Former skipper Mahela Jayawardene is concerned about Sri Lanka’s batting in this World Cup, saying the 1996 champions will need to put up a better show with the willow to give their bowlers more freedom.
Sri Lanka crumbled to 136 against New Zealand in their first World Cup match. In the second game against Afghanistan on Tuesday, they were 144 for one in 21.1 overs before collapsing to 201 all out in 36.5 overs, losing nine wickets for 57 runs.
Though Sri Lanka managed to pull off a 34-run win in the rain-hit match, Jayawardene said it was disappointing to see the wickets tumble like nine pins.
“There is no question that Sri Lanka could have batted better. After such a good start, where Kusal Perera batted beautifully and they had two big partnerships, it was disappointing to see them lose their way in the middle,” Jayawardene wrote in a column for the ICC.
“In fairness to Mohammad Nabi, he bowled well, but the spinners were struggling to get much purchase and were just trying to hold the line. The way Sri Lanka lost wickets to him in the middle order is a real concern and there were too many soft dismissals. They need to be more proactive in that situation and put the bowler under pressure.”