Home > News >

Angelo Mathews backs Lahiru Thirimanne, Dinesh Chandimal to become Sri Lanka’s batting mainstays in future

Lahiru Thirimanne scored a splendid century to lead Sri Lanka to win in the Asia Cup 2014 final © AFP
Lahiru Thirimanne scored a splendid century to lead Sri Lanka to win in the Asia Cup 2014 final © AFP

By Tapan Mohanta

 

Mirpur: Mar 9, 2014

Heaping praise on Lahiru Thirimanne for his match-winning hundred against Pakistan in the Asia Cup final, Sri Lanka captain Angelo Mathews said the youngster is shaping up to be the perfect replacement for veteran Kumar Sangakkara once he calls it a day.

“You push him up the order or down, he’s one of those players who scores runs wherever he gets an opportunity. He is a great find for us,” Mathews said of Thirimanne who scored 101 in their clinical five-wicket win over Pakistan to seal the Asia Cup title.

“After Sangakkara and Mahela [Jayawardene] retire, Thirimanne and [Dinesh] Chandimal are the ones who are going to take up their roles. It’s not easy to fill their shoes. But the way they are performing right now, I’m pretty sure that they will take the responsibilities.

“He [Thirimanne] has been amazing for us. He got injured in the last series unfortunately. He still had a little bit of niggle in last two innings while he batted. He was very courageous to come out and play,” added Mathews.

Thirimanne got the opener’s role after Tillakaratne Dilshan pulled out because of a finger injury during their series against Bangladesh here and Mathews said the left-hander could score runs at any spot.

“We have to see how it goes. He got to open the innings because Dilshan got injured in the Bangladesh series. As I’ve said, you give him the opportunity he will score runs for us.

We still have not thought where he’s going to bat but definitely he’s been a find for us in this tournament.”

Mathews also hailed Lasith Malinga whose 5/56 set up the win as Pakistan were restricted to 260/5. Mathews said it was a masterstroke to save the searing pacer for the summit clash.

“We saved him for the final… He was rested for the game against Bangladesh. It’s not easy to play consistently. The fast bowlers tire out so much and we don’t have enough rest days in between.

“You have to manage their workload. He got a five-for in the first match and also today. He’s performing for us for so many years. I am very pleased the way he bowled today.”

Hailing the whole side, Mathews said it was sheer hard work and not just their long stint in Bangladesh that made it possible.

“Just because we stayed here for a longer period here does not mean that we should automatically win. It’s the hard work that has paid off. It gave us the edge but I think we still had to perform really well to beat the other teams,” he said.

Sri Lanka had landed here much before any other team as they had to play a bilateral series against Bangladesh in January.

“Overall we had to play good cricket. India, Pakistan, Bangladesh and even Afghanistan are all dangerous teams,” Mathews said.

“We had not won a major trophy in quite a while. So the boys were eager to go out there and perform. We’re glad to break the barrier between Sri Lanka and the finals. I’m really happy. The credit goes to the whole team, the support staff and also the selectors for having faith in us. They were superb. We still remain unbeaten after six weeks in Bangladesh,” he said.

“We have always been a team who never give up. We keep fighting till the last ball. We have showed that a few times.

I’m glad the fighting spirit was there. It was a big game for us and the boys really wanted to win.”

Mystery spinner Ajantha Mendis was left out for the big match and Mathews said it was a tough decision but Sachithra Senanayake did well.

“The wicket was very good. It played well. It didn’t spin that much so went with that extra seamer. The wicket did not look slow initially. So we played an extra seamer. It was a very good wicket overall,” he said.

“It was a tough decision for us. He’s been performing brilliantly for us. All the bowlers played their part in the last game. Even though he ended up wicketless in last games, he bowled 10 overs.

“It was a brave decision. We thought those were the changes we had to make. You need make those tough decision. We made it and it has come out good for us.”

Zimbabwe Triangular Series, 2014

Aug 29, 2014 (13:00 IST)   at Harare

India tour of England 2014

Aug 30, 2014 (15:00 IST)   at Nottingham

Pakistan tour of Sri Lanka, 2014

Aug 30, 2014 (10:00 IST)   at Dambulla

Zimbabwe Triangular Series, 2014

Aug 31, 2014 (13:00 IST)   at Harare

India tour of England 2014

Sep 2, 2014 (15:00 IST)   at Birmingham

More

Zimbabwe Triangular Series, 2014

Aug 27, 2014  at Harare

South Africa won by 7 wkts

Bangladesh Tour of West Indies, 2014

Aug 27, 2014  at Basseterre, St Kitts

No result

India tour of England 2014

Aug 27, 2014  at Cardiff

India won by 133 runs

Pakistan tour of Sri Lanka, 2014

Aug 26, 2014  at Hambantota

Sri Lanka won by 77 runs

Zimbabwe Triangular Series, 2014

Aug 25, 2014  at Harare

Australia won by 198 runs

Photos

Don Bradman's ducks

Videos

Mitchell Marsh: This is a big opportunity for me

India vs England Live Cricket Score 2nd ODI at Cardiff: India win by 113 runs by D/L method

Australia vs South Africa Live Cricket Score, Zimbabwe Tri Series 2014 Match 2 at Harare: South Africa win by 7 wickets

Don Bradman and his ducks

India vs England ODI series 2014: Why an Indian win will be surprising

MS Dhoni taking on England in England and BCCI at home!

Australia Australia and South Africa in Zimbabwe 2014 England England vs India England vs India 2014 India India tour of England 2014 India vs England India vs England 2014 Pakistan Pakistan vs Sri Lanka Pakistan vs Sri Lanka 2014 South Africa Sri Lanka Sri Lanka vs Pakistan 2014 Zimbabwe Zimbabwe Triangular Series 2014

Adam Gilchrist ‘apologises’ to Glenn McGrath on Twitter

PCB to discuss ways to help bowlers with suspect action

Michael Hussey calls for stringent measures to prevent illegal bowling actions

Alastair Cook urges England to improve after 133-run defeat against India in 2nd ODI

MS Dhoni heaps praise on Suresh Raina for match-winning knock

Ice Bucket Challenge inspires Shane Warne, Andrew Symonds and Salman Butt to come up with innovative ideas!

West Indies vs Bangladesh, only T20I at Basseterre Preview: Hosts will look to maintain clean slate

10 little known facts about Lasith Malinga

AB de Villiers’ ton for South Africa against Australia in Zimbabwe Triangular series 2014 another testament to his place as a modern great

Zimbabwe Triangular Series 2014: Australia vs South Africa, 2nd ODI at Harare Highlights

Fan of the Day

Niharika Shah

Niharika Shah

664 Posts | 6 Fans

Funny cricket video

Yemeni troops kill three Al Qaeda gunmen

Akhilesh Yadav gives green signal to build 100-room UP Bhawan in Noida

What is a yeast infection?

How to have sex after having a baby

Emraan Hashmi: Alia Bhatt shouldn’t be called the serial kisser!

NASA developing robot troops to explore alien worlds

Government launches .bharat domain name

Hrithik Roshan-Katrina Kaif’s Tu Meri, Salman Khan’s Yaar Na Miley are a hit this week!

Also on cricketcountry.com

Play Fantasy Cricket & Win

Cash Daily! Click here