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"Can't blame pitches...": Sri Lanka skipper Hasaranga on team's early exit from T20 World Cup

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Castries | June 17, 2024 9:41:28 PM IST
Following his side's 83-run win over Netherlands in their ICC T20 World Cup match, Sri Lanka skipper Wanindu Hasaranga said that being professional cricketers, the team cannot blame pitches in the USA and other factors for their early exit from the tournament.

Sri Lanka's T20 World Cup 2024 campaign concluded with a commanding 83-run victory over the Netherlands at the Daren Sammy National Cricket Stadium on Sunday (local time).

"When you lose a match you can blame pitches and other things, but as professional cricketers, that is not a good thing. Even the other team has to play on the same pitch, and it is our job to change the way we play. We are representing a country and have to take that responsibility," Hasaranga said at the post-match press conference.

The captain said the team failed to make small changes to its game and adapt, terming it as the "main flaw" of their campaign.

Hasaranga thanked the Sri Lankan Cricket (SLC) board for organising a training camp for the team at the venue and bringing them to the venues 10 days early.

"That was a big thing. It was important to get used to conditions, weather, and the time zone here. But then when we moved from one region in the USA to another, the pitches were not the same. Even though in some countries pitches are more similar from place to place, that is not the case in the USA."

"We adjusted as well as we could, but we unfortunately got New York for the first match, and it did not go well for us. In the second match, we went to Dallas and did not adjust well to that pitch. As a team and as a captain we have to take the responsibility for that," he concluded.

Sri Lanka's poor run in ICC tournaments continued with their World Cup campaign this year.

Since their T20 World Cup trophy win in 2014, they have not made it to the knockout stages of any ICC tournament except the 2015 50-over World Cup, where they reached the quarterfinals.

Coming to the match, Netherlands won the toss and opted to bowl first. Knocks from Kusal Mendis (46 in 29 balls, with five fours), Charith Asalanka (46 in 21 balls, with a four and five sixes), Dhananjaya de Silva (34 in 26 balls, with three fours and a six) and Angelo Matthews (30* in 15 balls, with a four and two sixes) took Sri Lanka to 201/6 in their 20 overs.

Logan van Beek (2/45) was the top wicket-taker for the Netherlands.

In the run-chase of 202 runs, Netherlands started off with a fine opening stand of 45 runs between Michael Levitt (31 in 23 balls, with two fours and three sixes) and Max O Dow'd (11 in eight balls, with a six) but then started to lose wickets at regular intervals. Skipper Scott Edwards (31 in 24 balls, with two fours and a six) tried to give a fight, but he did not get enough support. The Netherlands was skittled out for 118 runs in 16.4 overs.

Nuwan Thushara (3/24) was the pick of the bowlers for Sri Lanka. Matheesha Pathirana (2/12) and Hasaranga (2/25) also dropped top spells with the ball.

Asalanka took home the 'Player of the Match' award.

Sri Lanka has finished third in Group D with a win, two losses and a no result. They have three points in total. Netherlands has won one and lost three and bow out of the tournament along with SL with just two points. South Africa (eight points) and Bangladesh (six points) move to Super Eights from this group. (ANI)

 
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