Sun, 05 Dec 2021

Abu Dhabi [UAE], October 19 (ANI): Sri Lanka's Bhanuka Rajapaksa believes the impressive work of the front-line bowlers made life easy for their batters in the convincing opening win over Namibia but he still wants to see improvements from the team in the ongoing T20 World Cup 2021.

Bowling first in Abu Dhabi, Sri Lanka's trio of seamers restricted Namibia --- conceding just 45 runs from their 11.3 overs and taking four wickets -- to complement the combined five-wicket haul of spinners Wanindu Hasaranga and Maheesh Theekshana.

Rajapaksa's 42 not out and Avishka Fernando's unbeaten 30 for a fourth-wicket stand of 74 saw them comfortably home. But despite getting their T20 World Cup 2021 campaign off to a winning start, Rajapaksa is targeting a more complete display against Ireland on Wednesday.

"It's always a learning curve for any team and any individual. We can't be happy with all of the performance because there are many parts we need to improve. But we can be happy about the performance of the front-line bowlers because they set the tone for us and it made it much easier for us batters," ICC quoted Rajapaksa as saying.

"We've been struggling in the powerplay to get runs and not lose wickets, so there's a bit of a concern when it comes to the top-order batters -- they are struggling to get runs and it is not in our favour at the minute.

"Going forward we are looking to correct the mistakes from past games. It was a bad day for the top order but we'll take it in a positive way and going forward, we'll do the right things," he added.

Opening batters Pathum Nissanka and Kusal Perera both fell cheaply, while number three Dinesh Chandimal was dismissed for five.

But the decision to bowl first paid dividends as the Namibia total was still low (96) enough to comfortably hunt down despite the early struggles and Rajapaksa admitted that winning the toss was key.

"One of the reasons we wanted to bowl first is that we knew there would be some dew as the evening went on. The warm-up games we played in Oman, the dew factor was large and the bowlers couldn't grip the ball when they were bowling second. We knew the conditions would be similar here in Abu Dhabi," said Rajapaksa.

"Going forward, the toss will be important but we can't always rely on it. We need to practice with a wet ball in the nets. It could be a challenge for us but the boys are ready for it," he signed off. (ANI)

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