Sri Lanka will go all the way, says confident Prasanna

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Sri Lanka will go all the way, says confident Prasanna

The Lankans have often flattered to deceive in limited-overs competitions on the international stage, with their talent taking them deep into tournaments only for an unexpectedly tepid and timid display to ultimately prove their undoing overall.

By Alex Leach (alex@khaleejtimes.com)

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Published: Thu 20 Mar 2014, 9:55 AM

Last updated: Tue 7 Apr 2015, 9:46 PM

 Prasanna Jayawardene

Prasanna Jayawardene

Prasanna Jayawardene believes Sri Lanka are poised to go all the way at the ICC World Twenty20 after Paul Farbrace’s side overcame their finals-day hoodoo in the Asia Cup earlier this month.

The Lankans have often flattered to deceive in limited-overs competitions on the international stage, with their talent taking them deep into tournaments only for an unexpectedly tepid and timid display to ultimately prove their undoing overall.

However, there was little sign of such shortcomings in their recent continental contest in Bangladesh, where Lahiru Thirimanne and Lasith Malinga propelled their native country to four group-phase victories prior to a five-wicket win over holders Pakistan in the final.

That sequence of results should stand Sri Lanka in good stead as they look to improve upon their commendable record at the ICC World Twenty20 of two runners-up showings (2009 & 2012), a semi-final place (2010) a Super 8s berth (2007). They thus have reached the last four or better in each of the last three editions spanning five years.

“We are a good side and we’ve done well recently, so I have confidence because they’re going pretty well. I’m sure we’ll do big things in this tournament,” the 34-year-old wicket-keeper said.

“We won that Asia Cup final, so I think we’re going to carry that on and continue to do well. We’ve shown everybody that we’re good enough to reach the final and we were unlucky not to lift the cup.

“This time though, we did that. I think our players have a good mentality to do well in the finals in the future. It’s a very big advantage for us to have won the Asia Cup.”

If Sri Lanka were to win, it would represent a fitting send-off for two stalwarts of the team, Mahela Jayawardene and Kumar Sangakkara, who are set to retire from the format after this event.

Prasanna expects that, as “main characters” in the XI who have done “huge” things for Sri Lankan cricket, Jayawardene and Sangakkara will be doing everything in their power to ensure they depart on the right note.

That won’t exactly be easy nonetheless, with the experienced gloveman tipping fellow subcontinental teams India and Pakistan to do well, while also not ruling out a surprise or two from the two associate/affiliate qualifiers given the unpredictable, topsy-turvy nature of Twenty20 cricket.


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