Lahiru Thirimanne believes Sri Lanka must promptly get over the embarrassing defeat to New Zealand in their first match of the World Cup and learn from their mistakes on a green track in Cardiff.
New Zealand’s pace attack were without injured Tim Southee but exploited helpful conditions to bowl out Sri Lanka for 136 at Cardiff Wales Stadium.
Thirimanne admitted batting was tough in bowler-friendly conditions in Cardiff, where Sri Lanka will face Afghanistan in their next match.
“It was tough conditions, to be honest, but we batted very poorly,” he said. “We could have easily got to 250 and had a good fight, but we couldn’t manage to do that. We have another game in this ground so we know what to expect and we should be able to adapt to conditions quicker.
“We are playing in England, so sometimes you have to expect the ball to move around and for it to be tough. That’s how cricket goes sometimes. The best thing we can do is put this game behind us but we need to learn from it.”
Thirimanne bore the brunt of early seam and swing, and was trapped lbw by a Matt Henry in-swinger off the second ball of the game.
The 29-year-old, without a one-day cap in nearly two years, is capable of run-getting in these conditions as was proven by his warm-up half-century against a tough Australian attack earlier this week.
As Sri Lanka navigate their way through eight further World Cup matches, skipper Dimuth Karunaratne provided a perfect example of circumspection at the crease, and Thirimanne encouraged his team-mates to model their batting approach after their captain who has returned to the side in good form after a four-year absence from ODIs.
“Dimuth is the example to follow,” Thirimanne said. “It’s not easy as an opener. I know it’s very difficult to bat in these conditions but he fought very hard. We knew that New Zealand have a very good bowling attack.
“They capitalised on conditions really well. The mood is very good, because we knew this wasn’t our day. We can’t let our heads get down and walk away. We have to come back strongly.”