‘Sri Lanka’s bowling attack not solely dependant on Malinga’- Mathews

Tuesday, 10 February 2015 01:38 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

IANS (Christchurch): Sri Lanka captain Angelo Mathews on Sunday dismissed the notion that Sri Lanka were a one-man bowling attack, relying on pacer Lasith Malinga to carry his team’s bowling hopes. Sri Lanka have depended heavily on Malinga in their recent major-tournament fortunes. But Mathews suggested they have other match winners in their attack too. “You can’t write off the rest of the bowlers that we have,” Mathews was quoted as saying by espncricinfo.com. “We’ve got fairly experienced bowlers, but Lasith is the X-factor. It’s just that in a one-off game, the others can also come into the party. We all expect Lasith to do well but I’m pretty sure with the amount of talent that we’ve got in the side, anyone can do the job for us.” Veteran batsman Mahela Jayawardene also echoed his captain’s point of view, but added that Malinga is the spark that the bowling unit requires. “The others will feed off him,” Jayawardene said. “Because of his experience, his presence will give us that extra 10 percent to win the matches we had been losing. We’re a small nation, so it’s important we get everyone on the park.” Sri Lanka’s preparation for the World Cup was dampened by a 2-4 loss to New Zealand in a seven-match One-Day International (ODI) series recently. Mathews demanded more consistency in all departments from his team but was unperturbed by the lowered expectations. “We’re happy to walk into the World Cup as underdogs. No one really expects us to win.” Sri Lanka begin their final World Cup preparations with a warm-up match against South Africa (9 February) before playing their final tune-up game against Zimbabwe (11 February). They begin their Cup campaign in the opening match of the tournament against New Zealand at Christchurch 14 February.                                  

 Dominant South Africa downs Sri Lanka despite Dilshan100

South Africa put up a dominant show to beat Sri Lanka in the second warm-up match of the 2015 World Cup at the Hagley Oval in Christchurch on Monday. Put in to bat, Sri Lanka posted a competitive 279 for 7, courtesy TillakaratneDilshan’s century and a half-century from Angelo Mathews, after a lengthy spell of rain curtailed its innings at 44.4 overs. South Africa, which was set a revised Duckworth-Lewis target of 188 in 25 overs, cantered to a five-wicket win despite a late wobble.                         Hashim Amla and Quinton de Kock gave South Africa a dream start, adding 106 in just 15.1 overs before RanganaHerath drew first blood. De Kock, who scored a 55-ball 66 with six fours and two sixes, edged to DimuthKarunaratne. Amla, leading the side in the absence of AB de Villiers who sat out due to a sore hip, followed soon after, falling to Herath’s guile for 46. What looked like a cruise came to a halt as Sri Lanka struck back with two quick wickets for just three runs. Herath got rid of JP Duminy for 17, while NuwanKulasekara got the better of David Miller. But although Faf du Plessis fell early, RileeRossouw and Vernon Philander shared an unbroken 21-run partnership to take South Africa across the line with three balls to spare. Barring Herath, none of the Sri Lankan bowlers could create an impact. Returning from injury, LasithMalinga snared 1 for 29 in his four overs, while Kulasekara took 1 for 18 in two overs. Earlier, Sri Lanka was off to a shaky start, losing LahiruThirimanne early. But Dilshan and Kumar Sangakkara took control with a healthy 76-run stand, before Sangakkara was dismissed for 31 by Imran Tahir. Dilshan then shared a 74-run third wicket partnership with Karunaratne (46) to take Sri Lanka past 150. He brought up his century along the way, his fourth in eight matches, from 82 deliveries before he was out next ball. Mathews, the captain, then scored a half-century before rain forced the end of the Sri Lanka innings. Kyle Abbott was the best of the South Africa bowlers, taking 3 for 37 from 6.4 overs while Wayne Parnell returned 2 for 44. Sri Lanka will take on Zimbabwe in its second warm-up match in Lincoln on Wednesday.