NEW DELHI: Sri Lankan spinner Maheesh Theekshana didn’t mince words and said that the defending champions England had underestimated the Islanders at their own risk. Sri Lanka cruised to an eight-wicket win against the 2019 champions England and dented their hopes of reaching the semifinals of the mega tournament.
The Sri Lankan bowlers demonstrated remarkable accuracy on a pitch with unpredictable bounce, dismantling England’s lineup for a mere 156 runs.Sri Lanka clinched victory withSadeera Samarawickrama and Pathum Nissanka both scoring half-centuries. Sri Lanka chased down the total in 25.4 overs.

With this win, Sri Lanka are now fifth in the points tally with 2 wins and 3 losses in 5 matches. They have a run-rate of -0.205.

“I think they underestimated our team because we also lost three games and we only won against the Netherlands. That’s why the result went our way because we backed our strength. We went in with a simple plan, so that’s why we won the game today,” said Theekshana in the post-match press meet here.

Sri Lankan bowlers had a woeful time in the first four matches, leaking runs aplenty and South Africa had even mustered a 400-plus total.
Theekshana said the Lankans executed their plans much better in this match.

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“In the first four games, we didn’t bowl well in the middle overs. I think we lost three games because of our bowling. So, we did some practice sessions to get more discipline, all the fast bowlers did their hard work before the game so they know what they have to do in the game (today),” he said.
Theekshana admitted that the surface at the M Chinnaswamy Stadium, often batsmen’s ally, changed its character a bit during this match as the bowlers too got some purchase.
“I have played an IPL match (here) and the pitch was different. (Today) there was a bit of turn, pace and bounce. In that IPL match, the pitch was flat and scoring runs was relatively easy.
“I’m not implying that it was tough to accumulate runs in this match, as we managed to score 150 runs with just two wickets down,” he said.

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The victory over England, Theekshana said, will help Sri Lanka to approach upcoming matches with more confidence.
“Our confidence as a team has increased a lot. In this match, we got a very big victory. We are looking to play well in the upcoming four matches and reach the semifinals,” he added.

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