Home > News >

Sri Lanka tour of England: Lahiru Thirimanne upbeat about Test series

Lahiru-Thirimanne-of-Sri-Lanka-bats-during-the-NatWest-International-T20-match-between-England-and-Sri-Lanka-a
Lahiru Thirimanne © Getty Images

By Julian Guyer

Northampton: June 8, 2014

Sri Lanka‘s Lahiru Thirimanne was in positive mood ahead of Thursday’s first Test against England after the tourists’ warm-up match against Northamptonshire ended in a draw. Although Sri Lanka have won individual Tests in England, they’ve never won a series of more than one match.

But Thirimanne said he believed all that could change in a two-Test clash at Lord’s and Headingley, where the pitches are likely to be much different to the slow, low and spin-friendly surfaces Sri Lanka are used to in the sub-continent.

“Confidence levels are really high,” Thirimanne, captain against Northamptonshire in the absence of the rested Angelo Mathews, told reporters after Sunday’s final day of four at Northampton.

“We haven’t had much luck in the past, we want to win a Test series here so that is the main concern.”

Left-hander Thirimanne, dropped first ball, made a career-best 156 and opener Kaushal Silva 152 retired not out in an imposing first innings total of 558 for eight declared.

Northamptonshire responded with 345 all out featuring Rob Keogh’s 120. Sri Lanka, after deciding against enforcing the follow-on, were 99 for four when a draw was agreed.

Paceman Dhammika Prasad (four for 68) and off-spinner Dilruwan Perera (four for 92), both battling for a Test place, were Sri Lanka’s most successful bowlers.

The often injury-prone Prasad played the last of his 12 Tests over a year ago but Thirimanne, Sri Lanka’s tour vice-captain, indicated the lively 31-year-old seamer was in line for a return at Lord’s.

“Batters had the chance to bat through the innings and the bowlers did well, because it was not a bowling-friendly wicket,” Thirimanne said.

“Dhammika bowled really well, in good areas and with some good pace.

“We have some experienced bowlers but we don’t have that extra pace.”

Thirimanne added, “It’s really tough (in England) because this is the early summer and we haven’t had that much practice.

“We have to take 20 wickets to win matches, that’s the main thing we have to work on.”

For Northamptonshire, struggling at the foot of the First Division of the County Championship with five defeats from six matches, Keogh’s innings — the first first-class hundred by one of their batsmen this season — was especially encouraging.

The 22-year-old’s century came in only his second game back for the Midlands county since he had his finger broken by Yorkshire fast bowler Liam Plunkett, in England’s squad for Lord’s, during a pre-season match.

“It was an international attack getting ready for a Test match so it was nice (to score a hundred),” said Keogh, whose only other century at this level was the 221 he made against Hampshire last year.

Keogh added playing against the likes of Sri Lanka greats Mahela Jayawardene and Kumar Sangakkara had been a “surreal” experience.

“I watched those guys as a kid growing up. Turning round and seeing them two in the slips nodding at you is a little bit surreal, but to score runs is even better.”

Sri Lanka’s 3-2 one-day series win over England ended in acrimony after Sachithra Senanayake ran out Jos Buttler when the non-striker backed up too far in the Lankans’ six-wicket victory at Edgbaston on Tuesday.

However, Keogh said there was no ‘needle’ between Northamptonshire and the tourists.

“There was just some friendly banter with the guys,” he explained.

“They were really nice, I can’t speak highly enough of them, and I wish them all the best for Thursday.”

India tour of Australia 2014, Practice matches

Nov 24, 2014 (05:29 IST)   at Glenelg, Adelaide

Pakistan vs New Zealand in UAE, 2014

Nov 26, 2014 (11:30 IST)   at Sharjah

India tour of Australia 2014, Practice matches

Nov 28, 2014 (05:29 IST)   at Adelaide

Zimbabwe tour of Bangladesh, 2014

Nov 28, 2014 (12:00 IST)   at Dhaka

Afghanistan tour of UAE, 2014

Nov 28, 2014 (15:30 IST)   at Dubai

More

Zimbabwe tour of Bangladesh, 2014

Nov 26, 2014  at Dhaka

Bangladesh won by 124 runs

England tour of Sri Lanka, 2014

Nov 26, 2014  at Colombo

Sri Lanka won by 25 runs

Hong Kong tour of Sri Lanka, 2014

Nov 24, 2014  at Colombo

Hong Kong won by 2 wkts

Zimbabwe tour of Bangladesh, 2014

Nov 23, 2014  at Chittagong

Bangladesh won by 68 runs

South Africa tour of Australia, 2014

Nov 23, 2014  at Sydney

Australia won by 2 wickets (D/L method)

Photos

Phil Hughes suffers head injury: In photos

Videos

Phil Hughes passes away: Video tribute

Phillip Hughes passes away: Let us bring Sean Abbott back on track

Phil Hughes and other cricketers who succumbed to on-field injuries

Phillip Hughes 7th-youngest Test cricketer to die

Phillip Hughes: A brief look at the career of one of Australia’s most promising talents

Phillip Hughes: Rest in peace

Australia England India India tour of Australia 2014-15 New Zealand New Zealand tour of UAE 2014 New Zealand vs Pakistan New Zealand vs Pakistan 2014 Pakistan Pakistan vs New Zealand Pakistan vs New Zealand 2014 Phil Hughes Phil Hughes Death Phil Hughes head injury Phillip Hughes

Sachin Tendulkar’s last walk to the crese win best photo award

Phillip Hughes passes away: James Sutherland feels Australian cricketers need time to recover

Phil Hughes passes away: Australian media reactions

Phil Hughes passes away: Rafael Nadal, Andy Murray pay tribute

Sri Lanka v England, 2nd ODI at Colombo, Preview: Hosts look to continue domination over England

Pakistan vs New Zealand 2014: Pakistan top-order prevails once again

Prakash Bhandari: The teenage prodigy BCCI could not capitalise on

Phil Hughes: Remembering his most memorable knocks

Phillip Hughes passes away: Kolkata is where Kolkata was

Phillip Hughes passes away: Crying for Phillip Hughes

Fan of the Day

Niharika Shah

Niharika Shah

682 Posts | 6 Fans

Video: Phil Hughes suffers head injury, collapses on field during New South Wales vs South Australia tie

सुबह गुनगुना पानी पीने के छह फ़ायदे

Bigg Boss 8: Is it fair for Bigg Boss to nominate Sonali Raut for slapping Ali Quli Mirza? Vote!

India is becoming our largest overseas market, Xiaomi CEO Lei Jun says

सर्दी के दिनों में त्वचा को स्वस्थ रखने के कुछ सरल उपाय

Ungli movie review: Emraan Hashmi, Randeep Hooda let down by predictable and contrived plot

More broadband connections to boost GDP growth in Asia Pacific: GSMA

Also on cricketcountry.com

Play Fantasy Cricket & Win

Cash Daily! Click here