Sri Lanka wicketkeeper batsman Niroshan Dickwella has praised his teams seam bowlers for keeping their cool under pressure to secure a one run win over the West Indies.
The tri-series match in Bulawayo went all the way to the finish but needing three runs to win off the final ball the Windies could only get a single.
Dickwella said after the match: “Our bowlers held their nerve, and our fast bowlers did really well.
“Suranga [Lakmal], [Nuwan] Kulasekara and Nuwan Pradeep – they were the key players in defending this total. We were confident of defending the score, with our bowling attack. We missed some opportunities that we should have capitalized on, but fortunately we were on the winning side on the end.”
West Indies opener Evin Lewis hit a bruising hundred but Dickwella might have had him stumped during the powerplay however the keeper broke the stumps before he could gather the ball.
Dickwella spoke of moving on from his mistake and facing the challenge of keeping wicket having already made 94 with the bat: “It is kind of a challenge [batting up the order and keeping wicket], but you just have to adapt to the situation, and play according to that.
“I’m a wicketkeeper-batsman, and when I score runs when we’re batting first, I still have to keep wicket for 50 overs. Obviously I have to do that, for my team.”
Dickwella fell just short of a maiden ODI ton while Kusal Mendis was also dismissed on the same score.
The pitch at the Queens Club in Bulawayo was an absolute belter and the West Indies had every chance of chasing down the score.
The keeper added: “It was a good track.
“Since the morning, it was a flat track. There was a bit of grass, but it was dead grass, so we didn’t expect it to move a lot. We thought it would move a bit, but that didn’t happen.
“It was coming on to the bat. It was a pretty easy wicket to bat on, compared to the previous games. I could have got a hundred, and scored some more runs for the team, but I’m really happy with my performance today.”
With two senior players due to come back into the side including regular keeper Dinesh Chandimal, Dickwella’s performance will help him stake a claim for a permanent spot in the lineup.
He concluded: “Some of the senior players back in Sri Lanka, Angelo Mathews and Chandimal, they’re recovering. They’ve started training again.
“The selectors must be picking up some juniors from this tour for the big upcoming tour, so this is a good opportunity for the juniors to perform and show them that we are good, talented players.
“This is a good opportunity to play, perform and win even if we don’t have those seniors with us.”
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