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Teamwork key to our success, says Kusal

by malinga
February 16, 2024 1:10 am 0 comment

“We played as a team and played good cricket and dominated all three departments to make a clean sweep of the series,” said Sri Lanka’s jubilant skipper Kusal Mendis after the Afghan ODI series win at Pallekele International Cricket Stadium.

“I’m really happy we won this series in great style. we did it without our key spinners Maheesh Theekshana and Wanindu Hasaranga and that was great. The off spinner Akila Dananjaya and young leg spinner Dunith Wellalage were excellent and both of them gave me confidence,” added Kusal Mendis.

“We’ve played this series on good pitches, and I’m happy about that and our top order has been consistent. The next World Cup is in South Africa and we’ve got a few years before that, but this is the start of our preparation and it is always a big boost for us”.

“Right through this series we’ve had batters in form, and they did well and this is very positive. I’m really thankful to the crowd who came to support us, and to the curators and those who worked on the pitch.”

“We got the surfaces that we wanted and Skipper Kusal Mendis pointed out the importance of the wicket which gave good support to the batsmen. Asitha Wijesinghe the main curator of Pallekele under the guidance of Godfrey Dabrare the International venue Manager overlooking all wickets with his staff and done an excellent job as Pallekele spectators got good entertainment throughout the series”.

The final ODI saw over 14,000 spectators came to see the game and SLC’s decision to play matches at outstation like Pallekele has been a success. They hope to get more crowds at forthcoming Dambulla T-20 series which will start on February 17 under lights.

Meanwhile Afghanistan skipper Hashmatullah Shahidi said “The result didn’t go our way. Sri Lanka played really good cricket in all three departments, so credit goes to them. We didn’t have enough runs”.

“Actually our bowlers also didn’t bowl according to the plan. They (Rashid and Mujeeb) are the main bowlers of the team. If they were with us, it would have been better. We don’t get any risks for our key spinners. I’ll not be a part of the T20I series; I wish best of luck to the team. Hopefully our team will bounce back in that series,” added Afghan skipper.

Pathum Nissanka is the Player of the Match and the Player of the Series said; “I had no idea about getting the fastest 2000 of any Sri Lanka batter. I’m really thankful to my father who was my first coach. We got a good wicket to bat on, and had a good start through Avishka and myself, so we just continued in that way,” added Man of the Series Nissanka who scored fastest ODI 2000 runs in 52 innings surpassing Upul Tharanga’s 2000 runs record which came from 63 innings.

Dhammika Ratnaweera reporting from Pallekele

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