Hitting sixes was not easy at Hambantota, says SL team manager
Sri Lanka’s score of 345 runs against losing West Indies team in the 2nd ODI on Wednesday is the highest (ODI) total without a six run boundary.
“Hitting sixes was very difficult at this large ground,” the team manager Ashantha de Mel, speaking exclusively over telephone on reaching Kandy, said.
“It was difficult because the boundary rope is 90 meters from the pitch. Even West Indies players could not hit more than one (by Fabian Allen),”
the manager the selector said.
Both centurions-Avishka Fernando and Kusal Mendis could hit 10 and 12 fours respectively.
“No family members of these two were at the ground to watch tons. Even the family members of landmark match-players -Angelo Mathews (100th match on Sri Lankan soil) and Kusal Perera (100th ODI)-were missing,” de Mel confirmed.
First ball victim
Sri Lankan wicket-keeper batsman Kusal Perera has joined the company of five other international cricketers, who too were Out first ball in their 100th ODI match.
This was revealed exclusively by two renowned cricket statisticians, Mohandas Menon (India) and Andrew Samson.
They are: Craig McDermott (Australia), Jimmy Adams (West Indies), Mushtaq Ahmed and Umar Akmal (both Pakistan), James Franklin (New Zealand).
Kusal Perera lost wicket to Cottrell (caught by the wicket-keeper Hope).
A piece of advice from former Sri Lanka captain Sanath Jayasuriya, who is being idolized by the 29-year-old Kusal Perera is: “Not to lose sleep over it.”
Speaking exclusively over telephone from Colombo, Jayasuriya said, “If you get a good ball earlier on in your innings you can’t help it. In a team game there are other ways you can contribute.”
“KJP in particular being a wicket-keeper he is ever present in the game. My advice to him when it comes to batting is not to change his style. Stick to his game. But be prudent in what ball to attack.”
“If the ball is there to be hit, of course he has to go after it no matter whether that’s the first ball or the last.”
Incidentally, Windies skipper Kieron Pollard too had this unforgettable match. Not only his team lost the match but he was also out first ball-though it was his 112nd ODI. He was bowled by Wanindu Hasaranga’s leg-break delivery.