Dimuth Karunaratne blamed every aspect of his team that didn’t click against South Africa as the Lankans slumped to their third defeat of the World Cup with their knockout chances getting further slimmer. Sri Lanka have tougher opponents against West Indies and Indian in remaining games.
Sri Lanka knew they were in for trouble when skipper Karunaratne was dismissed on the very first ball of the innings. Though Kusal Perera and Avishka Fernando held the fort soon after, it wasn’t enough as Chris Morris and Dwaine Pretorius spit fire and Sri Lanka saw a mammoth batting collapse.
"All departments went wrong, especially the batting. Once Kusal and Avishka batted really well, we struggled to get even singles. If you cant rotate the strike, it's not easy. There's pressure, and then there are big shots,” said Karunaratne in the post-match press conference, reported ESPNCricinfo.
The Riverside Ground got better as the day progressed and South Africa, who were playing without pressure, capitalized on it, Karunaratne pointed towards the same lamenting the lack of efficacy in their bowling in the second innings.
“The wicket got better and better, and SA batted really well. The pitch was a bit slow, and SA bowled really well. They built pressure and kept fielders in the ring. They planned really well. We couldn't get singles. We needed to get wickets early. Malinga started really well, but at the other end we couldn't build pressure. These are the sorts of things we need to think about and learn from,” he added.
With just two wins from seven games, it is a miracle that Sri Lanka are still with a chance of qualifying for the knockouts with difficult permutations and combinations. “We have two more games, we have to win those two games. We have to work hard in all three departments. Heads up, and hopefully we'll do well," Karunaratne concluded.
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