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  5. 2019 World Cup: Tournament format gives us chance to reach semifinal, says Jeevan Mendis

2019 World Cup: Tournament format gives us chance to reach semifinal, says Jeevan Mendis

Sri Lanka may have suffered a devastating 10-wicket loss in their first game to New Zealand, but all-rounder Jeevan Mendis is upbeat about the side's chances in World Cup 2019.

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Cardiff Published on: June 02, 2019 19:38 IST
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Sri Lanka may have suffered a devastating 10-wicket loss in their first game to New Zealand, but all-rounder Jeevan Mendis is upbeat about the side's chances in World Cup 2019.

All-rounder Jeevan Mendis is not too worried about Sri Lanka's crushing defeat in their World Cup opener and said with eight more games still to play, his team "can get the five wins" required to make the semi-finals.

Sri Lanka were completely out of sorts in their first match of the mega-event against New Zealand here on Saturday, losing by 10 wickets, but Mendis is optimistic of the islanders bouncing back.

"We have to say the first two games are very crucial to give all the players and the team a boost. We hope we can pull something out of the bag in the next games," Mendis was quoted as saying by ICC media.

"The format is good. For all the teams to play each other is great and it gives us lots of chances to get the five wins you need to get to the semi-finals," he added.

The 36-year-old said they would need to put up at least 270-280 runs on the board in the upcoming games.

"As a batting group, we need to at least put scores of 270, 280 on the board. Hopefully, the wickets dry up and our pace and spin variation comes into play.

"It's all about our confidence and a few batsmen can get in and play an anchor role, we'll be able to bat around them and play well," Mendis, who has returned to the fold four years after his one-day debut, said.

Sri Lanka will play their next match on June 4 against Afghanistan, the only World Cup contender ranked lower than them in the ICC rankings.

Mendis emphasised on keeping wickets in hand early on.

"We always talk about not throwing too many wickets away in the first powerplay, but it didn't happen (against New Zealand on Saturday)," he said.

"We need to adapt to score runs at all stages of the innings. We have power hitters who can come in at the latter stage and make quick runs so hopefully, the top five can put us on a good platform," said Mendis.

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