Sri Lanka look to finish World Cup on high note


Dimuth Karunarathna

Rex Clementine at Headingley

Despite not being able to reach the semi-finals of the ICC Cricket World Cup, Sri Lanka still have an opportunity to end the competition on a high when they take on two time champions India in their last game of the tournament here at Headingley today. Sri Lanka are certain to finish sixth in the points table behind Pakistan and the four semi-finalists, but a win over India will cheer up the fans somewhat.

Sri Lanka have already beaten number one ranked England and they are certainly capable of doing the  same  against  number two ranked India. The last time these two teams met on English soil – during 2017 Champions Trophy – Sri Lanka came on top.

The game is not a mere dead rubber for India either. A win will give them 15 points and just in case South Africa beat Australia, who have 14 points, in the last group game, India will head the points table and take on New Zealand instead of hosts England in the semis.

"Here at Headingley, we have had some  good games  across all formats of the game. We’re trying to give our best shot against India. We’re playing on the same track that was used for the West Indies versus Afghanistan game. So hopefully we can get some turn. We’re trying to give our best shot against India," Sri Lanka skipper Dimuth Karunaratne told journalists.

After eight games in the World Cup, Sri Lanka have three wins, three losses and two washouts. Karunaratne discussed some of the positives for his side. "Avishka Fernando has been a good find for us. He  has played really well in this tournament. In the three games he has played, he showed what he is capable of doing. He is going to be a future star. Our fast bowlers have done a very good job as well and that’s a good sign. Those are the positives to come out for us in this tournament," noted  Karunaratne.

Experienced campaigner Dinesh Karthik is expected to be retained by India for the game against Sri Lanka. "From the Sri Lanka game, a few of the batters would want to have a good hit. Obviously at this point of time even the bowlers, for that matter, it’s important that they work on the things that they want to do. I think there is scope for improvement in all aspects of our game," Karthik told journalists.

Sri Lanka (From)

Dimuth Karunaratne (Captain), Kusal Perera (Wicketkeeper), Lahiru Thirimanne, Kusal Mendis, Angelo Mathews, Dhananjaya de Silva, Thisara Perera, Isuru Udana, Suranga Lakmal, Lasith Malinga, Kasun Rajitha, Jeevan Mendis, Avishka Fernando, Milinda Siriwardene and Jeffrey Vandersay.

India (From)

Virat Kohli (Captain), Rohit Sharma, Mayank Agarwal, Hardik Pandya, Kedar Jadhav, Ravindra Jadeja, Rishab Pant, Lokesh Rahul, M. S. Dhoni (Wicketkeeper), Dinesh Karthik, Kuldeep Yadav,  Mohammed Shami, Jasprit Bumrah, Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Yuzvendra Chahal.

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