Sri Lankan interim coach Nic Pothas, on Sunday, lavished praise onSuranga Lakmal, who flustered the Indian batters with his career-best figures of 4 for 13, and helped his team take a 1-0 lead in the three-match One Day International series by winning Dharamsala ODI by seven wickets.
With Dharamsala ODI win, Sri Lanka registered their maiden victory in 13 matches as the previous 12 results ended in defeats. Sri Lanka thus has come back from behind to take the lead in the ODI series, a format in which they have performed under par in recent times.
As per PTI, Nic Pothas told reporters at the post-match press conference, “Look, Suranga is a world-class bowler. If you give him the conditions that suits him, doesn't matter to whom he bowls, he is always going to make life difficult. In his career so far, he had bowled on flat, dry wickets. You give him some greenery, he will be brilliant. In South Africa at the start of this year, he was superb again. He is a class performer and guts individual and great guy to have in the team.”
He further added, “We have had guys in this team who have gone through the processes. We have obviously tried a lot of people and we are getting closer and closer to a formula we think will be successful for us in the future. We are in a nice place. We have built this team up nicely.”
The interim coach pleased with his team’s show in Dharamsala, as they dismissed India for 112 and then chased down the total with ease in just 20.4 overs on Sunday. Pothas further added, “It is a good place to be. We enjoyed the win. We haven't had a lot of success in white ball cricket. We are at a position now things are quite settled, players understand roles. We used a different strategy and very pleased with the way things worked out for us today. Whenever you play a quality team like India, you have to adapt. We have seen historically, if you want to win against India - this game was different - but you have to play spin well in the middle overs. We acknowledged that we have some very good players of spin, worked around the batting line up a bit. We gave ourselves the best chance.”
Commenting on Angelo Mathews, the coach added, “Angelo looked great again. He has got his work load in. The physio has done some great work with him. He is not full capacity yet. Angelo is world class performer and the way he handled that situation with the bat showed how important he is for us.”
Pothas concluded by saying, “I firmly believe that there were two massive moments in the game. It had to be said that the toss was massive in the game and the no-ball to Upul Tharanga. If you lose another one we are suddenly 15 for three and that is a hugely different situation. We have looked at two situations where for me they sort of defined the day.”