DURHAM – It was only a few months ago that Sri Lanka were the butt of all the jokes, floundering from one defeat to another en-route to a 5-0 whitewash against South Africa.
Who is laughing now though?
Here in the countryside town of Chester-le-Street, it’s Dimuth Karunaratne’s Sri Lankans that are still very much in the race for the World Cup semi-finals with the Proteas the clowns of social media.
To be fair, Sri Lanka still have huge chinks in their armour, but they have at least reinforced it with key personnel. Despite leading Sri Lanka to a maiden Test series win in South Africa, Karunaratne was nowhere near the ODI outfit back in March, while talisman Angelo Mathews missed the tour through injury.
Both have made vital contributions at the World Cup with Karunaratne striking two half-centuries already, while Mathews played a blinder in the shock victory over England last week.
Once again it pays homage to the fact that senior players have taken accountability at crucial junctures - a glaring feature that the Proteas have lacked. Equally, they have managed to eke out results in high-pressure situations even when not at their best.