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Sri Lanka fret over bowling, over-rate ahead of do-or-die Nidahas Trophy clash

Chandika Hathurusingha has said Sri Lanka’s bowlers need to perform very well if they have to enter the final in their virtual semi-final clash against Bangladesh in the Nidahas Trophy tri-series.

cricket Updated: Mar 15, 2018 19:55 IST
Siddharth Vishwanathan
Siddharth Vishwanathan
Hindustan Times, Colombo
Nidahas Trophy,Sri Lanka vs Bangladesh,Chandika Hathurusingha
Sri Lanka’s Akila Dananjaya bowls during a practice session at the R Premadasa Stadium in Colombo. Sri Lanka will play their third Twenty20 international of the Nidahas Trophy against Bangladesh on March 16. (AFP)

Sri Lanka coach Chandika Hathurusingha has urged his bowlers to step up and help the team bounce back ahead of their virtual semi-final clash against Bangladesh at the R Premadasa stadium on Friday. (NIDAHAS TROPHY FULL COVERAGE)

Both Sri Lanka and Bangladesh have two points and the winners will take on India in the final. Speaking at the pre-match press conference, Hathurusingha said their bowling came under pressure after they had secured a victory in the opening game against India.

“The second game (vs Bangladesh) put us under pressure. You don’t lose many T20 games after scoring 214 runs. I don’t think we bowled well, we need to accept that. Then again, all six bowlers or five bowlers don’t go for 10 runs an over,” Hathurusingha said.

(Read | Nidahas Trophy: Washington Sundar relishing challenge of bowling in powerplays)

Sri Lanka had posted 214/6 in the game against Bangladesh but Mushfiqur Rahim’s brilliant, unbeaten 72 off 35 balls helped Bangladesh secure the fourth-highest successful chase in Twenty20s.

“I think in T20, we have a very young attack. Some of them have played less than 10 matches, but that’s not an excuse. That’s why we want to give them experience,” Hathurusingha said.

(Read | Nidahas Trophy: Mahmudullah rues death bowling and lack of partnerships for loss vs India)

Slow over-rate

In the past year, Sri Lanka has had three captains suspended due to slow over-rate. In the Nidahas Trophy, Dinesh Chandimal was banned for two games due to a serious slow over-rate offence and Hathurusingha admitted that it was a cause of concern.

“That’s one area that we have identified. It’s not the only thing. We had a lot of discussion. We went through the footage, and found that there were nearly two minutes for one over, and two and a half minutes between overs. Those are the areas that concern. I got to know about our previous incursions after this happened. It’s been a big problem for us,” Hathurusingha said.

Sri Lanka have lost their last two encounters against Bangladesh at the R Premadasa stadium but the coach is confident.

“I don’t know what pressure is. It’s just playing another game. Whether it’s a virtual semi-final or not, we just have to win,” Hathurusingha said.

First Published: Mar 15, 2018 17:57 IST