@Yas_Wisden 2 minute read
After Sri Lanka’s 2-0 series defeat at home to England, Yas Rana runs the rule over the 14 players who represented the hosts across the series.
Kusal Perera: 3/10
Guilty of playing rash shots when the situation demanded otherwise. A low point was finding deep third-man off the bowling of Sam Curran when well set in the second innings of the series opener. On the evidence available this series, he is almost certainly better suited to a position lower down the order.
Lahiru Thirimanne: 7/10
His 111 in the first Test brought an end to his eight-year wait for a Test hundred. It was a fine knock, too, one that partially showed why Sri Lanka have persisted with him for so long even when his returns have generally disappointed.
Angelo Mathews: 8/10
Sri Lanka’s standout batsman. It was when Mathews was settled at the crease that England looked most bereft of ideas. Were it not for his side’s poor second innings showing in the second Test, his first innings hundred may well have been a match-winning one.
Kusal Mendis: 2/10
Brought his run of ducks to an end in the second innings of the first Test, though it wasn’t enough to escape the axe as he was dropped for Oshada Fernando for the series finale.
Oshada Fernando: 1/10
Brought in for Kusal after the first Test, Oshada fared even worse than the man he was brought in to replace, scoring just three runs across both innings.
Dinesh Chandimal: 3/10
A poor series for Chandimal. His dismissal – an ambitious drive off Jack Leach two deliveries after the fall of Mathews – precipitated the collapse that ultimately cost his side the first Test. A first innings half-century in the second Test was overshadowed by a horror dismissal in the second, where his opposite number Joe Root goaded him into a false shot from slip. His captaincy in England’s series-clinching win left a lot to be desired, most notably with how open he left the leg-side to an out-of-form Dom Sibley.
Niroshan Dickwella: 6/10
Oh, Niroshan. His wait for that maiden Test hundred goes after he came agonisingly close to the landmark in the second Test. His dismissals were characteristically soft but there are the makings of a good Test No. 7 in there. Provided ample entertainment behind the stumps with his seemingly innocent quips.
Dasun Shanaka: 3/10
In home conditions, Shanaka’s seam bowling looks too innocuous for Test batting line-ups while his batting – he now averages 14 with the bat in Test cricket – is yet convince at international level.
Wanindu Hasaranga: 3/10
Much hyped by his coach Mickey Arthur last year, Hasaranga’s leg-spin was only trusted with 15 overs in England’s first innings of the series even as the visitors batted for well over a day. Carded at No. 8 – one place below Shanaka – you sense that neither side of Hasaranga’s game is quite ready for Test cricket just yet.
Ramesh Mendis: 4/10
Fared marginally better on debut than the two all-rounders who played the first Test in that he picked up a key wicket in both innings – those of Jos Buttler and Joe Root.
Dilruwan Perera: 4/10
Didn’t offer enough of a threat with the ball, finishing the series with comfortably the worst bowling average of the four specialist spinners on show. His 67 in the first innings of the second Test frustrated England and ensured that his side would eventually claim a first innings lead.
Lasith Embuldeniya: 9/10
Sri Lanka’s player of the series. Embuldeniya was all over England’s opening batsmen, accounting for all seven of their dismissals across the series. His 10-wicket haul in the second Test was fully deserved and his quickfire 40 from No. 10 gave Sri Lanka a fighting chance in the dying embers of the series finale. The lack of support from his teammates meant that had to bowl more than what was ideal for a young spinner.
Asitha Fernando: 6/10
Looked sharp when bowled and was arguably under-bowled through sections of the series; he took his two wickets in successive balls in the first Test.
Suranga Lakmal: 5/10
Lakmal was predictably accurate in his sole outing of the series even if he wasn’t as penetrative as his seam bowling partner, Asitha. In such spin-friendly conditions, he has a fight on his hands to remain Sri Lanka’s first choice quick.