COLOMBO: Sri Lanka skipper Dasun Shanaka lauded India pacer Mohammed Siraj for his deadly spell of 6-21, crediting him for an outstanding display of bowling and for approaching the game in a certain way.
Siraj got massive help from the pitch, making the ball talk both ways and leaving Sri Lanka batters bamboozled to pick a magnificent career-best 6-21 in seven overs, including four scalps coming in his second over of the game, playing a chief role in bowling out the hosts for just 50.
"It was an outstanding display of bowling from Siraj, credit to him for how he approached the game. I thought it would be a good pitch for the batters, but the overcast conditions played a part and it was a tough, tough day," said Shanaka after the game ended.
He also felt his batters could have applied themselves better but was optimistic about his team’s chances in the upcoming ODI World Cup in India. "Of course, the application could have been better, could've tightened our technique a bit to settle down and free our arms in the middle period."
"Positive takeaway is how Sadeera Samarawickrama and Kusal Mendis batted in the middle period in spinning conditions, as well as the way Charith Asalanka batted and he's handling that pressure well."
"In Indian conditions, these three will perform well and score heavily. Also Dunith Wellalage, Maheesh Theekshana, Matheesha Pathirana and the two other fast bowlers as well in Kasun Rajitha and Pramod Madushan, I think they will do well in the coming World Cup."
Shanaka also thanked fans for coming out to support the Sri Lankan team in huge numbers.
"Without five main players, the good thing is we came to the final playing good sides. It's a good sign from where we began two years ago. At last, I would like to thank the fans who came in numbers, really sorry that we disappointed you. We as cricketers really love you. And congratulations to the Indian team for the brand of cricket they're playing."
Head coach Chris Silverwood was left disappointed over Sri Lanka being bowled out for 50, their second-lowest ODI total and the least they have scored in the format against India, as well as in the Asia Cup. He added that the team would dwell on the thrashing and disappointing batting show on Monday.
"It is below par. The way we got dismissed is very disappointing, think there's a lot of reflection to be done in the dressing. I think today we've come up against a very high-class bowling attack, though Siraj was superb. At the same time, I think we made our own life difficult as well."
"We came in here with some of the younger bowlers, some of whom have shone. In the batting we've seen Sadeera come through, we've seen some good stuff in there. But today it's been disappointing. I'm sure there'll be a lot of questions asked, but best to assess it in the morning when the emotions have calmed down," he concluded.