Before heading to the all-important ICC Cricket World Cup 2019 in England and Wales, the last ODI that Sri Lanka skipper Dimuth Karunaratne played was back in the 2015 World Cup Down Under. After a gap of over four years, Karunaratne is not only back in the ODI mix but is also leading the side.
His first ODI upon return against Scotland was a wash-out due to rain but Karunaratne found some form in the second ODI on Tuesday with a well-compiled half-century as the Lankans posted an impressive 322/8 against the same team. The Lankan skipper had a couple of reprieves on 13 and 36, en route 77 and shared a 123-run first-wicket stand with youngster Avishka Fernando.
“Playing an international one-dayer after such a long time is not easy. I was under pressure early on and was struggling a little bit,” Karunaratne told at the captain's press conference.But once I got set and thought about how to play, which bowlers I should target, I felt better. Fortunately, I got a couple of chances. But thanks to the runs I got, I got some confidence.”Talking about the young sensation, Avishka Fernando, he said,
“Avishka was excellent as well. We know how capable he is. He can hit hard and rotate the strike as well. We talked to him about what we needed from him. Unfortunately, he couldn't get a hundred, but I think he can get a big hundred in the World Cup."
Meanwhile, Sri Lanka is all set to start their World Cup campaign against New Zealand at Cardiff on June 1. This remains to be seen if they can keep all odds aside and start the World Cup campaign fresh.