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GUGOBET| Dhananjaya De Silva Pleased With Three-Pacers' Plan Paying Off in Sylhet!

Dhananjaya De Silva
Dhananjaya De Silva

The trio of Vishwa Fernando, Lahiru Kumara and Kasun Rajitha snared all 20 wickets against Bangladesh.

Thirty-eight years had passed since a Sri Lanka pace trio snared all 20 wickets in a Test. Then, it was achieved by Ashantha de Mel, Ravi Ratnayeke and Kosala Kuruppuarachchi, against Pakistan in Colombo in 1986.

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And against Bangladesh on Monday, the modern-day trio of Vishwa Fernando, Lahiru Kumara and Kasun Rajitha repeated the feat for Sri Lanka. They took full toll of the Sylhet pitch, which had a pronounced green tinge. However, this was an away side taking advantage of a rare instance in which a Bangladesh venue offered pace and bounce.

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Pick Three Pace Bowlers Worked Out

Sri Lanka captain Dhananjaya de Silva was pleased with how their plan to pick three pace bowlers worked out. The visitors completed the 328-run victory with a day-and-a-half to spare. It would give extra time off for the pace trio, which could be crucial ahead of the second Test in Chattogram, traditionally Bangladesh's batting featherbed.

Dhananjaya said that the fast bowlers used the new ball very well, and was proud of the way they kept their shape despite the Sylhet pitch slowing down as the Test progressed.

Dhananjaya Said After The Win

"When we saw, it looked like a fast-bowling wicket, [so] we went with three seamers," he said after the win. "It paid off at the end of the day. The game is going on day by day, so the wicket was dying. The pace was getting less for the fast bowlers. I am very happy with the way they bowled in this game.

"We play with three seamers back at home [too]. I think if you can get the new ball moving on any wicket, that's [going to provide] the wicket-taking options for the captain. Rather than going with the spinners, I am happy with to go with the fast bowlers."

A Test Worth Remembering

It was also a Test worth remembering for Dhananjaya himself, who, along with newcomer Kamindu Mendis, struck twin hundreds. They also added 150-plus partnerships in both innings, which are also rare achievements in Tests. Dhananjaya was pleased with the patience Mendis has shown to get into the Test team, and then made the most of the role provided to him.

"What I'm really happy with regard to Kamindu is how he's come back," he said. "He was knocking on the door of the national side for quite some time, and I think he's made the most of the opportunity he's been given. Also, the No. 7 slot is somewhere I've batted in before as well, so I think that role suits him. His technique is solid; he has power, [and] he is very smart. So I don't think we made a mistake in picking him."

Scoring Twin Hundreds in A Test

The captain scoring twin hundreds in a Test is also a first for Sri Lanka. Dhananjaya told he is enjoying the extra responsibility, with experienced leaders in the side helping him out. Dimuth Karunaratne, Angelo Mathews and Dinesh Chandimal have all captained Sri Lanka in Tests before, while Kusal Mendis is the current ODI captain.

But Dhananjaya isn't not planning too far ahead at the moment, and hence not really eying the World Test Championship points table yet, where Sri Lanka are placed sixth.

Planning For One Match at A Time

"I have been captaining the A side and clubs in Sri Lanka. It is not new to me," he said. "Three ex-captains and the ODI captain are in the team, so they also support me. The management [supports] as well. It is not a burden for me; it is an opportunity. I am having a good time.

"More than looking at the rankings, I mainly look at things from a match-by-match perspective. Now that this match is over, I'm looking at what we can do in the coming game. I'm only planning on how to win that game. Beyond that, any movement in the rankings will happen as a result of that. But we're simply planning for one match at a time."

Work On The Chattogram Test

Sri Lanka were reduced to 57 for 5 in the first innings and 126 for 6 in the second before Dhananjaya and Mendis dug them out of trouble. The captain thus pointed to their top-order batting as a facet they need to work on ahead of the Chattogram Test. "As a captain, I'm very happy, but at the same time there are areas for improvement as well," he said. "

[There are] things that we need to discuss with the coaching staff and fix quickly. There is definitely room for improvement when it comes to the batting, so it's important that we look into those weak areas before the next tour."


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