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Sri Lanka’s Tharanga hopes England cricket ‘luck’ holds

WEDNESDAY, 29 June 2016

Sri Lanka's Upul Tharanga looses his wicket for 40 runs off the bowling of England's Chris Woakes during play in the third one day international match in Bristol, on June 26, 2016
Sri Lanka’s Upul Tharanga looses his wicket for 40 runs off the bowling of England’s Chris Woakes during play in the third one day international match in Bristol, on June 26, 2016

Sri Lanka’s Upul Tharanga is eager to go on making runs against England, regardless of where he finds himself in the batting order.

Tharanga has an impressive one-day international record against England, with 674 runs, including three hundreds, in 14 matches at an average of nearly 57 compared with a career mark of 33.

Most of his runs have come as a top-order batsman, but his last two innings in the ongoing ODI series with England have seen the 31-year-old left-hander score a total of 93 runs batting at number seven.

Tharanga is expected to occupy the same position at The Oval on Wednesday when Sri Lanka try to come from 1-0 down with two to play in the five-match series.

“I have played 14 matches against England and I am lucky against them,” he said at The Oval on Tuesday.

“I’ve done well here, and in Sri Lanka.”

He added: “Playing at number seven is not new to me. Most of the time I have played as a top-order batsman, but I am enjoying it.”

Sri Lanka’s top three have only 72 ODI caps between them, and 56 of those belong to opener Kusal Perera.

“It is up to the management, but they need this from me,” said Tharanga a veteran of 185 ODIs. “They need me to bat in the middle order, so I’m happy with that.

“We have lots of new players and we (need some) experience.

“I’m just happy to be here and doing something for the country.”

So far in the series, Sri Lanka’s batsmen have struggled to produce the major innings around which a challenging total can be built.

“We are just needing a big score,” said Tharanga. “Players are getting 40 or 50, and we are getting 240 to 260. As a batting side, some of the top four need to get a big score — get that, and I think we can get 300.”

And the Sri Lanka veteran said the tourists had it in them to come from behind against England.

“There are still two ODIs left, and we are looking forward to winning those games and the series,” Tharanga insisted.

Source by: AFP

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