The Dimuth Karunaratne-led Sri Lankan capped off its international season ahead of the 2019 World Cup with a convincing 35-run victory against Scotland in the second and final ODI match in Edinburgh. The visitors posted a huge first innings total on the back of sensational efforts of the top three batters, Avishka Fernando (74), Dimuth Karunaratne (77) and Kusal Mendis (66). Due to the rain interruption, the final target for Scotland was to get to 235 runs in 34 overs.
In the second innings, Scotland batsmen duo of Matthew Cross and George Munsey batted really well to take the game deep, but Lankan fast bowler Nuwan Pradeep bowled a fabulous spell, picking four crucial wickets to restrict the opposition.
After the game, Sri Lankan skipper Dimuth Karunaratne heaped praises on Nuwan Pradeep for his brilliance with the ball that contained the home team. Karunaratne mentioned that the pacer executed all the plans very nicely and thus, was rewarded in the end.
"When Scotland were going quite well, I spoke to Nuwan Pradeep and asked him to try a couple of bouncers. He did that really well and we were able to squeeze them through that middle period," said Dimuth Karunaratne.
Pradeep bowled the yorkers really well says Karunaratne
The Lankan skipper admitted the fact that bowling yorkers was not at all easy with the wet ball, however, Pradeep did execute them really well. He noted that the fast bowlers knows his strengths and areas to bowl really well. Karunaratne also hoped that Pradeep takes this confidence into the coming quadrennial event in England.
"It's not easy to bowl yorkers, especially with the ball getting wet because of the rain. If you don't execute it well it will go for a six. But Pradeep knows how he has to bowl, and he went for the straight yorker. I hope he takes that confidence into the World Cup," he added.
While speaking about his own performance, the Sri Lankan captain said, "Playing an international one-dayer after such a long time is not easy. I was under pressure early on and was struggling a little bit. But once I got set and thought about how to play - which bowlers I should target - I felt better. Fortunately, I got a couple of chances. But thanks to the runs I got, I got some confidence."
Karunaratne also made special mention of his opening partner, Avishka Fernando, who played a fine innings of 74 runs that included five fours and three sixes. "Avishka was excellent as well. We know how capable he is. He can hit hard and rotate the strike as well. We talked to him about what we needed from him. Unfortunately he couldn't get a hundred, but I think he can get a big hundred in the World Cup," Karunaratne concluded.