Nidahas Trophy | Kusal Mendis’ dismissal in 15th over was turning point of match, says Thisara Perera

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Nidahas Trophy | Kusal Mendis’ dismissal in 15th over was turning point of match, says Thisara Perera

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SportsCafe Desk


Thisara Perera has asserted that Kusal Mendis’ dismissal by Yuzvendra Chahal in the 15th over turned the match in India's favour as the visitors defeated SL by 6 wickets in the Nidahas Trophy yesterday. Sri Lanka now need a win against Bangladesh to give themselves a chance of making the final.

After suffering a humiliating loss against Bangladesh in the third match of the series, SL was determined to bounce back against India and cement their place in the finals of the 2018 Nidahas Trophy. But to their surprise, they lost the game against India by 6 wickets and Thisara Perera asserted that Kusal Mendis’ dismissal in the 15th over took the game away from the hosts.

“Mendis batted really well. We were 30-25 runs behind. That’s the main reason for our loss. Others didn’t execute their plans,” said Perera reported AFP.

It was the first ball of the 15th over and Sri Lanka was cruising at 120/5 when Yuzvendra Chahal got the wicket of the dangerous Mendis who had scored 55 of those runs. Mendis’ wicket was a boon for the Indian team as the Sri Lankans managed just 31 runs in the remaining 23 balls thus falling short by some 20-30 runs. The Sri Lankan middle order failed for the first time in the tournament as they managed to score just 59 runs.

“This was the biggest reason for the defeat. We lost two or three wickets in quick succession. We should have stuck around during that period, and if we did that, we could have got around 180 easily. The bowlers need at least 175 to defend on this pitch,” said the 28-year-old.

He not only blamed his batsmen but also his team for the crushing loss at the hands of the Indian team.

“In the previous two matches, we didn’t need the batsmen coming in at No. 7 or 8. So we thought the batsmen we had was enough. But today we couldn’t bat well - including me. I have to bear the blame as well. I batted well at the start and could have continued that. But what I tried to do was to hit a boundary. I think we could have batted better around Kusal Mendis,” said the Sri Lanka captain.

India managed to chase down the score in 17.3 overs as Manish Pandey along with Dinesh Karthik and Suresh Raina contributed to this victory which helped the Indian team climb to the top of the points table. With this loss, Sri Lanka, however, are now second on the table with 2 points in 3 games. To book a place in the finals they will have to beat Bangladesh in the last game of the league round of the Tri-series.

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