Lasith Malinga | skipper: There’s nothing much to say. We’re going down the same path, the batsmen have to realize their value and bat long on such wickets. The bowling wasn’t great either, we got only four and a few early wickets could have made the difference. Six down after 18 overs makes it very difficult for us to come back. We need to put our hands up and look to bat fifty overs. People have to realize the value of the opportunity they’ve got to play for the national side. We have got good exposure before the World Cup and we’ll look to do better. Udana is a proper all-rounder and is a good plus point for us before the World Cup.
South Africa opted to bowl in the afternoon and honestly, Sri Lanka’s 189 cannot justify the pitch that was in store. It was a good batting wicket, but they kept losing wickets in heaps. As many as four single-digit scores in the top six. If not for Isuru Udana’s heroics, the score would have been even low. Anrich Nortje missed his hat-trick, while Andile Phehlukwayo rushed batsmen and the rest of the bowlers chipped in handy. QdK continued his good form and recorded a fifty. Markram and Duminy looked good on their comebacks. Faf wanted to finish early and perished in the process. His team recorded an emphatic win nevertheless. Dhananjaya de Silva bowled well and bagged three wickets, but the visitors needed at least 100 runs more to compete.
It’s 4-0 with a game to go. A really relaxed and happy dressing room. Players congratulating each other. Contrasting emotions in the blue camp. Malinga walks back dejected looking at the big screen. He demanded a bit more intensity and responsibility from the team earlier, but it’s another heavy loss. “Lasith might be saying to himself… Hopefully I am not the captain for the World Cup. It will be someone else’s problem,” quips Michael Holding on air as he sees Malinga leave the field. Sri Lanka seriously have to lift themselves and live upto international standards. There is quality, but the performances have to come.