‘An uphill struggle for Sri Lanka to reach the semi-finals’ — Mahela Jayawardena

‘Now they need at least two more wins to be in consideration for the top four and it’s four tough teams left – England, South Africa, West Indies and India.’

Mahela Jayawardena

Former Sri Lanka captain Mahela Jayawardena believes Sri Lanka are facing an “uphill struggle” to reach the semi-finals of the World Cup after their 87-run defeat to Australia but still believes it’s possible for Dimuth Karunaratne’s men to progress beyond the round-robin stage.

“It’s going to be an uphill struggle for Sri Lanka to reach the semi-finals […] but it is still possible,” Jayawardena wrote in a column for the ICC. “It was a disappointing defeat because they had a great opportunity to get two points but let it slip away.”

Watch highlights: Sri Lanka vs Australia, ICC Cricket World Cup, 2019

“Now they need at least two more wins to be in consideration for the top four and it’s four tough teams left – England, South Africa, West Indies and India,” Jayawardena added. “It’s England next and for that match, you have to take a leaf out of Pakistan’s book – they played their natural game against England and deservedly won.

“They attacked the England spinners, especially in the middle overs, and I thought Mohammad Hafeez batted brilliantly in that period. Sri Lanka have to take those chances, put those England bowlers under pressure and kick on when they can.

“What you’ve seen to win games at this ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup is that either posting a score above 300 or restricting the opposition to less than 270. It’s all about how Sri Lanka can achieve that. Pakistan had the bowling attack, had the variation and pace to challenge the England batting line-up.

“I don’t think Sri Lanka have the pace but the variety is there and I think they have to use a spinner in their line-up to create those opportunities in the middle overs. Without the middle order firing, it will be tough to post that total above the 300-mark but they are definitely capable of beating England, although it won’t be easy.”

Sri Lanka’s match against England takes place on June 21 in Leeds.

© Island Cricket

7 Comments

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  1. Two openers can’t do it along. Selfish players like Thirimanna will not be going to help the cause either. Here is a suggestion for the team manager. Here onwards it’s a do or die situation. So Mathews should bowl from the next match and bring back another bowler and balance the team properly. If he injured they replace with Oshada a much more confident player than our entire middle order. Had they selected players based on the form (not the domestic idiotic provincial tournament form) we could have been on the top.

  2. I agree with u how can a captain do he turned the game around for team with changes at the last moment made a score that’s chase able and also batted like a batsmen who’s like a very experienced player on the he after 4yrs omg 4yrs his batting doesn’t look like he super one day player his more than run a ball he was consuming pressure taking down Mitch starc 🙁🙁🙁 alas what our middle order do destroyed everything experiences like old cap mathews who’s been there more than dimuth come on guys what’s up with u if u can’t st least support a cap!!!!!!!

  3. I agree with u how can a captain do he turned the game around for team with changes at the last moment made a score that’s chase able and also batted like a batsmen who’s like a very experienced player on the he after 4yrs omg 4yrs his batting doesn’t look like he super one day player his more than run a ball he was consuming pressure taking down Mitch starc 🙁🙁🙁 alas what our middle order do destroyed everything experiences like old cap mathews who’s been there more than dimuth come on guys what’s up with u if u can’t at least support the cap!!!!!!!

  4. Spot on. Next match will be a must win match . Play smart and we can just give england a scare .MATHEWS MUST BOWL .Its okay if he gets injured at this stage .Cuz we’ll be out of the tournament if we lose the next one .So an injury wont matter .

    We need to play body on the line cricket .Was very sad to see malingas and thisaras attitude in the field yesterday .Malinga has got to lose the “I know it all ” attitude and just play like the others instead of laughing when a teammate gets hit for a boundary .

    We need to strengthen that absolute wreck of a middle order .Its a tough call .But we might need to drop KJP down to no.6 and push dananjaya up .Thirimanne has failed in 3 innings so far which is disappointing .He looks in good touch but somehow finds a way to get out .

    MATHEWS NEEDS TO BAT AT NO.4 FFS AND ALSO BOWL AT LEAST 5 OVERS. As sangakkara has said earlier , it helps his confidence to bowl a few overs and it changes the dimension of the team a lot too.

    Pradeep is a good bowler .He just doesnt have the skills at the death .also credit to maxwell amd smith who hit a few well executed yorkers by pradeep for boundaries .Save Malinga and Udana for the death overs .And drop that absolute passenger siriwardena.

    1.A.Fernando
    2.D.Karunaratne
    3.D.De Silva
    4.A.Mathews
    5.K.Mendis
    6.K.Perera
    7.J.Mendis
    8.T.Perera
    9.I.Udana
    10.L.Malinga
    11.N.Pradeep

  5. Nice squad i thought avisha batted well why? Because he is inexperienced come on u tool ur risks Bangladesh and look at them i think u are the reason why Bangladesh is here whatever they say take a shot at him

  6. Guys we had problems at the top forever, now we have settled that you guys want to change it. Seriously you guys are no different from the administrators.

    If we take kusal out from the top, top will start to fail again. Moreover Kusal is better against the fast bowlers. Of he bat 5 or 6 he faces more spinners. Guys think.

  7. What about this team

    1 Karunarathna
    2 Kusal Janith
    3 Oshada
    4 Mendis
    5Mathiws
    6Thisara
    7Jeewan/Dananjaya
    8Udana
    9 Malinga
    10 Kasun Rajitha
    11 Nuwan

    Best spinner should play either Jeewan Or Dana
    Replace. Thiri with Oshada
    Insert Kasun Rajitha

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