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ICC CRICKET WORLD CUP

June 4, 2019

Chandika Hathurusingha

Cardiff, Wales, UK

Sri Lanka - 201 Afghanistan 152 (41 overs)

THE MODERATOR: Questions in English first.

Q. A much-needed win. Can you explain that batting collapse?
CHANDIKA HATHURUSINGHA: Very hard to explain. We were in a very good position at one stage. I think the wicket is such, it's very difficult to start I think. When a batsman is there it looks like easy wicket to bat on, but we lose one wicket and then we lose three wicket in one over. So a lot of tentative shots. We were lack of confidence; what happened lately for us. So I think batters were a little bit tentative at the start. That cause for few dismissals, and then the other guys put panic button on and we also had a suicidal run-out. We allowed them to come into the game.

Q. We just have another two more days for the next game. Quick turnaround. What sort of thing can you tell the players, such as Kusal Mendis, De Silva, Angelo Mathews, who have failed both these games?
CHANDIKA HATHURUSINGHA: Yeah, it's very little I can do, but we all know that they experienced players and they will certainly learn from this. Learning in the sense they need to understand what went through between their ears at that point. So it's all about trusting their defense at the start. I'm sure if they get a start, especially Angelo and Mendis, we will score runs in this tournament.

Q. How much of a worry is it that in the first two games only really two batsmen that stood up to be counted. How much of a concern is it going forward?
CHANDIKA HATHURUSINGHA: It's all depend on the condition, to be honest. The two pitches that we got here is not ideal for ODI cricket for my mind. If you look at the other teams, other wickets, all the wickets look a little more brown or whiter than this one. This one is too green. Unfortunately we lost because we had to bat first. As I said, once you get in it's easy to bat on, but starting is a bit hard. Hopefully we get better pitches for our batters to start.

Q. Who takes credit picking Pradeep for this game?
CHANDIKA HATHURUSINGHA: I don't care who get credit. He got wickets. That matters.

Q. Of course. He bowled fantastically, and Lasith as well.
CHANDIKA HATHURUSINGHA: Yeah, that's what you expect from Lasith. He's a world-class performer and steps up when it matters. No one has been really bowling well in the two practise game as well, so he actually single handedly kept us in the game.

Q. What did you make of Afghanistan?
CHANDIKA HATHURUSINGHA: Very dangerous side, especially in a tournament like this. Time and time again they have proved that they can be dangerous. They got really good bowling attack, world class players, and I think the conditions suited us for our selection, to be honest. We played fast bowlers; I think that help us.

Q. Did you think it was defendable, despite the collapse you had? Did you think 200 was good enough? And what did you make of Pradeep's performance given the fact that he didn't play in the first game? In hindsight do you look back and say...
CHANDIKA HATHURUSINGHA: Yes. The score is never enough. I mean, the way we started, I thought that we end up getting to 300. But at the end, a little bit cameo from Lasith Malinga, and Suranga Lakmal got us 20 runs, I think. Then we expected our seamers to bowl well on this wicket because it has a lot of help for the seamers if you hit the deck hard and hit the seam. But we're disappointed with our batting effort. We have to get better.

Q. Your team did really well to defend their total. What does that mean to you and the team going forward?
CHANDIKA HATHURUSINGHA: This give us a lot of confidence because we really needed a win. We haven't got much success lately. I'm sure you will see a better team, better approach from our team after this win. We need this win badly.

Q. Do you sort of give a pep talk to the team the way it collapse in the break? Did that change the momentum?
CHANDIKA HATHURUSINGHA: I don't give pep talk. I give honest talk. That's all. I tell them what has to be done. They have to come and perform. That's what they did. Our bowlers really step up when it's matters. All credit to four seamers who bowl really well today.

Q. Lasith has given quite a statement to the press just before the game. Did that get through to the team? People should stop talking about going forward and just say that you need to feel shame about defeat that was there. Do people hear of it and...
CHANDIKA HATHURUSINGHA: I'm not sure. When you play for your country there is a lot of pride at stake. They all hurting. I'm sure about that. They really, really want to perform well for the country. What Lasith said, whatever he said is what he believes, and I think all the players get a lot of confidence after this win for sure.

Q. Just on Kusal Perera's performance. Assessment. We've seen a few knocks of that type.
CHANDIKA HATHURUSINGHA: He's an amazing player. We have given him the full licence to bat the way he wants to bat. We know that when he's come up, most of the time it's match winning. He's very clear about his role. So that's the way he's going to play. Some games when you play like that you come what happened in New Zealand game, things like that can happen. If you want to get best out of players like that you have to give them freedom to play the way they can.

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