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Sri Lanka in ICC Cricket World Cup 2015: Marks out of 10

By Nikhil Popat | Published:Mon, March 23, 2015 6:53pm

Here is a closer look at the performance of Sri Lanka in this ICC Cricket World Cup 2015.

Despite being troubled by injuries throughout the ICC Cricket World Cup 2015, Sri Lanka, expectedly made their way to the quarter-final stage.. Their campaign though was not that smooth, Nikhil Popat digs deeper and evaluates their performance in the mega event.

Last tournament for Mahela Jayawardene and Kumar Sangakkara, a strong One Day International (ODI) unit coming off few impressive series wins but things did not quite fall in place for them in the ICC Cricket World Cup 2015. They were dicey to start, dangerous in the middle but fell apart in the quarter-final and both the legends had to bow out after an embarrassing display with the bat. Sri Lanka had a lot to deal with though, their bowling remained their weakness but Sangakkara reached new levels of excellence, bar the last game.

Let’s us have a closer look at the performance of the squad in this ICC Cricket World Cup 2015.

Kumar Sangakkara (9/10): Any player would take this: End the tournament being the highest scorer,  and smash a record four hundreds in four games. Kumar Sangakkara, the classy southpaw from Sri Lanka perhaps was at his best towards the fag end of his ODI career. The entire world was left wondering why was this man retiring as he was batting like a man on the mission to win the World Cup all by himself, but one man cannot win you a trophy and it showed on him and his team. He had a quiet start to the tournament, scoring 39 and seven against the Kiwis and the Afghans but little did the world know what was coming. Top 10 batsmen in ICC Cricket World Cup 2015

105 not out , 117 not out, 104, 124! Four magnificent tons in four games! His 105 not out was a masterclass giving company to Tillakaratne Dilshan who scored 161 not out in the match against Bangladesh.  His knock of 117 not out decimated Englandinto submission as Lanka won chasing a target of 310 with nine wickets in hand. Australia set them a target of 377 and Sangakkara responded with a brutal 104. He was fearless in his approach and when he scored 124 runs against Scotland to bring up his fourth hundred, people were left wondering, why on earth was this man retiring? Top 10 fielders in ICC Cricket World Cup 2015

The answer awaited them in the final game, his knock of 45 came was paced at a strike rate of 46.87 which also was upped by a late few boundaries. The new ball attack from South Africa made him go into a shell as he could just not score. Sangakkara was trying to bat through but none of the batsmen at the other end were ready to apply themselves at the crease. They lost the game by nine wickets and Sangakkara had played probably a knock he would never want people to remember him.. Top 10 wicketkeepers in ICC Cricket World Cup 2015

Tillakaratne Dilshan (8/10): Tillakaratne Dilshan along with Kumar Sangakkara was the top performer for Sri Lanka in the ICC Cricket World Cup. Dilshan, like Sangakkara, started with a couple of low scores but his 161 not out against Bangladesh set the tone for him. The 44 against England was followed by a fiery 62 against Australia. The over in which he hit Mitchell Johnson for six fours in a row is probably going to be etched in memories of fans all over the world.  He backed it with a 104 against Scotland but the leveller that the game of cricket is; he was out on a duck in the game that mattered the most, the quarter-final against South Africa. He was handy with the ball too and was also adjudged the Man of the Match in the game against Bangladesh where he chipped in with 2/35. Dilshan, though, will give all of that for his team to go through to the semi-final but that was not to be, and he too might have just played the final World Cup of his.

Lahiru Thirimanne: (6/10): Lahiru Thirimanne was one of the few bunch of players for Sri Lanka who played all the games. He had a pretty good run, starting with a decent 65 against the Kiwis, he came back well after a duck against Afghanistan to score an impressive fifty against Bangladesh. His best knock though was when he and Sangakkara mauled England to all parts of the ground chasing 310; he saw his team through staying unbeaten on 139. A couple of low scores followed and the move to play him down the order did not work in the quarter-final for his team and despite his enterprising 41 against South Africa, they lost the match by a huge margin.

Lasith Malinga (6/10): Lasith Malinga did pick up 12 wickets in the tournament at a decent average of 29.50 but he was far off from his best. Malinga was hit for 84 runs in the first game by the Kiwis but he came back well to pick up 3/41 and 3/35 against Afghanistan and Bangladesh respectively. He picked up 2/59 against Australia but he did not get enough support from the other end. Against Scotland, he took 2/29 and in the quarter-final he was the lone man to take a wicket as South Africa cantered to a win with nine wickets in hand. Who knows, had he got a little more support, he may have done more.

Angelo Mathews (4/10): Angelo Mathews was a real disappointment this ICC Cricket World Cup 2015. One also gets the feeling that might not have been fit enough to lead the team and that showed in his performance —  just six wickets in seven games. He scored 195 runs in gfive innings with a highest score of 51, which too came against a hapless Scotland attack. Yes, he had a lot on his plate with the plethora of injuries but he failed with the bat and the ball at crunch times and that cost his team big.

Mahela Jayawardene (4/10): Class, elegance, serenity is all that you associate with Mahela Jayawardene, but none of that was on show in this World Cup for him. Apart from the 100 which helped his team win the game against Afghanistan, he had a highest score of just 19 in the remaining four games and to say he failed miserably is an understatement. Billed as a big match player, in the quarter-final against South Africa, when he joined Sangakkara at the crease, it looked like we may see both of them stitch one more resurrecting stand for their team, but it didn’t happen. Imran Tahir was too much for him and he was caught at short midwicket, and it turned out to be the last time we saw Jayawardene play this lovely game of cricket.

Thisara Perera (2.5/10): Thisara Perera made an impact in the very first game that he played in this World Cup, it was his 26-ball 47 not out that won them the game against Afghanistan. But what followed was not surprising as he did go past single figures in his next three knocks. He has often been guilty of going too hard at the bowling too early and it was seen in this tournament as well. With the ball, he picked up just six wickets in six games at an average of 46.66. Lots of potential but very little performance, yet again from the Lankan all-rounder.

Suranga Lakmal (2/10): Sri Lanka often struggled to take wickets in this ICC Cricket World Cup 2015, Suranga Lakmal played four games for them, picking up seven wickets at an average of 31.14. He, though, was expensive which reflects in his economy of 6.11. Lakmal did not even bowl his final quota of overs in his last game, against England, as he had bowled two beamers and was taken out of the attack. Lakmal was not picked after that.

Dushmantha Chameera (2/10): Playing his first game in the World Cup, against Scotland, he picked up 3/51 as Sri Lanka were clinical with the ball. But in the quarter-finals, he had little success as they never had enough on the board. He bowls at a good pace and has shown a lot of promise, he was the replacement for Dhammika Prasad.

Rangana Herath (2/10): Rangana Herath was economical for Sri Lanka throughout the ICC Cricket World Cup 2015 till he got injured in the game against England, when Jos Buttler hit one very hard back to him and he had to return home. Herath bowled economic spells throughout but picked up just three wickets in four games. Top 10 bowlers in ICC Cricket World Cup 2015

Dinesh Chandimal (2/10): Chandimal played just the three games in the World Cup, twice his services weren’t required as Dilshan and Sangakkara were doing the bulk of the scoring. When needed though, he did step up in the game against Australia. Chasing 377, Sri Lanka were always in the hunt thanks to Sangakkara’s ton but once he fell, it was Chandimal who kept them in the game, he scored a superb 24-ball 52 not out but suffered from a hamstring injury and had to go off and was ruled out of the rest of the tournament. Had he stayed on, who knows what would have happened.

Nuwan Kulasekara (2/10): Kulasekara played the opening game against New Zealand but was very expensive, conceding 78 runs in his eight overs, picking up Anderson of the last ball of the game. He was then picked only in the final pool game for his team against Scotland; there he had good success taking 3/20 in his seven overs.  Kulasekara played the quarter-finals but they never had a chance to even think of defending a score of 133.

Jeevan Mendis (1/10): Jeevan Mendis played just the two games in this ICC Cricket World Cup 2015 before an inner hamstring muscle injury at training ruled him out of the tournament. His only contribution was when he took 2/5 in the opening game of the World Cup. His drop catch of Corey Anderson in that very game, did not help him and his team either. Mendis failed against Afghanistan and did not take any further part in the tournament.

Kusal Perera (1/10): Coming in as a replacement for Dinesh Chandimal, he was roped in for the last two games of the World Cup. He scored 24 against Scotland but failed to convert yet another start. He was asked to open in the quarter-final against South Africa but could only score three runs.

Dimuth Karunaratne (0.5/10): Dimuth Karunaratne featured in four games this World Cup for Sri Lanka but after his knocks of 14 and 23 he was not needed to bat in the games against England and Bangladesh. He was the fourth wicket to fall in the chase against Afghanistan and it was a relatively poor shot to play given the circumstances. Karunaratne was hit on his finger in training after the game against England and the injury ruled him out.

Sachithra Senanayake (0.5/10): Coming back with a remodelled action, a lot was expected from him but he played just the one game against Australia and was hit all over the park, conceding 59 runs in nine overs.

Seekuge Prasanna (0.5/10): Flown in as cover for Rangana Herath, Seekuge Prasanna got a couple of chances in this World Cup to show his skills but he failed miserably, leaking over 50 runs in both the games taking just the one wicket of Aaron Finch in the match versus Australia.

Tharindu Kaushal (1/10): The poor chap made his ODI debut in the quarter-finals of this World Cup, being the first player to make his ODI debut in a World Cup knock-out game but he had a game to forget. He was the third scalp when JP Duminy took a hat-trick. He bowled a few decent overs and had figures of 6-0-25-0.

Upul Tharanga (0.5/10): Upul Tharanga was the replacement for Jeevan Mendis, he though played only one game, the one against Australia but failed to make any impact, scoring just four.

Dhammika Prasad: Injured: The fast bowler from Sri Lanka suffered from a fractured hand at training just two days prior to Sri Lanka’s first game warm-up game of the World Cup started and was ruled out of the game. ICC Cricket World Cup 2015: Complete Coverage

(Nikhil Popat is a cricket lover and a PotterHead, who loves to be himself. He can be followed on Twitter @CricCrazyNIKS)

Published:Mon, March 23, 2015 6:53pm

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