Opening batsman Kusal Perera welcomed the Man of the Match award, after leading Sri Lanka to a solid six-wicket victory in Tuesday’s first Twenty20 International against Bangladesh in Colombo.
Perera struck a superb 77 from 53 balls, as the hosts surpassed a challenging 156-run target with 10 deliveries to spare – and gathered a one-nil lead in the two-match series.
The talented left-hander has fallen prey to several unfilfilled starts recently, but this time dug in for his 17th half-ton in international cricket. He has also scored four centuries.
“Sometimes you have to be prepared to fail. I realised I got a lot of starts but wasn’t finishing things off. Getting those 20s and 30s are of no use either to me, or the team. So I strove to bat till the end. When the loose ball comes I am anyway waiting to hit it, but recently I tried to bat long, and that’s what’s helped me,” he said.
“I don’t want to think about holding on to my place while I play. Any player can be dropped at any time, and that’s part of the game. If you’re constantly thinking about that possibility, you won’t be able to get far. What’s important is making the most of the opportunity you get, to do something for the team.”
The second and final T20I will be played at the same venue on Thursday.