Injury-hit Sri Lanka look to end league stage on a high

HOBART :  An injury-hit Sri Lanka will look to end the league stage on a high when they take on winless minnows Scotland in their final pool A fixture of the cricket World Cup at Bellerive Oval, here tomorrow.
Sri Lanka, who have been plagued by injuries with all-rounder Jeevan Mendis, batsmen Dimuth Karunaratne and Dinesh Chandimal already bowing out of the 50-over showpiece event, are eyeing a third-placed finish ahead of Bangladesh in their group.
The Angelo Mathews-led side, which has won three of its five matches, are yet to iron out the batting worries with constant injuries making it difficult to sort the final XI for the knockout stage.
Chandimal has been the latest casualty after retiring hurt post a 24-ball 52 against Australia in their last game and the islanders are banking on replacements to do the unfinished job for the 1996 champions.
With a week to go before the final-eight encounters kick off, Sri Lanka may look to rest tired limbs and test their bench strength against the Preston Mommsen-led side, which is lying at the bottom of the heap with five losses from as many matches.
Sri Lanka have played the non-Test side just once in ODI, winning by 183 runs in July 2011 and are looking at a similar mauling once again.
Even Lankan coach Marvan Atapattu has promised full intensity even after having qualified for the knockouts.
“The idea is to play our best cricket,” said Atapattu.
“That is how we want to play every match and it will be no different against Scotland. When you get on the pitch, you start a new game from scratch,” he added.
Even left-arm spinner Rangana Herath and opener Lahiru Thirimanne are nursing finger injuries and Atatpattu said that the opener will not take the field against Scotland as he is required to recover before the quarter-final against an undecided opponent in Sydney on March 18.
“No team likes to be burdened with injuries, so obviously it is not a good situation to be in,” Atapattu said.
“But hopefully the others who are there will deliver. Every fit player is in the mix to play but we have not taken a call on whom to leave out,” he added. (AGENCIES)

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