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Bangladesh Series Triumph Beginning of Fresh Start: Karunaratne

Cricketnext Staff |August 1, 2019, 12:07 PM IST
Bangladesh Series Triumph Beginning of Fresh Start: Karunaratne

Sri Lanka captain Dimuth Karunaratne believes that the series triumph over Bangladesh is the beginning of a fresh start for the side after the hosts completed a 3-0 ODI series win on Wednesday (July 31).

Angelo Mathews’ 87 anchored the Sri Lankan innings after Dimuth Karunaratne (46) and Kusal Perera (42) provided a base. Dasun Shanaka’s (30) blitz at the end pushed Sri Lanka’s scored to 294/8 at the end of the innings. Early inroads by Kasun Rajitha, followed Shanaka’s single-handed effort to remove the middle order eventually resulted in the visitors getting bowled out for 172.

The win meant that Sri Lanka had won a home ODI series for the first time in 44 months.

"Yes (it's a new beginning for us)," Karunaratne said. "I think after the World Cup we had to start again, and this time, we have to find some new talents. We have a couple of tours both home and away and we are looking forward to giving the opportunities to the players and find some new talents. We want to form the best 15 players for the next World Cup."

"We wanted to win and after a long time, we have won a series. And I think we need to celebrate it, and after that we have a tough challenge against New Zealand and we have to focus on that. For now, we will be celebrating and from tomorrow we will focus on that."

The skipper also complimented the senior players for their assistance in captaincy and stepping up to the plate and performing when required.

"I speak to Angelo and Lasith all the time, they have given me support," he said. "I am still learning and I have a lot to improve in my captaincy. The players who have played plenty of matches have kept supporting me.

"They have given me suggestions sometimes and that's what I want to do, to involve everyone and do the right things. All the players and supporting staff have supported me and I am trying to do my job properly and trying to keep things nice and easy."

Mathews, who scored his 40th ODI fifty, was awarded the Player of the Match in the third ODI and was also declared the Player of the series for his 187 runs in the three games.

"Angelo is tough and very experienced. He knows his game very well, that's why he succeeds with the bat," Karunaratne said. "If he can bowl us a couple of overs then it’s a huge plus to Sri Lanka."

Karunaratne further added that he was pleased with the effort of the youngsters and that more opportunities will be available in the upcoming series.

"They all are pretty good players and I just wanted to give them the chance. Because after this match we don't have much ODI matches and I think they grabbed the chance pretty well. All the players who played today, they put their hands up and did a great job. That's what we want you know, having a competition and having a strong bench.

"Sometimes players get injured and then we can easily replace the players. And now I think it's the reason that we have to build a strong line up. And they did pretty good. I think this time we have brought some youngsters and will keep grooming them for the next couple of years."

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