x Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 22 July 2017

Coach backs Sri Lanka after average warm up

The Sri Lanka coach Trevor Bayliss is certain his players will rise to the challenge in first of five one-dayers against Zimbabwe.

HARARE // The Sri Lanka coach Trevor Bayliss has shrugged off the mini batting collapse his team suffered in a warm-up match and is certain his players will rise to the challenge in first of five one-dayers against Zimbabwe, which starts today. A 5-0 series whitewash in Pakistan followed by early elimination in the four-nation Twenty20 tournament in Toronto suggests Zimbabwe are unlikely to trouble the Sri Lankans.

Yet, the performance of a Zimbabwe A team in a tour game against the tourists last week offers some hope. But Bayliss knows his team must raise their game for the ODI series. "It will be very different when the one-dayers come calling," he said. "But, yes we need to regain focus quickly." Sri Lanka have several youngsters in their side in an experience-gaining mission but have enough firepower. Earlier, Kumar Sangakkara hit 174 and Chamara Kapugedera made 150 in a total of 567-4, in a four-day match which the ZCA had thrown into the schedule in the hope of exposing their players to the demands of the longer version of the game.

* PA Sport