The ODI series between Sri Lanka and hosts England got off to a thrilling start as the first game ended in a nerve wrecking tie. However, the second ODI at Birmingham was just a one-sided affair as English openers Jason Roy and Alex Hales pummeled the Sri Lankan bowlers to register a victory by 10 wickets.
The visitors might consider themselves lucky as the third fixture ended in a no result as rain played spoilsport. Sri Lanka had just managed to put on board 248-9 before the rain had the final say. Ahead of the fourth ODI at the Oval, it will be integral for the Sri Lankan batsmen to step up in order to remain alive in the series.
Experienced southpaw Upul Tharanga, who currently is being utilized lower down the order, seemed confident about his side’s chances. “I came for the one-day tournament and, as a team, I think we are in really good shape,” said Tharanga. “Even though we lost the game, I think our batsmen are doing really well – we only need a big score. The last few games, everyone got 40, 50. That’s why we are getting 250-260. As a batting unit, we need someone in the top four to get a big score. If we can get that we can get 300. The bowlers are going a good job, the wickets are good for batting. Someone to get a big score.”
The left-hander also said that despite being an opener, he had no reservations about batting lower down the order. “I’ve done it before, for 10-15 games, in Australia and Sri Lanka. So it is not something new to me,” he added. “Most of my career I have batted as a top-order batsman but it is good, I am enjoying it. It is up to the management, what they need from me. At the moment, they need me to bat in the middle order, so I’m happy to help the team. Lots of players are new players, so we have to give them experience and advice also.”