/SA. Also Chandimal is a must in the line up if we are to have any hopes in the WORLD CUP Dilshan/Perera/Sanga/Mahela/Chandimal/Mathews/Thisara/Malinga/(Herath/Senanayake/randiv/prassana)Kule and then we should have back ups such as Thirimanne/Prasad/I forget the batsman who had a night out recently should be in the squad for world cup. We have nothing to worry as long as Sanath is the Chief Selector as he will select the best squad and SL record in Australia in one dayers are the best especaillt MCG/SCG/Adelaide

  • on September 1, 2014, 3:45 GMT

    thisara is very dangerous batsman most of the time he comes to situation where he need to hit from the first ball. I saw 2 innings in this year . One against Bangladesh where sri lanka 70 for 8 wickets . He played sensibly then started to wack the spinners in the end took the total upto 180 and literally sri lanka won the match . similar against Pakistan he took time to get settle along with angelo then saw the moment to wack the ball. that's where he is more affective . probably he need to see the Ball for 3 overs once he got hold its hard to stop . because if he lift the ball most of the time it's out the ground just because he uses loads of power behind the shot. I have observed many times his single handed six .. that shows the iron man power and he is tall big in size all are advantages for him just need mind set to play sensible and then look for heap. He can make loads of difference in this world cup for sri lanka . specially with bat. bowling he still need to work it out

  • on August 31, 2014, 18:38 GMT

    Well Done Sri Lankan's and good luck for the next world cup

  • CricketChat on August 31, 2014, 16:17 GMT

    Thisara should be managed carefully by the captain to be effective in the ODIs. Having watched him closely since he made international debut, I feel he is not an everyday player who is capable of consistency. He is either a hit or miss type of player much like Kapil Dev of Ind used to be in the past. Don't let him think too much. Send him with less than 10 overs if batting first and between overs 15-20, if chasing, to up the run rate with instructions to go after the bowling. If the plan comes off, he will win games most of the time with his bat. As a bowler, should be used in the 20 - 40/42 over period when consolidation is in effect. He is more of a restrictive type of bowler, not a strike bowler, this series being an exception.

  • Mutukisna on August 31, 2014, 8:38 GMT

    Good article Andrew, rightfully dedicated to highlighting and promoting Thisara Perera's case for hopefully automatic selection - the others being Matthews, Sanga, Mahela, Malinga and Dilshan. SLC need to work to add one other to this list of automatic selections by having Senanayke's bowling action sorted out and cleared for participation in the World Cup well before the start. This should make up the nucleus of seven players, the other four being rotated on pitch and match conditions and additionally, the opponents on the day. It's looking good, I add, guardedly!

  • Sexysteven on August 31, 2014, 3:44 GMT

    Sri Lanka I can't see doing to well at the World Cup cos they are a ageing team the seniors are past there best almost and there's no younger players being brought just a lot of journeyman players like thirimanne n tharanga I can't them doing to much for Sri Lanka I'm sure there is talent in Sri Lanka but the selectors are not picking them for some reason we all love the Sri Lankans just wish they blood some younger players just to see if there's any more Mahela n sanga type players are out there cos it won't be long before Angelo is the only class player in the Sri Lankan team my advice would be get some young players in so when the seniors go there will be some decent support for Angelo if they don't there team will look brittle for awhile when they are forced to rebuild and it will be harder if they have to do that it that way

  • SLCricketFan-72 on August 31, 2014, 2:28 GMT

    Congratulations to SL.! Mathew's leadership is phenomenal..!! If we had the same playing XI for the SA ODI series, certainly we would have won it. Right combination of players is a must to win matches frequently!

    Thisara's capabilities as a seam bowler & a hard hitting batsmen were on display yet again! He is a REAL "master-blaster" who can whack the ball hard to all corners of the park... ! Unlike some miserably failed fake blasters, Thisara can make hefty blows facing pace & spin equally well.. in any condition on any deck! He is pretty consistent & won many matches for SL!

    He is a TRUE IMPACT-PLAYER, who deliver goods not hype..! Could be even promoted to the top, if EVER NEEDED such a short-term blast at the top!

  • on August 31, 2014, 2:24 GMT

    Pak worldcup preparation is badly hurt needs to boost and play to wi the cup needs to make a captain to win the worldcup

  • shanepe2003 on August 31, 2014, 1:20 GMT

    As a finisher T perera is the best option we have & even more valuable also proven over AB Mathews. If we are to have any hope in next World Cup we need to give consistent oppturnity to Tisara as well as A priyanjan. To strengthen middle order.

  • on August 30, 2014, 23:24 GMT

    Thisara has stood out for a long time as an all rounder with unique power. How we wasn't an automatic selection shows-up the incompetence of the selectors. It shouldn't be rocket science to accurately pick your best 11 for any Test, ODI or T20 match.

  • on August 30, 2014, 22:12 GMT

    Thisara is an awesome ODI and T20 Player! Has been for a while now, I'm happy to hear that he's going to be an integral part of the World Cup Squad. Players who can score a burst of runs at the top or lower middle like the Pereras (Kusal, Thisara), Mathews and even Priyanjan will be vital ...

    I'm liking the look of the team for the battle Down Under. Now here's hoping that Eranga is fit, Malinga fires, Prasad is selected over Kula and that either Chandi or Thirimanne hit form in NZ or at home.

  • on August 30, 2014, 21:38 GMT

    Andrew. .....

    it was a nice report that u have given about Thisara Perea's performance.

    Good to see SL doing well now.

    But..... After World Cup- Australia what will happen...?

    in 1999 World cup in England....I can recall my memory about that humiliating loss at the very first match against England....that we all understood our SL team players were aging.

    Mahanama, Arjuna, Aravinda, Hashan, Gurusinghe were to take retirements.

    same here in 2015.

    Mahela, Sanga, Dilshan, Herath and Upul Tharanga going to leave soon.

    Do we have players to fill those huge gaps?

    It's very unlikely we can have players like Sanga and Mahela very soon.

    SL schools have the best foundation to produce future generation of National Level Cricketers.

    But do the SLC care?

    Many good players like Thisara are still in school level teams. We have to bring them out and polish those great gems for the future of SL National Team.

    By the way Andrew...u didn't explain the happy crowd at Dambulla. Thanks

  • KingOwl on August 30, 2014, 21:37 GMT

    It was clear that Thisara was getting a lot of flab around the waistline a few months ago. He needs to be lean and muscular as a fast bowling all rounder. But as I said on another page, I fear that many of our players are putting on weight - Malinga, Herath and a few others. That is not a great sign. They need to be like super athletes in terms of fitness. They should go for a low/no carb diet, just like American elite sportsmen do.

  • on August 30, 2014, 20:36 GMT

    Wel done! Plz get the correct combination for the world cup. 1.Kusal 2.Dilshan 3.Sanga 4.Mahela 5.Mathews 6.Tharang/ Chandi/ Thiri/ Priyanjan 7.Thisara 8.Prasad/ Kule 9.Sachi/ Herath/ Prasanna 10.Mali 11.Lakmal/ Eranga (select one player from a specific number when there are alternatives for a place) more importantly Kusal should be in. specially as far as a big tournament is concerned. We evereone saw what happened when he smashed stayn eventhough he didnt get a big score. you all know the value of getting quick runs within first ten overs. it ll do lots of things, ease the pressure of sanga, help dilly to play a big innings, messup some plans of the opposition sometims evn before the game starts ( u know wht sanath did in 96) At the same time using tharanga as an opener in aus n nz is not going to work wit his outside edge prob. using him as a middle order batsman would be a better option. he wz success in it at Australia. apart from Mathews n Thisara we need 4 more bowlers too..

  • Lion_96 on August 30, 2014, 18:16 GMT

    After he played that cameo in the 2011 World Cup Final, i remember telling myself, if he and A.Mathews are firing, that middle and lower order would make our batting line up highly potent and dangerous. Sri Lanka's batting strength has always been at the top 4. From 1996, we had S.Jayasuriya, A.De Silva and A. Ranatunga etc. But we never had a L.Klusener (his performances in 1999 wc for example) type batsmen who could make a significant difference at the end of the innnings. With T.perera and a.mathews, we got a couple explosive batsmen that can fill that void for the ODI Side.

  • endianuwagona on August 30, 2014, 18:03 GMT

    It is not that Thisara has been working hard with the coaches...it is that matthews and conservative marvan insist on playing out of form vegetables like thirimanne and chandimal consistently....kulasekara too is lucky to be in the squad having done nothing....but SL mentality is to pick players on what they did 10 years ago rather than the present....so nothing changes there......

  • No featured comments at the moment.

  • endianuwagona on August 30, 2014, 18:03 GMT

    It is not that Thisara has been working hard with the coaches...it is that matthews and conservative marvan insist on playing out of form vegetables like thirimanne and chandimal consistently....kulasekara too is lucky to be in the squad having done nothing....but SL mentality is to pick players on what they did 10 years ago rather than the present....so nothing changes there......

  • Lion_96 on August 30, 2014, 18:16 GMT

    After he played that cameo in the 2011 World Cup Final, i remember telling myself, if he and A.Mathews are firing, that middle and lower order would make our batting line up highly potent and dangerous. Sri Lanka's batting strength has always been at the top 4. From 1996, we had S.Jayasuriya, A.De Silva and A. Ranatunga etc. But we never had a L.Klusener (his performances in 1999 wc for example) type batsmen who could make a significant difference at the end of the innnings. With T.perera and a.mathews, we got a couple explosive batsmen that can fill that void for the ODI Side.

  • on August 30, 2014, 20:36 GMT

    Wel done! Plz get the correct combination for the world cup. 1.Kusal 2.Dilshan 3.Sanga 4.Mahela 5.Mathews 6.Tharang/ Chandi/ Thiri/ Priyanjan 7.Thisara 8.Prasad/ Kule 9.Sachi/ Herath/ Prasanna 10.Mali 11.Lakmal/ Eranga (select one player from a specific number when there are alternatives for a place) more importantly Kusal should be in. specially as far as a big tournament is concerned. We evereone saw what happened when he smashed stayn eventhough he didnt get a big score. you all know the value of getting quick runs within first ten overs. it ll do lots of things, ease the pressure of sanga, help dilly to play a big innings, messup some plans of the opposition sometims evn before the game starts ( u know wht sanath did in 96) At the same time using tharanga as an opener in aus n nz is not going to work wit his outside edge prob. using him as a middle order batsman would be a better option. he wz success in it at Australia. apart from Mathews n Thisara we need 4 more bowlers too..

  • KingOwl on August 30, 2014, 21:37 GMT

    It was clear that Thisara was getting a lot of flab around the waistline a few months ago. He needs to be lean and muscular as a fast bowling all rounder. But as I said on another page, I fear that many of our players are putting on weight - Malinga, Herath and a few others. That is not a great sign. They need to be like super athletes in terms of fitness. They should go for a low/no carb diet, just like American elite sportsmen do.

  • on August 30, 2014, 21:38 GMT

    Andrew. .....

    it was a nice report that u have given about Thisara Perea's performance.

    Good to see SL doing well now.

    But..... After World Cup- Australia what will happen...?

    in 1999 World cup in England....I can recall my memory about that humiliating loss at the very first match against England....that we all understood our SL team players were aging.

    Mahanama, Arjuna, Aravinda, Hashan, Gurusinghe were to take retirements.

    same here in 2015.

    Mahela, Sanga, Dilshan, Herath and Upul Tharanga going to leave soon.

    Do we have players to fill those huge gaps?

    It's very unlikely we can have players like Sanga and Mahela very soon.

    SL schools have the best foundation to produce future generation of National Level Cricketers.

    But do the SLC care?

    Many good players like Thisara are still in school level teams. We have to bring them out and polish those great gems for the future of SL National Team.

    By the way Andrew...u didn't explain the happy crowd at Dambulla. Thanks

  • on August 30, 2014, 22:12 GMT

    Thisara is an awesome ODI and T20 Player! Has been for a while now, I'm happy to hear that he's going to be an integral part of the World Cup Squad. Players who can score a burst of runs at the top or lower middle like the Pereras (Kusal, Thisara), Mathews and even Priyanjan will be vital ...

    I'm liking the look of the team for the battle Down Under. Now here's hoping that Eranga is fit, Malinga fires, Prasad is selected over Kula and that either Chandi or Thirimanne hit form in NZ or at home.

  • on August 30, 2014, 23:24 GMT

    Thisara has stood out for a long time as an all rounder with unique power. How we wasn't an automatic selection shows-up the incompetence of the selectors. It shouldn't be rocket science to accurately pick your best 11 for any Test, ODI or T20 match.

  • shanepe2003 on August 31, 2014, 1:20 GMT

    As a finisher T perera is the best option we have & even more valuable also proven over AB Mathews. If we are to have any hope in next World Cup we need to give consistent oppturnity to Tisara as well as A priyanjan. To strengthen middle order.

  • on August 31, 2014, 2:24 GMT

    Pak worldcup preparation is badly hurt needs to boost and play to wi the cup needs to make a captain to win the worldcup

  • SLCricketFan-72 on August 31, 2014, 2:28 GMT

    Congratulations to SL.! Mathew's leadership is phenomenal..!! If we had the same playing XI for the SA ODI series, certainly we would have won it. Right combination of players is a must to win matches frequently!

    Thisara's capabilities as a seam bowler & a hard hitting batsmen were on display yet again! He is a REAL "master-blaster" who can whack the ball hard to all corners of the park... ! Unlike some miserably failed fake blasters, Thisara can make hefty blows facing pace & spin equally well.. in any condition on any deck! He is pretty consistent & won many matches for SL!

    He is a TRUE IMPACT-PLAYER, who deliver goods not hype..! Could be even promoted to the top, if EVER NEEDED such a short-term blast at the top!