Decimated by injury following his match winning 65 in Sri Lanka’s triumph over India in the third ODI, Bhanuka Rajapaksa, who consequently missed the T20 series did however win a battle over fitness and performance. His 56-ball knock bordered on the industrious of the run making industry where Sri Lanka was badly in need of a win from a long holocaust of losses. Thrust in the pivotal No.3 slot, it was pinch hitting stuff reeled out that made the difference in Sri Lanka going past what was an imposing Indian total of 225 notwithstanding the fact that they were bowled out under 50 overs.
The 109-run alliance the left-hander forged together with Avishka Fernando saw the former Royal College product play a lead role of attacking cricket in setting up victory. He had contributed the bulk of the partnership.
The high point of the 29-year old hard hitting batsman catching the eye of the selectors and coming good was that Rajapaksa did so from a shaky scenario. Having not been considered for the tours of Bangladesh and England having failed the jogging fitness test, to have atoned for it by getting trim in a short time to winning the confidence of the selectors and delivering in the third game was creditable.
At a juncture certain try outs to plug the No.3 slot had not paid off, delivering in a fast tempo to Sri lanka coming out of the woods of defeats was strong stuff.