"We have a chance," says Karunaratne, if batsman can play Abbott and Rabada well

 . Last updated on December 30, 2016, 4:51 PM
The avoidable run out that took back Karunaratne to the pavilion.
Image Deryck Foster Backpage


Chasing 488 runs for a victory, Sri Lanka is now sliding in for a probable draw in the test with South Africa. On Day four the team was at 240 for 5 with batsmen knocked out at odd instances. The run out of Dimuth Karunaratne at 43 was a major drawback for Sri Lanka, which could have been avoided if the player had taken a little more caution. It was the best opening partnership inning, which broke with his wicket. Karunaratne and Kaushal Silva brought 87 runs together with their opening partnership. In an instant, the former was summoned by Silva for a quick single. He could have gone for it quickly, but hesitated in the initial moment. Eventually, as he went for the run, his dive ran short by a few centimeters when the ball struck at the stumps.

In the after-match interview, Karunaratne acknowledged his shortcoming as his mistake. He confirmed that he had no misunderstanding with Silva. He later confirmed that his muscle was stressed a bit while playing the reverse sweep just before the delivery and it was playing on his mind. He was merely run out only because he stopped and started again. In this year, the batsman has averaged only 29.29 runs, running short of scores. He expressed that in the recent inning, he worked hard in the early overs and as he was getting a good grip over the pitch, had to come back from the crease. The player lamented that it is the worst thing to get run out in such a situation, because it is all a start-over in the next match.

Dinesh Chandimal’s wicket was dig on Sri Lanka as he was removed at 8 off 38 deliveries. He had to fight the tight fielding by South Africa and tough bowling from Keshav Maharaj. The batsman could not score and it was the haste to do it that became the reason for his dismissal. Karunaratne said that when the wicket is good, there is no need to play risky shots. He said that spending time in the middle is the best a batsman can do and watch how the match progress. The player added that there are mistakes and his team must play better cricket. About Chandimal, he said that the batsman will learn.

By the day’s end Angelo Mathews and De Silva were on crease with a target of 248 runs. Karunaratne said his team will win only if the batsmen could remain unbeaten for the morning session of the fifth day. He pointed out Kyle Abbott as the toughest bowler for his quickness and the ability to move the balls both ways. Per the player, they could win if the batsmen handle Abbott and Kagiso Rabada well.

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