x Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 23 July 2017

Champions Trophy: Sri Lanka key facts

Thisara Perara is still only 24 but already has plenty of stamps in his passport.

Key man - Thisara Perara

Still only 24, Perera already has plenty of stamps in his passport, having become a Twenty20 hired hand because of his strong hitting, handy medium-pace bowling and outstanding fielding. Sri Lanka have been heavily reliant on their old guard for years. If they are to evolve for the better, they need the likes of Perera, Dinesh Chandimal, and even their young captain, Angelo Mathews, to become the biggest influences within the team.

 

Why they will win it

Packed with talent, both youthful and experienced, it is about time the Sri Lankans delivered on their regular excellence at major tournaments. They have all the bases covered: death bowlers, canny spinners, prolific top-order batsmen, late order dashers. All they have lacked to date is the nous for getting over the winning line when the pressure is at its height. Cure that and they will be champions.

 

Why they will not win it

India. Pesky India are like Scooby Do and his gang when it comes to Sri Lanka. All seems to be going well, then they are foiled at the last: they would have gotten away with it if it wasn't for those meddling kids from India. And not just India. Sri Lanka have a blind spot when it comes to succeeding in major finals against anybody, the perennial bridesmaids, with a cupboard full of bouquets but no silverware.

 

Squad (ODIs)

Angelo Mathews (c) 93

Dinesh Chandimal 53

Dilhara Lokuhettige 8

Tillakaratne Dilshan 258

Shaminda Eranga 5

Rangana Herath 40

Mahela Jayawardene 391

Nuwan Kulasekara 134

Lasith Malinga 139

Jeevan Mendis 35

Kusal Perera 7

Thisara Perera 56

Kumar Sangakkara 340

Sachithra Senanayake 10

Lahiru Thirimanne 39

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