Sri Lanka’s World Cup fate is out of their own hands after defeat to South Africa on Friday in Durham.
Sri Lanka have won two of their seven games so far and are currently seventh in the standings.They must win against West Indies in Durham to keep their faint semi-final hopes alive
But skipper Dimuth Karunaratne insists he and his fellow batsmen are ready to turn the tide in their favour in their last two games of this ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup.
Monday sees Sri Lanka face the West Indies, again at Chester-le-Street, and depending on other results they will know if their top-four hopes are still intact.
But the fact remains they must win two from two – their last game is against India – to stand any chance of staying alive in the tournament.
And Karunaratne is adamant his side are focused on the job in hand, starting with the already-eliminated West Indies.
“We can’t control the other games, you know,” he said.
“They were playing really well. Sometimes they were playing really well,
sometimes they couldn’t. I think we had a good chance. Still we have a chance,
I think, but we have to win these two games and wait to see what will happen in
the other games.
“Only we can control the matches we are going to play, the two matches, so we are trying to give our best and try to win these two matches and, hopefully, if we have a chance, we definitely can be in the top four teams.”
The batting has been the chief source of concern all tournament long for Sri Lanka.
Karunaratne has made two half centuries, as has Kusal Perera while Angelo Mathews has chipped in with one of his own in their massive win over England in Leeds.
But no Sri Lankan batsman has reached three figures yet in this tournament, and the skipper is keen to put that statistic to bed.
“I think the batting is the main collapse, you know. We couldn’t get a hundred. We played like six, five matches, so we couldn’t get a hundred, only a couple of 50s in our team, so that is the only major thing,” he added.
“If you want to compete with the good sides, you definitely got to have
a good batting line-up and you have to put runs on the board, so I think in
this World Cup, the major part is the batting line-up.”
And Karunaratne has resisted the temptation to bring in an extra batsmen after Nuwan Pradeep was struck down with chickenpox.
Instead, Kasun Rajitha was given the nod by the captain.
“If some fast bowler gets injured, there is no fast bowler, so you want to take a fast bowler into the squad in case if someone get injured,” he added.
“But I think we have enough batsmen. They have capabilities to score runs, but I think the only thing is they were scoring but as a unit we couldn’t perform really well in these matches.
“I think everyone has to put hands up and put heads down and put some runs on the board if you want to really win the matches.”
By, Sirinama Rajapakse