Sri Lanka ended up losing both the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup warm-up matches before entering into the premier tournament. However, batsman Lahiru Thirimanne does not think that it will hinder their overall performance. “I think before the 2014 T20 World Cup, people were saying the same thing. People were saying we needed to work on our power hitting but we ended up winning the World Cup at the end of the day,” ICC quoted Thirimanne as saying. In the first warm-up match, South Africa racked up 338 runs on the board and then bundled off the Sri Lanka team on 251 runs. Displaying somewhat similar performance with the bat in the second warm-up match against Australia, Sri Lanka put up a total of 239 runs which Australia chased easily with 31 balls to spare and five wickets in hand.
Lahiru Thirimanne scored 10 and 56 runs respectively in the two warm-up games. When asked if he is planning to work on some new shots, he said: “Not really, because I stick to my game plan … But if the opportunities are there, I will play different shots.” Thirimanne was a surprise inclusion in the Sri Lanka World Cup squad if we keep in mind that he did not play an ODI since December 2017 until his side’s 35-run DLS victory against Scotland in May 2019.
“I was in the Test side five or six months ago, so it was not that hard [to get in the squad]. But we had a domestic tournament about a month ago, so I had a chance to perform well there and get into the team. It was a good tournament for me because even though I played the last World Cup, and everyone thought I can somehow contribute to the team in this World Cup, I was lucky I had a chance to perform well in the domestic season and get into the team,” he said.
Sri Lanka will aim to turn things around in the quadrennial tournament when they will face New Zealand on June 1.