After getting thrashed by the Kiwis, all of Sri Lanka’s fears from their experience in the last couple of years would have come rushing back into the minds of their fans. After their horrible batting performance against Afghanistan, the washout against Pakistan didn’t help their qualification cause.
Dimuth Karunaratne : Despite being the only man standing against New Zealand, the way he played with the tail was atrocious to say the least. His target going into the next game should be to take the team into the final 10 overs while batting.
Kusal Perera : Promoted to an opening role after the first match, Kusal Perera showed what he is capable of with a well-made 78 against Afghanistan. He is sure to keep a place in the top two against Bangladesh as well.
Lahiru Thirimanne : If you thought this is where the bashing/ranting starts, I would request you to wait for just one more entry. His 25 against the Afghans doesn’t read like a lot but considering what the men who followed him did, he deserves a pass.
Kusal Mendis : For a guy who reeks of potential, his performances have been that of a club cricketer out of depth at the biggest stage the sport offers. A grand total of two runs in two matches is only bettered by the fact that he has acquired those runs in THREE balls. For a No. 4 batsman that is just atrocious. The lack of options and his reputation is the only thing keeping him afloat.
Angelo Mathews : If you think that is bad, Angelo Mathews found a way to better it. Mathews, who averaged 42.03 before the World Cup, has returned with a combined score of ZERO in the two games. At least he had the decency and experience to play 11 balls while doing so. In all seriousness, he needs to step up now or else Sri Lanka can fall even further down the table.
Dhananjaya de Silva : When he was promoted up the order before Mathews against New Zealand, quite a few eyebrows were raised. But as it turned out it wouldn’t have mattered anyways. For anyone keeping tabs, that is an incredible six runs that the Sri Lankan middle order has scored so far. The lack of batting in this team means that he just gets the nod.
Jeevan Mendis : Not many people get a second chance in a World Cup if the man who replaced you ended up with figures of 4/31. But with Pradeep injuring his hand, Mendis has been given a second chance. Whether he can grab it remains to be seen but if he can better whatever Dhananjaya de Silva does, he could secure a place for a couple of games.
Thisara Perera : He looked decent against the Kiwis in the first game before Santner got the better of him. Against Afghanistan, however, having seen your team crumble for 144/1 to 149/5 the last thing you want to do is take a risky run. With the middle order as unsettled as an amateur team, maybe he can provide some stability if he can cut down on unnecessary risks.
Isuru Udana : According to the numbers, he hasn’t been too bad with the ball. According to my eyes, however, he looks as harmless as, pardon the football analogy, a Manchester United striker in front of goal.
Suranga Lakmal : As a bowler handed the new ball with some movement on offer if you can’t get your team an early wicket against Afghanistan, you need to take a hard look at yourself in the mirror. A combined 10 overs by the pacer have yielded no wickets but cost his team 55 runs.
Lasith Malinga : He got battered and I mean BATTERED by New Zealand in the first game. And even though the naive Afghans got a glimpse of his greatness, he needs to do a lot more to help his team out. The absence of Pradeep will mean that the onus of wickets will be on him.
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