Sri Lankan skipper Dimuth Karunaratne couldn’t hide his disappointment after his team surrendered their weapons easily against Australia despite getting off to a fantastic start in their 2019 World Cup encounter at the Kennington Oval on Saturday (June 15).
Chasing 335, Karunaratne (97) and Kusal Perera (52) added 115 runs in 15.3 overs, and once the former departed at the score of 186, Sri Lanka lost their last seven wickets for just 42 runs.
Karunaratne said that the middle-order will have to step up if they want to get anywhere near that semifinal spot.
“It was a good wicket. We got a good start with the bat. We couldn’t capitalise and when the middle-order came in, they couldn’t capitalize either and really couldn’t handle the pressure,” he said.
“The Australians are top-class bowlers, but we have faced them before, and we were missing a game plan against them to be honest.”
Despite the defeat, Karunaratne feels that Sri Lanka can still qualify for the semifinals.
“We lost a couple of matches because of the rain. We need to win a couple of matches, and if we can do it, we can definitely be in the top 4. We have got to get to the semi-finals and then take it step by step until the final.”
Needing a World Cup record run-chase to claim a shock win, Sri Lanka got off to a flying start thanks to a first-wicket partnership of 115 between captain Dimuth Karunaratne and Kusal Perera. But Perera departed for 52 and when Karunaratne fell on 97 the game swung back in Australia’s direction.
Starc was the catalyst with a fiery spell of three wickets in six balls, Australia eventually dismissing Sri Lanka for 247 thanks in large part to his 4/55 from 10 overs.