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July 6, 2019

Dimuth Karunaratne

Headingley, Leeds, England, UK

India - 265/3 (43.3), Sri Lanka - 264/7 (50)

THE MODERATOR: We are joined by Sri Lankan captain Dimuth Karunaratne. Questions?

Q. At the start, at the preview, the prepress conference, you wanted to see, give a farewell to Lasith playing his last World Cup. How do you think that the game went off? You feel for the loss and do you think it's sort of a feeling your -- a win would have been a better send-off for Lasith?
DIMUTH KARUNARATNE: Of course, I think if we can win it's good for Lasith. We all want to give him a nice farewell, but unfortunately we couldn't. But I think we tried really hard...So they wanted to put a fighting target for the Indians. I think they did very well. Unfortunately we couldn't do it. But Mali going to play another couple of games in Sri Lanka against Bangladesh. We'll try to give a nice send-off at that time.

Q. What is it with Angelo and Headingley? He averages 244 here. And what are the chances of him naming his next child as Headingley?
DIMUTH KARUNARATNE: Headingley, he's keep asking me if he can put a couple of games in here, then he can get some runs. I think he did really well on this wicket, even the test matches. So I think he knows this wicket really well. And the hundred, it's a really tough period. And if you're 50-for-4 and he comes in with really tough periods. And then we got a nice push from the Sri Lanka teams. And I think those are the things I was expecting in the middle, the middle part. I think he did really well.

And Thirimanne, in a supporting role, he did really well. At the end of the day he put a good score on this wicket, but unfortunately the Indians batted really well, even Rohit and Rahul got a nice start. And they keep scoring and scoring. Unfortunately we couldn't get a couple of wickets in the middle part. That's why we're on the losing side.

Q. I wanted to ask you, now that you've played India, what is the most challenging bit that you've found as a team taking on the Indians on the field today?
DIMUTH KARUNARATNE: I think they bowled really well, even Bumrah and Bhuvneshwar started really well. And even their spinners. They keep tightening and tightening. They keep bowling the good areas, make us to do mistakes. And those are things they never give us a loose ball when we are batting. And when we're bowling, Rohit and Rahul, they were fearless batting and keep scoring big runs, even 4s and 6s. We couldn't squeeze them at that time. So that's the main thing. And we watched them earlier and they keep doing that to other teams as well. I think they were in a good mindset, and they were a really, really good team for this competition. And they will do their best in the rest of the World Cup matches.

Q. This was Rohit's fifth hundred of the World Cup. Your young batsmen, what can they learn by watching somebody like him bat?
DIMUTH KARUNARATNE: I think he batted -- every time he gets a start, he keeps scoring big runs. That's what we want. He was fearless. And he knows how we're going to get a hundred and he's batting really well. At one time he wanted to take a charge and what bowlers he wants to respect. And those are the little things he mastered really well. And his simple plan, he keeps batting and batting. That's what I want for the youngsters. It's an ideal candidate to do watch, the men learn something from him, just keep batting and batting. He was very hungry for the runs. And that's a huge thing for the youngsters.

Q. You've played all of the teams now in the competition. Who do you think is the best team left in the World Cup, and who do you predict will win the trophy?
DIMUTH KARUNARATNE: I think every team on that particular day, they're doing really well. I think India, they're a good team, India. Even the Australians, they were in the good side. But I think if you take the balance side, India will be a good balancing side. They're nice spinners and good fast bowlers. And top of the batting line, they keep scoring hundreds. So I think India has a better chance to win this World Cup, for me, from my point of view. And I think at that particular day, if some -- if the other team can do better than the India team, they're definitely going to win.

Q. As you look to rebuild the team for the next World Cup, do you think India is a model that you can look at and grooming bowlers and batsmen, can sustain -- bowlers were suited for this format? And do you think this is a model that you can sort of look to copy in a way?
DIMUTH KARUNARATNE: I think India, they have a nice structure behind the India national team. I think they have the IPL. They have domestic good teams and a good season. So those are the things they will keep building, keep producing the good players. So we were expecting of our administration, they want to build a nice domestic season. And I was thinking the players who can play overseas and get some experience, even the IPL Big Bash, even the county season, these players they want experience. We were only playing the domestic season and straightaway to the international side. So we want to keep hanging out with all the national players, the other countries, those are the things they can learn something from them and then they can play under the huge crowds. That's the kind of things we want to rebuild. And we were trying to -- after this one we're going to, we will discuss with some former players and what they're expecting from the players and administration, we want to discuss and we want to rebuild a nice platform for the youngsters.

Q. Rohit had scored his fifth hundred today. There's so much that's been done before every game. Rohit before this game had scored four hundreds. Malinga knows him best probably the best on the Sri Lankan team. What was the plan going on into the second innings when Sri Lanka was supposed to bowl? And where do you think that the execution went wrong?
DIMUTH KARUNARATNE: I think we planned -- I think the previous thing I said, we planned really well, but we failed to execute at that time. And I think we bowled really well. But the wicket was not helping much. And Malinga, he knows Rohit really well. And he tried, he kept trying and trying. But unfortunately he couldn't get that wicket. Even Rahul's wicket, it's not easy, the wicket was getting slower and slower. And they keep batting. We had to bowl so many slow balls. And they were -- they know they have a good batting lineup behind them and they keep batting and batting. They know if they have 60 balls and need 90 runs they can do it. So they will keep hanging out. And once the shine's off, they will -- they batted really well at that time.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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