Cricket News By TODAYLIVESCORE.INFO - How Asalanka kept the tempo of the game is unbelievable: Rajapaksa. Bhanuka Rajapaksa and Charith Asalanka put on a match-winning stand of 86
Bhanuka Rajapaksa and Charith Asalanka put on a match-winning stand of 86
Three of Sri Lanka's four games in this T20 WC have been won chasing. The only game they won defending was in their 70-run win against Ireland, but in their first Super 12 game, they opted to chase once again against Bangladesh. When asked if it's going to be Sri Lanka's strategy going forward, Bhanuka Rajapaksa, who starred with a 31-ball 53 in a match-winning stand of 86 with Charith Asalanka said they will be fluid.
“I think it depends solely on conditions because one reason I think we wanted to bowl first is that we have a really versatile fast bowling attack. And it's just, you know, the day was good for us against Bangladesh today because the wicket was much better than we expected. Usually, Sharjah wicket tends to help the fast bowlers. Going forward, I think we'll be changing, adapting to the wicket and it's just a strategy that we used today.”
Asalanka was playing only his fifth T20I and his second at No.3 after having replaced Dinesh Chandimal at the all-important spot. He was aggressive from the onset and after Kusal Perera fell just four balls into the innings, he not just stabilised, but revived Sri Lanka's chase, finishing with the highest individual score this tournament so far.
“The result is phenomenal because of the way Charith handled the situation and how he kept the tempo of the game is unbelievable. It's not easy playing a No. 3 when we've been struggling to find a proper No. 3 batsman. I've myself batted No. 3. It's not an easy position to keep on because you need to play with the scoreboard mostly. After losing KJP, we lost a crucial wicket in the first over… chasing 170-odd runs and having lost KJP in the first two, I think Charith did a phenomenal job. It's just amazing how we kept on scoring and the intent was very positive. I think he has a bright future for Sri Lanka and I hope he will be performing like this throughout the tournament.”
Head coach Mickey Arthur before the tournament had begun had stressed upon how Sri Lanka's inexperience can be the key to their success with the youngsters playing with fearlessness. Rajapaksa, however, said that the reason for Sri Lanka's complete team effort has been believing in each other.
“I think when we approach or when we play the first round games, we were underdogs before we entered the Super 12. It's such a relief that we don't have to worry too much because of course expectations, 22 million people are hoping that we will be bringing the Cup back home and the inexperience I would say, no, we have a couple of experienced guys who have had played games at the international level.
“At the same time what we have started doing is we have started believing in each other and we have started speaking to each other. We believe in all the boys. It could be top-order batsman, middle-order batsman, or even the bowlers; it's just a complete team effort. That's how we've been consistent throughout the eight games.”