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Kumar Sangakkara tips help Lahiru Thirimanne make strong comeback for Sri Lanka vs India

Lahiru Thirimanne, making a comeback into the Sri Lanka cricket team after 18 months, scored a half century and raised a 72-run partnership with Dinesh Chandimal, who made a patient 36 in the third ODI against Indian cricket team

india vs sri lanka 2017 Updated: Aug 28, 2017 21:00 IST
N Ananthanarayanan
N Ananthanarayanan
Hindustan Times, Pallekele
India vs Sri Lanka,Sri Lanka vs India,SL vs Ind
Sri Lanka cricket team's Lahiru Thirimanne glides one to the fence during the third ODI against Indian cricket team in Pallekele on Sunday.(AP)

Sri Lanka cricket team batsman Lahiru Thirimanne made a comeback after almost 18 months into the national team with a solid 81 in the third ODI against Indian cricket team on Sunday.

Although it was too little to help the hosts save the series, the 28-year-old left-hander said he was a transformed batsman after seeking out former Sri Lanka great, Kumar Sangakkara, during his time out due to injury and poor form.

“Out of the 20 months (out) I was injured for three months,” he told the media after the third ODI defeat in Pallekele. “A lot of batsmen got starts but could not convert them into a big innings. In a game like this, at least three batsmen should go for big scores to reach a challenging total.”

Thirimanne said he spoke to Sangakkara, who retired from international cricket in 2015, but has been in great form for Surrey in the English County this season.

“I met Sanga during the England series and then a few other times as well. It was great to talk to him and get tips. He has played at the highest level and those little inputs he gives you can change your batting.”

The left-hander is one of the many Sri Lankan batsmen who have not done justice to early promise. Thirimanne played 26 Tests in five years since his debut in 2011, but was left out after averaging 24.00 with one century and four fifties. His ODI career is slightly better with four centuries in 108 games. Still, out of his last five half-centuries four have been between 80 and 90, the inability to kick on apparent.

Thirimanne though was Sri Lanka’s big hope on Sunday, raising a 72-run partnership with Dinesh Chandimal, who made a patient 36.

However, he said Chandimal’s injury set them back while they were building the solid partnership after seaming conditions initially made scoring difficult. “Once Chandi got hit. It was difficult for him to rotate the strike.”

First Published: Aug 28, 2017 18:14 IST