Nidahas Trophy 2018: Kusal Mendis dismissal turning point for us - Thisara Perera
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Nidahas Trophy 2018: Kusal Mendis dismissal turning point for us - Thisara Perera

Kusal Mendis fell for 55 in the 15th over bowled by Yuzvendra Chahal and Sri Lanka skipper Thisara Perera pointed out that the right-hander’s dismissal was the turning point.

cricket Updated: Mar 13, 2018 10:06 IST
Siddharth Vishwanathan
Siddharth Vishwanathan
Hindustan Times, Colombo
Nidahas Trophy 2018,Kusal Mendis,Thisara Perera
Sri Lankan cricketer Thisara Perera plays a shot during the fourth Twenty20 (T20) international between India and Sri Lanka for the tri-nation Nidahas Trophy at The R. Premadasa Stadium in Colombo on March 12, 2018. (AFP)

Kusal Mendis had slammed his second consecutive fifty in the Nidahas Trophy 2018 clash against India at the R Premadasa stadium. On 55 and with the hosts at 120/5 after 14 overs, they looked good to reach a total in excess of 170 in a game shortened to 19-overs-per-side due to a wet outfield. (IND v SL match report) (Highlights)

However, his dismissal by Yuzvendra Chahal resulted in total loss in momentum and Sri Lanka could score only 39 runs in the next seven overs. Sri Lanka’s stand-in skipper Thisara Perera said Mendis’ dismissal was the turning point. “Mendis batted really well. We were 30-25 runs behind. That’s the main reason for our loss. Others didn’t execute their plans,” Perera said.

Batsmen poor with execution

Mendis’ fifty was the only bright spot in the Sri Lankan batting. The team had lost the services of Dinesh Chandimal, who was suspended for two games due to a serious slow over-rate offence. Perera blamed himself and the batsmen for the lack of execution.

“In the previous two matches we didn’t need the batsmen coming in at No. 7 or 8. So we thought the batsmen we had was enough. But today we couldn’t bat well - including myself. I have to bear the blame as well. I batted well at the start and could have continued that. But what I tried to do was to hit a boundary. I think we could have batted better around Kusal Mendis,” Perera said.

Middle order woes

Barring Kusal Perera and Kusal Mendis, none of the other Sri Lankan batsmen have chipped in. Upul Tharanga and to some extent Perera himself have been guilty of not capitalizing on a good start. The stand-in Sri Lanka skipper acknowledged that the middle order is a problem.

“This was the biggest reason for the defeat. We lost two or three wickets in quick succession. We should have stuck around during that period, and if we did that, we could have got around 180 easily. The bowlers need at least 175 to defend on this pitch,” Perera said.

Sri Lanka face a must-win game against Bangladesh in the final league game on March 16.

First Published: Mar 13, 2018 09:30 IST