Sri Lanka stormed back into the five-match ODI series against Australia after a commanding 82 runs victory in the second ODI at Colombo. The Sri Lankans batted exceptionally well to get to a total of 288 and chasing under lights in Sri Lanka has been far from an easy task. The Australians found that out and barring a couple of individuals, none of the batsmen could get going.
Post Sri Lanka’s series leveling victory, skipper Angelo Mathews lauded the unit. Mathews, in particular, praised the ever dependable Dinesh Chandimal. Even when things weren’t smooth for the Sri Lankans in England in their previous tour, Chandimal was the fulcrum of Sri Lanka’s batting. Yesterday as well, the wicketkeeper-batsman played well for his knock of 48.
“Chandimal’s been tremendous for us in the Test series and also in England,” Mathews said. “He’s matured. He’s also playing with a lot of responsibility – as a senior. He’s anchoring the innings and that’s what we want from him. Him batting at No. 4, we want him to bat until the 46th over, so that guys like Kusal Mendis, Kusal Perera, and Danushka Gunathilaka can go out there and play with a lot of freedom. In our batting line up myself and Chandimal have to take the responsibility to let the youngsters play with freedom.”
Mathews also praised the young sensation Kusal Mendis, as he registered another half-century in the second ODI. “He’s going to be a big player for us,” Mathews said about Mendis. “He’s going to be the future of our batting. If he keeps going like this he will do wonders for the Sri Lanka team and I wish him all the very best. It was a fantastic knock today.”
The skipper also felt that the aggression displayed by Mendis early on in the innings was vital. “He’s just very positive,” Mathews mentioned. “Especially after losing a couple of wickets in quick succession, the way he went out there and the way he batted was brilliant. Not too many people do that – you take a bit of time and settle in and take a look at the wicket. But he’s just going out there and playing with a lot of freedom. He’s just a different kind of player.”