Sri Lanka's Maharoof hopes for 'perfect game'

2016-07-01 23:24
cricket, farveez maharoof, getty images
Farveez Maharoof (Getty Images)

London - Sri Lanka all-rounder Farveez Maharoof says the tourists need to play the "perfect game" if they are to defeat England in the fifth and final one-day international in Cardiff on Saturday.

Maharoof's team have yet to win a match in England this tour, with two drawn warm-up games preceding a 2-0 loss in a three-Test series that ended in a rain-affected draw at Lord's.

Sri Lanka did win their two one-dayers in Ireland but they now find themselves 2-0 down with one to play in a five-match ODI campaign against England.

Although they cannot win the series, victory in Cardiff would see Sri Lanka stay above England in the International Cricket Council ODI rankings and give them a morale boost ahead of Tuesday's lone Twenty20 in Southampton - their final match of this tour.

And a one-day win in the Welsh capital would be timely given Sri Lanka will return to Cardiff during next year's Champions Trophy - a tournament for the world's top eight ODI teams.

"It's been a tough tour, losing the Test series as well as the one-dayers, but we just have to go again," said Maharoof in Cardiff on Friday.

"It's one more game and up to us to showcase our talent and willingness to win. The boys are up for it, and we hope we can give it a good show."

He added: "We just have to play a perfect game and get back the momentum which has been lacking.

"There are a lot of fans behind us and we have to win for them."

England chased down a revised Duckworth/Lewis target of 308 in 42 overs with 11 balls to spare to win Wednesday's fourth ODI at The Oval after opener Jason Roy made 162 on his Surrey home ground.

Maharoof said that while England had batted well, Sri Lanka's attack should have been able to defend a total of 305 for five.

"The batsmen have done a decent job up to now," Maharoof said. "It was a good score in the last game - it's just as a bowling unit we couldn't hit our straps.

"Take nothing away from the England line-up, they have been batting brilliantly from top to the middle order."

Roy's hundred was his second of the series after his 112 not out, together with fellow opener Alex Hales's 133 not out, saw England to a 10-wicket win in the second ODI at Edgbaston last week after the pair shared a national record partnership stand of 256.

Sri Lanka chief selector Sanath Jayasuriya - admittedly before injuries deprived the tourists of Dhammika Prasad and Dushmantha Chameera, ahead of fellow paceman Shaminda Eranga's suspension for an illegal action - had said the islanders were "the top best bowling side in the world".

However, Sri Lanka have looked some way short of that standard against England and Maharoof said: "It's been tough work.

"The guys are putting in a lot of hard work, and I'm sure it will pay off one day."

Read more on:    sri lanka  |  cricket


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