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Middle order failure cost Lankans at World Cup - Ashantha de Mel

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A major issue at the World Cup was the failure of Sri Lankan middle-order and they did not play positive cricket in the entire tournament said Ashantha de Mel Chief selector of the Sri Lanka Cricket.

He made this remarks shortly after landing in the Island, along with skipper Dimuth Karunaratne and head coach Chandika Hathurusinghe at the SLC head office in Maitland Place yesterday.

He further said “I think the reason for our middle order to fail is that they didn’t play positive cricket. It’s a psychological thing”.

“I don’t think it was a successful tour. But, I think winning 3 out of 7 is like almost 50%. But we can’t be satisfied with that.” De Mel said.

Speaking of the performances at the World Cup he went on to say, “The bowlers did a good job throughout the tournament. Although there weren’t lot of wickets, they did a good job. Our fielding was good as a whole. I think if I am not wrong we were second on the list for least drop-catches until the West Indies game.”

He also praised Kushal Mendis' performance and went on to say that “Kusal Mendis is just 24 years of age and he has five Test centuries. He is a talented batsman and he has got the skills. He mostly got out in unfortunate manners. The question is, are we going to drop a good player so simply or groom them and bring them forward? We should be a little patient and give them an opportunity. We need to give them the confidence.” replied de Mel.

Head coach Hathurusinghe also expressed his views regarding his payment package and was asked whether he has done justice to it. He simply replied with “I think I have done my best.”

He also said he has no intention to leave his position until his contract with SLC is over in November 2020.

Karunaratne also spoke about the performance of his team. “I wouldn’t say we did well at the World Cup. But, we managed to pull out some good wins.”

“Angelo and Malinga supported me a lot in the middle. I always spoke to the team and got their input as their experience is vital. I was leading the team for the first time and straight away in a World Cup, it’s never easy. Everyone helped me with it” Karunaratne said, regarding the support he got from the team.

It was a unforgettable World Cup campaign for Sri Lanka as they won only three games and could not find themselves a spot in the knockouts for the first time in 20 years.

(Daily News)

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