Charith Asalanka: The Sri Lankan Team And Coaches Are Still Emotional After Heartbreaking Loss In The 2nd ODI
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Charith Asalanka: The Sri Lankan Team And Coaches Are Still Emotional After Heartbreaking Loss In The 2nd ODI

Charith Asalanka celebrates his half-century, Sri Lanka vs India, 2nd ODI, Colombo, July 20, 2021© ISHARA S. KODIKARA/AFP/Getty Images
Charith Asalanka celebrates his half-century, Sri Lanka vs India, 2nd ODI, Colombo, July 20, 2021© ISHARA S. KODIKARA/AFP/Getty Images
Charith Asalanka, who had top-scored for Sri Lanka with 65, described what it was like to see the opposition’s eighth-wicket partnership take the game away.
After a stretch of losses, Sri Lanka had an ODI victory in their grasp, but let it slip. For a team low on confidence, it had to have been devastating.
Charith Asalanka top-scored for Sri Lanka with 65 ISHARA S. KODIKARA/AFP/Getty Images
Charith Asalanka top-scored for Sri Lanka with 65 ISHARA S. KODIKARA/AFP/Getty Images

Charith Asalanka: The Sri Lankan Team And Coaches Are Still Emotional After Heartbreaking Loss In The 2nd ODI

In the previous England tour, a fifth straight Twenty20 series defeat was followed by two one-day international losses with only rain in the final match-saving them from a complete tour whitewash. Before that, Sri Lanka lost to hosts Bangladesh 2-1 in ODIs in May 2021.

After the dismissal of Suryakumar Yadav, who also notched his maiden ODI fifty and ended up scoring 53 off 44 balls, Deepak Chahar and Bhuvneshwar Kumar teamed up and stitched an unbeaten 84-run stand for the eighth wicket to finish the chase successfully.
“We’re all emotional – the team and coaches are all emotional,” he said.
“We’re a young team. We haven’t won much recently, and we’re trying to do our best to play together for our country. Everyone tried hard and took it to the final over, but unfortunately, we couldn’t win.”
Avishka Fernando © AFP
Avishka Fernando© AFP
Pretty much like the series opener, most of the Sri Lankan batsmen got starts but failed to capitalize after the hosts opted to bat. Avishka Fernando (50 off 71) and Charith Asalanka (65 off 68) struck fine half-centuries but the home team wasn’t disciplined enough to post an imposing total. Chamika Karunaratne (44 not out off 33) came up with another timely cameo to take the team past 270.

Charith Asalanka Need To Fix Sloppy Fielding On Display In The 2nd ODI

Sri Lanka had also saved two overs from Wanindu Hasaranga, and three from Dushmantha Chameera – their two best bowlers – for the last 10 overs.
“What we talked about in the 40th over was to push the game deep,” Charith Asalanka said. 
“We wanted to increase their required rate. But they were successful because they didn’t lose any wickets.”
And yet Sri Lanka was unable to break the stand between tailenders pacers Deepak Chahar and Bhuvneshwar Kumar, who took India to the target.
“They had a plan to play Wanindu out defensively and get runs off everyone else, and it worked. If they’d tried to get runs off Wanindu, then maybe they would have lost.”
“I guess the other bowlers have to talk and figure out how to get a wicket in that situation.”
Deepak Chahar and Bhuvneshwar Kumar. Image Credits: BCCI
Deepak Chahar and Bhuvneshwar Kumar. Image Credits: BCCI
Sri Lanka was also sloppy with their ground fielding, conceding at least five boundaries that could have been stopped by outfielders. Charith Asalanka noted this as an area to work on.
“We did make some mistakes in the field, and we gave away more than 10 runs in the field. We need to fix that. Nos. 8 and 9 also scored runs, so we have to figure out how to stop that as well.”
This ended up being Sri Lanka’s ninth loss in 10 completed matches in 2021, but at the 40th over Sri Lanka seemed certain to win it. India still needed 67 runs off 60 balls at that stage, with two batters who have not had a lot of time at the crease recently.
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