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Enough Talking, Players Need to Value These Opportunities: Malinga

Cricketnext Staff | Updated: March 7, 2019, 12:29 AM IST
Enough Talking, Players Need to Value These Opportunities: Malinga

Malinga. (AP)

Skipper Lasith Malinga said there's no point talking about how Sri Lanka can improve, and urged his players to realise the opportunity that they have been provided, after the Islanders were thrashed by 113 runs in the second ODI.

"First 10-15 overs we did not bowl well. But we corrected ourselves and restricted them to 250. Very good effort from the bowlers. The batsmen didn't understand," said Malinga at the post-match presentation ceremony.

"I think they didn't understand, I feel this is not a gift. They have talent. That's why they're playing for the national team. They have to understand that. They have to understand their own value. We have done enough talking. Players have to realise... they have to value these opportunities. They don't come around every day. They have to grab it."

South Africa got off to a superb start on the back of Quinton de Kock (94) and Faf du Plessis (57) before losing their last six wickets for just 31 runs as they were dismissed for 251 runs. While du Plessis wasn't completely satisfied with the batting performance, he heaped heavy praise on the South African pace trio of Kagiso Rabada, Lungi Ngidi and Anrich Nortje who shared seven wickets between them.

"I suppose from a perfect game (it was rewarding). We probably would have wanted 40-50 runs after the start. You are not always gonna bat well and put up the runs. But you need your bowlers sometime to bail you out of trouble," said the South African captain.

"The three fast bowlers in tandem was good to see. Lungi hits the bat hard and always picks up wickets. He is a massive weapon for the team. He (Nortje) has got a huge tank to bowl 7 overs in a row and bowling them with control, good signs for us."

Du Plessis himself has been in brilliant form of late, managing at least a half-century in his last four innings. The 34-year-old said he has been able to achieve such consistency because of the mental shift, and also hinted that they will make few changes in the remaining ODIs keeping World Cup in mind.

"Probably from a year or two I wanted to transition from a good player to a great player. It has been a mental shift," he said.

"Obviously for us the vision is to look ahead. We will look at possibly making some changes and it is good we are 2-0 up, gives us an opportunity to make those changes. We have someone like JP to comeback, so we have to see where we can fit him in, same with Steyn."

Meanwhile, de Kock, who was named as Player of the Match for his effort, missed his century by just six runs as he got out playing a rash shot. The in-form wicketkeeper-batsman, however, wasn't losing his sleep over it.

"I didn't mean to be (in a hurry). The wicket played nicely up front. I didn't plan to go full blown but it just happened. I think that is the way we want to play cricket, not the names but the ball."
First Published: March 6, 2019, 11:56 PM IST

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