New Zealand v Sri Lanka, World T20, Group 1, Chittagong

No excuses for Sri Lanka - Malinga

Sa'adi Thawfeeq

March 30, 2014

Comments: 50 | Text size: A | A

Lasith Malinga struck thrice in his first spell, Pakistan v Sri Lanka, Asia Cup final, Mirpur, March 8, 2014
Lasith Malinga insists he is not feeling an extra pressure as captain © AFP
Related Links

A spot in the semi-finals of the World T20 could well be heavily weighted on the toss of a coin when Sri Lanka take on New Zealand for one remaining spot in Group 1, but stand-in captain Lasith Malinga will refuse to use a wet ball and damp outfield as an excuse and believes his side are better prepared after coming unstuck against England.

Sri Lanka could not defend 189 as Alex Hales clubbed an unbeaten 116, the expensive performance of Ajantha Mendis, who conceded 52 off his four overs, proving especially telling and the spinner may pay the price for the crunch game. Malinga was also less effective than is so often the case, going wicketless and at almost eight an over during his four overs.

"When we play night games we must know to use those conditions. We can't give excuses against a wet ball and things like that. That's my feeling as a bowler," he said. "In the bowling sometimes we are on top but in the last few overs against England we didn't do very well."

"Now it's in the past and we are looking forward to the next match. We had a good training session yesterday and today and we know how to adjust to situations like dew and when the ball becomes slippery. We are all prepared."

Malinga, the team's T20 vice-captain since October 2012, said that he was under no extra pressure leading his country for the first time even though so much was at stake. He has been forced into this position after Dinesh Chandimal was suspended for one match for his team being penalised twice for slow over rate within a 12-month period.

"It's a good feeling to captain my country for the first time. I really like to get challenged in my bowling or in my career," he said. "This is a good opportunity for me. The other thing this is it is a crucial game and I am not thinking too much about the captaincy but to just to give 100% and win the match tomorrow.

"I have a lot of good support from some experienced T20 captains in the side like Mahela, Kumar , Dilshan and Angelo . As captain I want every single player to prove his skills in tomorrow's game."

Sri Lanka and New Zealand have met each other on 12 occasions and are tied at five wins apiece, with Sri Lanka having won the last two meetings. The teams also have the experience of a Super Over when the World T20 match at Pallekele in 2012 ended in a tie.

"We have no choice but to win the match if we want to get qualified for the semi-finals. However, as a team, we're in very good shape, I mean mentally. If you look at the last few games that we played, we've played well to win them," Malinga said.

"In our recent tournaments, we've always won the crucial match and came into the finals. We handled that pressure well.

With England playing Netherlands in the first match of the day, Malinga said that his team will follow closely that game to see how the pitch behaves before deciding on their final eleven. Batsman Lahiru Thirimanne is expected to replace Chandimal, but the bowling remains unclear with either Rangana Herath or Seekkhuge Prasanna in line to replace the struggling Mendis.

RSS Feeds: Sa'adi Thawfeeq

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

Posted by LALITHKURUWITA on (March 31, 2014, 16:35 GMT)

It is massacre. SL scored only 119 and NZ is bowled out for 60. Eng, NZ and Aus are out. All have fallen to spin. It is proved again that without good spinners you cannot win in Asia. I am looking forward to see ODI world cup in NZ/Aus. Can Asian teams perform with spinners or not?. I think Pak will win the last game to meet SL in Semis. It will be good night for SA in semis against Ind.

Posted by navinrajpal on (March 31, 2014, 15:46 GMT)

As an Indian Fan I am rooting for Lankans. Any ICC event hosted in Asia SHOULD be won by Asian Teams. We Asian Teams (India, Pakistan, Sri-Lanka, Bangladesh, Afghanistan) should support each other. We should celebrate each others' successes overseas. At the same time we should maintain our dominance in our conditions. This is critical to gain respect from Non-Asian Cricketing world. In spite of superior performances by Kohlis, Dhawans, Dilshans, Sangakarra, Mahela, Malinga, Misbah, Ajmal & others from SL, we are labelled as Flat Track Bullies. This perception has to change. A Subcontinental Tour (India, SL, Bangladesh, UAE, etc) should be an absolute test of character for Teams outside Asia.

Posted by akramk on (March 31, 2014, 15:34 GMT)

SL simply didn't deserve winning the Asia Cup. It was by sheer luck that they scraped past pakistan. This time they are in for a beating. Its going to hurt that a supposed Rank-1 team will leave the competition at group stage. This clearly shows that stage managing which opponents you play and where you play them might push you up the rankings, but certainly will crash you back to where you belong in ICC events such as this.

Forget about this single match, there are actually deeper problems with SL. The selectors have no replacements to the outgoing old men (no matter how mediocre they are, there are no youngsters that I can see who can replace them) and its gonna be another painful decade for SL.

Posted by ArvindKejriwal_mfpatel810rediff on (March 31, 2014, 14:39 GMT)

Boult has hit a thunderbolt and the evergreen bridesmaid SL wont be even making SF this time. Look at positive. Another beating from India will be spared

Posted by ArvindKejriwal_mfpatel810rediff on (March 31, 2014, 13:04 GMT)

Corey anderson and KS Williamson will defeat SL easily with a 50 each

Posted by android_user on (March 31, 2014, 11:39 GMT)

i like sri lanka win this kind of situation to qualify for the other round, rather than going through ti other stage just like that

Posted by android_user on (March 31, 2014, 11:37 GMT)

sri lanka shud have been clear semi finalists, they put themselves in this situation.i like sri lanka win this kind of crunch games to qualify, rather than just going through

Posted by chapathishot on (March 31, 2014, 10:48 GMT)

On a serious note,Srilanka has a comfort zone ,ie they have some regular methods when they bowl and bat and if the opposition makes them do something different they are at sea.That is the reason why they have a habit of losing the finals.Srilankan Fans also acknowledge the fact that Kiwis were always a tough team for Srilanka in T20 and even at home is last WT20 they SL won in super over

Posted by   on (March 31, 2014, 9:52 GMT)

If Malinga goes for runs then it will be difficult for SL. Senanayake is only the other bowler who has been bowling well.

Posted by Bunswalla on (March 31, 2014, 9:48 GMT)

Well other than purely in passing, nobody has yet mentioned the New Zealand team. We have genuine world-class bowlers, batters and fieldsmen. We just spanked India a short time ago and if we bowl first we must be a big chance in this game. Go Black Caps!

Posted by Snambidi on (March 31, 2014, 9:36 GMT)

In my postings at 8-38 GMT ,there are some unintentional errors perhaps due to the errors played by iPad,.these may kindly be read correctly according to the context.Some letters are missing from the typed text.for example,in the fourth line of the posted text ",psychological effect on the team" is appearing as " psychological effect on the Tea" This kind of errors which are not intentional may kindly be read correctly according to be most fitting manner. S.Nambidi

Posted by NALINWIJ on (March 31, 2014, 8:49 GMT)

Barring for a tie or washout in this match INDIA will play SA in the semi finals and the winner of NZ vs. SL[battle of overachievers] will play winner of PAK vs. W.I.[unpredictable vs. unpredictable]. DEW will blunt SL spinners and this will give SL no advantage and why could they not bring SANGA, MAHELA or ANGELO as captain. SL strength has been tight captaincy utilising unpredictable spinners which will not happen.

Posted by Snambidi on (March 31, 2014, 8:38 GMT)

It looks Malinga is the stand by captain ,chandimal having been prevented from playing. Since the absence of Chandimal could damage batting performance of Srilanka & particularly in view of the fact that Malinga is useful only in death overs ,NZ appears to have an edge to reach Semifinal. Besides just before a very crucial match the captain's detention from Playing is tendingbto have a damaging psychological effect on theTea. Thus Srilanka seems to be at the treat of elimination in the hands of NZ. Part from this ,the threatening form of MacLum& Tailor with support from Williamson& Anderson could be a reason for total disaster to Srilanka. Any how,let us see what happens today.

Posted by Rambo-123 on (March 31, 2014, 8:12 GMT)

Malinga you can do it....You are the symbol of LION!! ALL THE BEST SRILANKA!!!

Posted by Rahul_78 on (March 31, 2014, 8:07 GMT)

Lanka should go in with 3 spinners in Herath, Senanayake and Mendis. Wet ball or not taking the pace of the ball and generating whatever spin is there on these low slow wickets is the way to go against NZ batsmen. NZ has top side and some very good T20 players but if Lanka users Angelo and Thisara wisely along with spinners and take the pace of the ball then this kind of cricket in not to NZs liking who like pace and bounce in the wicket. Odds are in favor of Lanka and unless until they dont do anything spectacularly stupid they should scamper home.

Posted by Amal-Mampitiya on (March 31, 2014, 7:29 GMT)

Malinga will do a better job than Chandimal for sure

Posted by chapathishot on (March 31, 2014, 7:04 GMT)

To all Srilankan supporters ,dont count chicken unless they are hatched.So you win this match and then talk about final.I have a feeling that SL are out of this will be the last match for SL in this tournament.So bye bye and see you in next WT20

Posted by yorkslanka on (March 31, 2014, 6:52 GMT)

we should bring in Thirrimanne as replacement for Chandimal and Herath replacing Ajantha..People are talking about prassana but to me, he cant show any consistency with the bat and bats like he is playing street cricket..You simply cant do that at international level irrespective of the format. Good luck today Sri Lanka , it wont be easy as New Zealand are a very good team..

Posted by vkumar_086 on (March 31, 2014, 6:43 GMT)

@Wenura SL will lose easily as against England...Malinga is a captain...unbelievable....lose or win wont affect his he will play in IPL...honestly speaking as a cricket lover...SL team did not deserve to go semis...playing since from 3 months in BD across all formats...not even i saw a single comprehensive win by this GREAT TEAM....each and every match were last over finishes....only 5 runs win against SA, minnow bashers, lost horribly to weak T20 team...i wonder after the retire of LEGENDS...what will become to SL...never wins even in subcontinent

Posted by espncricinfomobile on (March 31, 2014, 6:22 GMT)

Today Srl Lankan team will win easily as same as they did in last warm up match against India.

Posted by android_user on (March 31, 2014, 5:47 GMT)

@shiraj ram i agree with you. but i don't think getting suranga to team is a good change. bcoz with that change lions are missing one batman. dilshan isn't in good form it is true. but any he can be again come in to the runs. we know dilshan has done well when lions are in trouble time. so i think we shoudn't missout dilshan. surang is good but i is not effective in death overs. so we can only use him in powr ply overs. if he get punish in those overs 11 lions become in to 10. so better decision is play dilshan in

Posted by   on (March 31, 2014, 5:42 GMT)

Prasad with due respect to lankan cricketers especially sanga , it will be india winning if your speculation is right

Posted by android_user on (March 31, 2014, 5:37 GMT)

@mark corry why are propose thirimanne for chandimal.sikku shoulde be. isn't the man who most suitable for that place. what are the reasons to pick thirimanne instead of sikku

Posted by DDDD... on (March 31, 2014, 5:21 GMT)

This match is for Kusal & Malinga, if they perform well SL surely win this match easily. Best of luck for both teams.

Posted by   on (March 31, 2014, 5:18 GMT)

Its gonna be a India Sri Lanka Final and this time SL is gonna win!!

Posted by   on (March 31, 2014, 5:12 GMT)

@nark Cooray - agree with most except I feel that Dilshan is no longer an asset to the team and he is woefully out of form and playing to regain his form rather than for the team - like in the England match - much rather play seeku prasanna instead of him and use him as a pinch hitter/ allrounder with Mahel and Kusal opening the batting i.e. Kusal, Mahela, seeku (pinch hitter if needed or else he can bat down the order), sanga, thirimanne, Mathews, Tissara, Nuwan , Sachithra, Herath/lakmal, Malinga

Posted by   on (March 31, 2014, 4:34 GMT)

either win or loss the toss we can win this match if we work according to the plan...The team should be 1.Kusal 2.Dilshan 3.Thirimanna 4.Mahela 5.Sangakkara 6.Mathews 7.Thisara 8.Kulasekara 9.Herath 10.Senanayaka 11.Malinga...Plan for game every 5 overs if plan A fail go to ware of Kile Mills and Southee because of their variations and swing...attack them with boundaries but not try to hit sixes...All the best for Lions!!!

Posted by android_user on (March 31, 2014, 4:14 GMT)

if lions hope to replace thirimanna for chandimal i think that can be worst desition. thirimanna is a very good batman no doubt abt that. but not for this format. becoz it is difficult to make aggressive shots fr him.

Posted by android_user on (March 31, 2014, 4:10 GMT)

sl team should change like this as my point of view kusal, dilshan, sanga, mahela, mathew, sikku, thisara, kulasekara, sachithra, rangana, malinga

Posted by   on (March 31, 2014, 4:07 GMT)

Sri Lanka should play Thirimanna and Rangana for the match against NZ in liue of Chandimal and Ajantha. Chandimal lost the game against England due to poor bowling change. I wonder why Dilshan was not given 1-2 overs in the last match when Mathews, Thisara & Ajantha were hit for runs.

Posted by   on (March 31, 2014, 3:34 GMT)

@GayanganaSL - I think the slow over rate offence needs to be repeated to get the ban - so Malinga is safe - but the issue is this is a virtual quarter final in a world cup - the added pressure of captaincy need not be put on Malinga who has to think of all other things that might affect his bowling - why burden him when we have 4 former captains (Dilshan included who I think should be dropped however)

Posted by kahvas on (March 31, 2014, 3:09 GMT)

@mirandola: SL side like Australia of 10 15 years back, hahaha good one.

Posted by Ozcricketwriter on (March 31, 2014, 1:57 GMT)

Sri Lanka huge favourites but New Zealand could cause an upset and with an upset they will qualify for the semi finals! High stakes game here. The winner of this plays the winner of the Pakistan/West Indies game in the semi finals. The loser is out! In fairness Sri Lanka should win - but who says that cricket has to be fair? If it was, Ireland would have made it to the main draw, but instead Netherlands are there. If it was fair, pre-tournament favourites Australia would have made the semi finals from group 2, instead of losing all 3 matches. If it is fair, then Sri Lanka should get there. But if the pressure of a knockout match gets to Sri Lanka, then perhaps New Zealand will make it. New Zealand are, after all, well known to be good at handling pressure. But I for one am hoping that the best team wins, and that best team is Sri Lanka.

Posted by vallavarayar on (March 31, 2014, 1:22 GMT)

Dilshan is wasting too many balls at the top. He needs to be dropped or shunted down the order a la Chandimal.

Posted by blackcapsfan3 on (March 30, 2014, 22:18 GMT)

New zealand should win this comfortabley. we showed aginst india that we can play spin in short form cricket.the only thing will be keeping out malinga. if new zealand bowl first we should win this easily.

Posted by gularan on (March 30, 2014, 21:36 GMT)

Good luck SL Play to your potential and the rest will take care of itself.Sanga should bat no6 and not 4 as generally he uses up a lot of balls to get going. He should be used as a stabilising element rather than an attacking one.Mendis is hot and cold and cannot be depended on,hence herath would be a better choice

Posted by   on (March 30, 2014, 21:02 GMT)

Gotta love this guy's attitude! Not just in this press conference but as a bowler, too. What he's said and how he looks at the game just made my day!

Being the captain might put more pressure on him and might affect his bowling (really hope it wouldn't). Though he's the captain Sanga/Mahela will probably be running the show but at the end of the day, he's the captain on paper and whatever happens, he will have to take responsibility...

Let's do this, Lions!!!

Posted by   on (March 30, 2014, 20:34 GMT)

Angelo Mathews should be captain. Poor Malinga already he is in trouble with bowling. God help Srilankan team.

Posted by neanderthal on (March 30, 2014, 18:53 GMT)

SL has been lucky in this tournament with the grouping, conditions as well as their matches. With all that going in their favour they are still struggling to qualify. Undoubtedly NZ and SA have been better performers in this group and deserve to qualify. Hoping for a NZ victory tomorrow.

Posted by android_user on (March 30, 2014, 18:46 GMT)

saga is a good captain why malinga as a captain leave hem he is a good bowler

Posted by   on (March 30, 2014, 17:24 GMT)

win or lose u have IPL to bowl . malinga has nothing to worry

Posted by mirandola on (March 30, 2014, 17:09 GMT)

Sri are in the position that Australia were in in their glory days of ten and fifteen years ago - of fielding half a dozen players with the experience and attitude of captains so the choice of who actually tosses the coin is purely ceremonial - the team captains itself. Lasith's job is simple - listen to Mahela, Sanga and Mathews - then bowl like he's never done before.

Posted by espncricinfomobile on (March 30, 2014, 16:36 GMT)

My playing 11 for tumro

Perera Dilshan Jayawardena Sanga Prasanna/ Thirimanne Mathews Thisare Kulesekara Senanayake Malinge Lakmal

Posted by   on (March 30, 2014, 16:17 GMT)

@GayanganaSL,you have to get warned twice within 12 months for a ban,so even if Mali get warned tomorrow I doubt it will matter as Chandimal will be back for the next match and after this series I think captaincy might change.Anyway good luck Mali & co. :)

Posted by   on (March 30, 2014, 16:13 GMT)

good comments from Malinga. Unlike Broad who was giving excuse for wet ball, and that was when they were bowling first.

Posted by   on (March 30, 2014, 15:34 GMT)

Chandimal is a player who didn't contribute for his team much in ODI's and T20, but in test matches he is in good touch. So such a player should not be in the side when such big tournaments, That's why he was step outside in Asia Cup finals. He is creating immense pressure for the entire team.


Since 3 ex Captains and Current ODI & Test captain in the side Sri Lanka has wast experience than other sides. So malinga has no pressure anymore. He can ges what ever the help when he needs. But he needs to focus on his balling.

Posted by android_user on (March 30, 2014, 15:06 GMT)

SL should include herath and prasanna

Posted by GayanganaSL on (March 30, 2014, 15:05 GMT)

@Laspj I too agree with your comment about the captaincy of mali is going to be valied only for the toss. But if the slow over rate is repeated again , mali can be suspended for the semis . It is better to use any other player [lahiru]as STAND IN CAPTAIN

Posted by   on (March 30, 2014, 15:00 GMT)

Win or lose, that's a fantastic attitude to have!

Posted by Lakpj on (March 30, 2014, 14:08 GMT)

Malinga will be captain only for the toss, after that everything will be controlled by Sanga, Mahela and Mathews so captain or not it will not make a big difference. Sri Lanka have beaten NZ during QF and SF like matches several times. Who ever win this match will top the group. so good luck both teams.

Comments have now been closed for this article

Email Feedback Print
Sa'adi ThawfeeqClose
Tournament Results
India v Sri Lanka at Dhaka - Apr 6, 2014
Sri Lanka won by 6 wickets (with 13 balls remaining)
India v South Africa at Dhaka - Apr 4, 2014
India won by 6 wickets (with 5 balls remaining)
Sri Lanka v West Indies at Dhaka - Apr 3, 2014
Sri Lanka won by 27 runs (D/L method)
Pakistan v West Indies at Dhaka - Apr 1, 2014
West Indies won by 84 runs
Bangladesh v Australia at Dhaka - Apr 1, 2014
Australia won by 7 wickets (with 15 balls remaining)
More results »
News | Features Last 3 days
News | Features Last 3 days