Sri Lanka wary of quality opponents in Caribbean tri-series

Kingston (Jamaica), June 26 (IANS/CMC) Skipper Angelo Mathews says Sri Lanka will have to raise their game if they are to win the Celkon Mobile Cup Tri-series in the Caribbean which starts in Jamaica Friday.

The Sri Lankan cricketers arrived in Kingston Monday for the tournament that also includes the West Indies and India, winners of this year’s ICC Champions Trophy.

Mathews says his team is on a high after beating England and Australia to reach the semi-finals of the Champions Trophy.

“We have played some really good cricket in the Champions Trophy, beating England and Australia to reach the semi-finals and so the confidence is pretty high,” Mathews said Tuesday.

“The West Indies and India are two very good teams in the shorter format of the game and I think that we really need to play some really good cricket to win against them.”

Sri Lanka’s cricket selectors have made two changes to their team which competed in the Champions Trophy in England last week.

Batsman Tillakaratne Dilshan is out with a calf injury suffered in last Thursday’s semi-final defeat to India, while all-rounder Thisara Perera was dropped from the 15-member squad.

“It’s unfortunate that Dilshan picked up an injury, but it is a good opportunity for our youngsters to try and prove themselves,” Mathews said.

“The West Indies are a strong team when it comes to the shorter format of the game and so we need to be on our guard from ball one and also we need to play some good cricket to beat the West Indies.”

Sri Lanka play West Indies in the opening game of the series Friday at Sabina Park.

“I think our main challenge is to try and adapt to the conditions as soon as possible because the wicket might turn and so you never know,” Mathews pointed out.

“We are looking for a good start, so hopefully we can beat the West Indies and start on a winning note.”

Sri Lanka squad: Angelo Mathews (captain), Dinesh Chandimal (vice-captain), Kusal Janith, Upul Tharanga, Kumar Sangakkara, Mahela Jayawardene, Lahiru Thirimanne, Jeevan Mendis, Lasith Malinga, Shaminda Eranga, Nuwan Kulasekara, Dilhara Lokuhetti, Rangana Herath, Sachithra Senanayake and Ajantha Mendis.

—IANS/CMC

bs/dg

IANS 2013-06-26 13:24:06

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