Dilshan promises to keep calm and carry on

Courtesy: International Cricket Council

Sri Lanka captain Tillakaratne Dilshan said there was no point in reading the riot act after a stunning collapse to 82 all out saw his side lose the first Test against England.

A rain-affected match appeared destined for a draw after England declared their first innings on 496 for five – a lead of just 96 – with only 51 overs left on Monday’s fifth and final day at Sophia Gardens.

But what had seemed a moribund match was sparked into life by England fast bowler Chris Tremlett who, maintaining an accurate line and length at sharp pace ripped through the top order on his way to four for 40.

Off-spinner Graeme Swann (four for 16) followed up and Sri Lanka were bowled out inside 25 overs to go 1-0 down in this three-match series.

They do not have long to regroup before the second Test at Lord’s on Friday and Dilshan said: “I am really calm, I can’t be angry.

“It will be difficult to forget this Test match but we have to stick together as a team.

“We can regroup and come back for the Lord’s Test in a positive mind and then we can play some good cricket there.”

This was Sri Lanka’s first Test outside the subcontinent since 2008 and this defeat, coming in the first match under interim coach and former Australia batsman Stuart Law, will confirm suspicions that while they remain a force in Asia, they are nothing like as effective away from familiar conditions.

Before this series began, it appeared bowling was Sri Lanka’s biggest concern with star spinner Muttiah Muralitharan, slingshot seamer Lasith Malinga and left-armer Chaminda Vaas having all retired.

Sri Lanka then suffered the double misfortune of seeing pacemen Nuwan Pradeep (cruciate ligament) and Dilhara Fernando (knee soreness) both ruled out of playing in Cardiff through injury.

Pradeep has since had to return home but Sri Lanka remain optimistic Fernando will be fit to play at Lord’s.

But even if Fernando returns, that will do nothing to dampen fears regarding a Sri Lanka top order who so spectacularly slumped in Cardiff on a pitch that, while lively, was no ‘terror track’.

Three of Sri Lanka’s batsmen – Kumar Sangakkara, Thilan Samaraweera and Mahela Jaywardene – came into this match each averaging over 50 in Tests.

Yet the trio managed just 29 runs between them on Monday, with Samaraweera playing on to Swann for nought.

“It’s very difficult to explain, I can’t believe we got out in just 25 overs with such a good batting line-up like we have,” Dilshan said after seeing Sri Lanka bowled out for their lowest Test total in England, beating their 141 in Birmingham five years ago.

“Our batting line-up has guys like Mahela, Kumar, Thilan and myself.

“We are experienced players and we need to regroup as soon as possible and come back for the next Test on Friday.”

  • Eranga

    Chaminda Vaas should be selected to 2nd Test at Lords. As my personal idea and this is the only change has to done at this moment. Because we know who is vaasi and he prooved lot and there are evidence as well. He is a wicket taking bowler after murali. I think he should be in the side for sri lanka till his retirment.
    Selection committee panel we dont need to show his stats at county cricket for u. and u should know about it.
    There are enough stats to include vaasi for Maharoof. If you get both of them statistics at county who is the Best? Who is the man of the tournament last county with ball and bat as an allrounder?

    No need to change the batting line up we have right now and only change should be done is Vaasi.

  • Pubudu

    ABSURD POLITICS…HERE.. WHEN CHAMINDA VASS IS PERFORMING VERY WELL IN ENGLAND IN THE CURRENT COUNTY MATCH WITH GLAMORGAN HE HAS TAKEN 5 1ST INNING WICKETS JUST SEE CRICINFO..,

    WE BRING MAHAROOF IN TO TEST CRICKET AS A GENUINE FAST BOWLER..HE’S JUST AN ALL ROUNDER AND 31 YEARS , IS HE YOUNG??? WHEN NUWAN PRADEEP IS INJURED SHOULDN’T US REPLACE HIM WITH ANOTHER GENUINE FAST BOWLER INSTEAD BRINGING A BIT AND PIECES BOWLER..

  • N Jay

    This defeat follows another spectacular defeat at the world cup finals. Ar these players so thick that they cannot even see how there opponents played in their first innings, leaving aside balls that should have been justleft out.

    I am saddened by the performance of the experienced players, there main interest seems to be to play for the IPL rather than represent their country and bring some honour and recognition to Sri lankla after what the armed forces achieved in defeating the terrorists.

    Lets hope that thecricketers will think of the servicemen who gave their lives to defend their motherland and produce a performances in the remaining matches and regain the recognition they have built over the years. They need to use their mind and have grit and determination to face up to the opponents otherwise the crowds coming to see Sr lankans will fall continuously.

  • Malshan kalpan dilshangana

    I think we need a other batsmen.i think that is dinesh chandimal.because he is in good form.

  • RAVI

    no need to more talk ? dilshan. we need good cricket only? no need any explain or many think 4 here

  • http://no chama

    not the regroup but rethink about team composition 06genuine batsman + genuine wicket keeper who can bat + 4 genuine bowlers.Dilshan… still the talents in the squad just only wisely use them without concerning the Team politics.Inclusion of young guys may hurt couple of seniors but it save our crcketing future. to win or loose , it all depend on team selection as we had that experience in 2011 WC final…if you select the best team means you have completed the task by 50 % .