June 20, 2019 / 3:47 PM / 7 months ago

Sri Lanka hope for middle order clicking in key game against England

Cricket - ICC Cricket World Cup - Sri Lanka Press Conference - Emerald Headingley, Headingley, Britain - June 20, 2019 Sri Lanka's Dimuth Karunaratne during the press conference Action Images via Reuters/Lee Smith

LEEDS, England (Reuters) - Sri Lanka are relying on their middle order to start firing in their World Cup fixture against England on Friday to stay in the hunt for a semi-final berth, captain Dimuth Karunaratne said on Thursday.

In their previous game against Australia where they were chasing 334 runs for victory, Sri Lanka got off to a strong start, scoring 153-2 in less than 24 overs before their brittle middle order folded up.

“They have lots of talent and, you know, they did really good things for Sri Lanka in the recent past and I think the only thing we need to do now is come up with a good mindset,” Karunaratne told reporters during training.

“That’s a key area.”

The 1996 world champions are struggling to stay in the tournament, having won only one of their previous five games. Their sixth is against a destructive England batting line up which decimated Afghanistan in their last game by scoring a mammoth 397 runs.

Karunaratne is therefore plotting to stifle England’s big-hitters at Headingley to be in with a chance of victory.

“We have to give them less than 300, so we have a couple of plans against the batters,” he said.

Reporting by Saikat Chatterjee; Editing by Christian Radnedge

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