Cricket: Sri Lanka’s Thirimanne upbeat after Northants draw

NORTHAMPTON, June 8, 2014 (AFP) – Sri Lanka’s Lahiru Thirimanne was in positive mood ahead of Thursday’s first Test against England after the tourists’ warm-up match against Northamptonshire ended in a draw. Although Sri Lanka have won individual Tests in England, they’ve never won a series of more than one match.

But Thirimanne said he believed all that could change in a two-Test clash at Lord’s and Headingley, where the pitches are likely to be much different to the slow, low and spin-friendly surfaces Sri Lanka are used to in the sub-continent.

“Confidence levels are really high,”

Thirimanne, captain against Northamptonshire in the absence of the rested Angelo Mathews, told reporters after Sunday’s final day of four at Northampton.

“We haven’t had much luck in the past, we want to win a Test series here so that is the main concern.”

Left-hander Thirimanne, dropped first ball, made a career-best 156 and opener Kaushal Silva 152 retired not out in an imposing first innings total of 558 for eight declared.

Northamptonshire responded with 345 all out featuring Rob Keogh’s 120.

Sri Lanka, after deciding against enforcing the follow-on, were 99 for four when a draw was agre