SL vs SA 2018: Dhananjaya de Silva ready to take up finisher's role for Sri Lanka

South Africa have won the ODI series with 2 games to go.

De Silvs played a heroic knock for a losing cause in the third ODI against SA. (AFP)

Dhananjaya de Silva batted at various positions throughout this his short career for Sri Lanka, however, has failed to deliver repeatedly. The innings of 84 that he scored in a losing cause batting at number 7 seems to be the perfect slot for him going forward. 

"I've been told that my position in the ODI side is down at No. 6 or 7, so I will have to train and play accordingly," Dhananjaya said.

"When I came to bat at No. 7, my main focus was on how to get close to the big target that South Africa had set us. I had been down to play at 6 but because the team wanted a left-hand/right-hand combination earlier in the innings, I had to come lower, at No. 7," he said.

Dhananjaya said Sri Lanka's loss of early wickets did not help their cause of chasing such a big total. Dhanjaya reckoned the Pallekele strip had a lot of runs in it and the result would've been different had Sri Lanka kept hold of wickets for much longer.

"There was nothing wrong with the wicket - it was a 350-plus pitch. But we lost early wickets and the target became difficult. Otherwise, we could have got those runs if we had had wickets in hand."

Despite his heroics, Dhananjaya fell 16 short of a hundred scoring a 66 ball 84. The loss must've felt deflating but there was further disappointment for Dhananjaya, as he fell 16 short of a fine century.

"I'm disappointed to miss out on the hundred, because you won't get many opportunities to score an ODI hundred from lower down the order. At the time, I was trying to score a lot of runs quickly - trying to get about 15 an over, before Kagiso Rabada and Lungi Ngidi came back into the attack at the death."

The final two ODIs will be played on  August 8 and 10 in Pallekele and Colombo respectively. South Africa, courtesy their three wins have secured the series with two to play.  

(Inputs from Cricbuzz)


By Anshuman Roy - 07 Aug, 2018

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