Dinesh Chandimal, the Sri Lanka Test captain, lauded his batsmen for the way they executed the plans and saved the third and final Test in Delhi on Wednesday (December 6).
Sri Lanka started the day on 31 for 3 and soon lost Angelo Mathews but defiant knocks from Dhananjaya de Silva, Chandimal, Roshen Silva and Niroshan Dickwella meant the hosts failed to force a win and had to settle for a 1-0 series win.
Sri Lanka had slipped to a massive loss in Nagpur – by an innings and 39 runs – but came up with much-improved performance in the final Test scoring 373 and 299 for 5 in the two innings. “It was a really good series apart from the second game,” said Chandimal. “After the second game we sat down as a team, and especially with the batting unit, to discussed how to get our approach for the third match according to the plans.
“Before the third Test we had two practice sessions. When they went to bat out today, they executed what we had practised and delivered. I am really happy with the way we batted after the second Test.”
Chandimal felt the mental toughness of the players came to the fore after they had their backs to the wall by the end of the fourth day. “We got so many youngsters for this series and we have a really good attitude. If that is there the best result will come. If you have players with bad attitude you won’t get good results. That’s what I am looking at from this team. Attitude is good and discipline is good and I think I can move forward with this team,” he said.
De Silva batted 219 deliveries for his 119 before he was forced to retire hurt because of tightness in his glute. Chandimal acknowledged he’s happy with the way the 26-year-old grabbed his opportunity after registering a 14-ball 1 in the first innings.
“It was a really good innings. We picked him after the Windies A team tour and he played some good innings there we had to trust playing him at No. 3. He took his opportunity with both hands.”
Another starring performance for the visitors came from Roshen, who was making his debut and was under pressure after a three-ball duck in his first Test innings. Roshen stayed unbeaten on 74 and chewed up 154 deliveries to shut the door on India. Chandimal said while it was tough to leave out Lahiru Thirimanne – the vice captain – he had full faith in the youngsters.
“It was tough to leave the vice captain out. It’s a tough call. Dhananjaya and Roshen deserved to take the opportunities. Especially Roshen – he’s scored more than 6000 runs in domestic cricket. he has played in A team and scored heavily there as well. Both deserved their places. It’s unfortunate for Thirimanne.”
The two teams will now clash in three One-Day Internationals and three Twenty20 Internationals starting on December 10.