Pakistan v Sri Lanka, Asia Cup, Mirpur March 15, 2012

Jayawardene blames top order for loss

ESPNcricinfo staff
40

Mahela Jayawardene, the Sri Lanka captain, has blamed the failure of the top order for the defeat against Pakistan that has left them on the brink of elimination from the Asia Cup. He and Tillakaratne Dilshan had provided a fast start, but Jayawardene holed out in the sixth over attempting to clear extra cover. Dilshan's go-at-everything brand of batting led to the next wicket, as he top-edged a pull. Dinesh Chandimal fell to a wonderful slip catch by Younis Khan and Lahiru Thirimanne was dismissed chasing a wide one. On a good pitch, and after winning the toss, Sri Lanka were stumbling at 65 for 4, and they eventually limped to an insufficient 188.

"I think it was quite obvious [where we failed]: with the bat," Jayawardene said. "When you win the toss and bat first, the challenge is to get a good score on the board that the bowlers can bowl at; a par score on this track would have been around 250. We didn't get anywhere near that. Our bowlers had to do something magical if we had to win from there. I thought they bowled really well, gave everything they had but it wasn't good enough."

Jayawardene also stood by his decision to bat first, a move that was questioned because the pitches in Mirpur have appeared to be better for batting in the evenings. Jayawardene, though, said the pitch actually gets slower and that with the extra bowler - Lasith Malinga had replaced Chamara Kapugedara in the XI - Sri Lanka felt they could defend a decent total.

"By playing the extra bowler, we could have defended a competitive total. But the wicket gets slower and slower as the day progresses, and we thought that if we scored 250-plus, it would have been hard for them to chase with six batsmen."

Kumar Sangakkara and Upul Tharanga, now a regular at No 6, added 96 valuable runs to rebuild the innings after the top-order troubles, but Sri Lanka lost their way again when Tharanga was dismissed off the first ball of the batting Powerplay.

"Kumar [Sangakkara] and Upul [Tharanga] were batting well. But the sort of ball that Upul got, it wasn't possible to take full toll of the Powerplay," Jayawardene said. He also refused to use tiredness as a reason for Sri Lanka's two losses in the Asia Cup - they had played five games in 10 days in Australia before coming to Bangladesh.

If India beat Bangladesh on Friday, Sri Lanka's last game against the hosts will become academic.

Edited by Dustin Silgardo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • LeoE on March 17, 2012, 8:04 GMT

    Mahela has to take all the responsibility for Sri Lankan losses, not because he happens to be the captain, but because of the uttterly mad, senseless, attempt to bash the opposition bowlers in the first six or seven overs. The rate of eight an over is not sufficient for him, and he attempts to go at T20 rates of nine and more. What is the purpose ? Does he not realize that he and Dilshan make up the the world's most experienced, most capable, and most feared opening partnership ? There is no one other than Viv Richards, Greenidge or Gilchrist, who can emulate their calibre of devastating strokeplay. There is no country in the world that can beat Sri Lanka if Mahela and Dilshan can bat for 25 overs. Then the total would be 150 plus and heading for 300 - 325. But Mahela, Dilshan and Sanga too, never cared for the country. As long as the IPL millions pour in, why should yet another Sri Lankan defeat keep them awake at night ? I feel sorry for the SL fans. They always end up crying.

  • GlodenLionKing on March 16, 2012, 17:36 GMT

    Sorry folks, India will loose again on Sunday against Pakistan and will have their bags packed waiting to see what will happen with Sri Lanka vs Bangladesh (just like they did in Australia) and will finally leave yet another tournament sadly. When was the last time India won a game when Sachin scored a 100 :-)

  • on March 16, 2012, 14:37 GMT

    Yes anyone can give 1000 reasons to why srilankans losing but what should be done to win a game. 1.Top 3 need change their care free attitude(First 15 Overs ) 2. Include more inexperince youth with the seniors 3.try and find a bowler who could complement malinga(coz best bowlers hunt in pairs)

    This may sound bit silly any world cup winning side will tell you that they at last have 2 main strike bowlers' don't see srilanka going any further then what they have done currently. Batting is always up to top 6 mentality srilankans are not on good wicket as the youngsters like thirimana keeps on failing. any good side has to have more of solid professional young talent that should be awaiting there chance to perform. Is srilanka giving the Correct Opportunities to the correct People ?

  • Test-is-the-best on March 16, 2012, 11:02 GMT

    @ Kiss898 true Malinga should also be dropped. its time to replace him. But I need to admit that Maharoof is not a front line bowler of the team. He has not proven his ability as a better all-rounder to consider over Thisara or Mathews. He picked 9 wickets @ an average of 34.00 in CB series.But he was not impressive with batting when team needed it badly. Hope you haven't watched the past matches

  • pratikharivyasi on March 16, 2012, 10:52 GMT

    Sri Lanka out of Asia Cup , Now the Poor Pakistan VS India , we all know the result , India again will be the Asian Champion ...

  • Charindra on March 16, 2012, 9:49 GMT

    This is a blessing in disguise. Now we can recharge our batteries before the England series which is much more important than this meaningless "Asia" Cup.

  • on March 16, 2012, 8:23 GMT

    SL is out now I want Pak to win the finals + the rehearsal match on Sunday ........they are the best side of Asia. and the best bowling line up........Misbah is the coolest captain in Asia well done Pakistan for the wonderful performance yesterday I want Pak to win the CUP since they are the only side who deserves........unlike other weak Asian sides, regards to pak from SL..................

  • on March 16, 2012, 6:39 GMT

    I just don't admire the ALL NEW AVATAR of MJ after being thrown a captaincy of the side to him. Well, I am a big fan of MJ but as a leader you just shouldn't criticize or make comment on someone's poor form of the game. MJ needs to be reminded of his "good we don't depend on someone's favor" comment. Now look where he stands with his side. At the brink?!?!? I don't think so. They are almost out of the tournament, again they are not DEPENDING on any favor from any side. Yes, indeed were depending on Pak's favor to them yesterday. MJ shouldn't forget that he led the side to win the Award of the Sportsmanship at ICC some years ago. I suppose, MJ might have that OZ kind of behavior since he was in OZ for a bit longer time. I really wish him seeing to back to normal soon. The ENGLISH fire power are waiting to welcome them back home. GOOD LUCK & WISH YOU DON'T HAVE TO BE FAVORED FROM THE ENGLISHMEN.

  • on March 16, 2012, 6:25 GMT

    not to talk now that srilankans lost but they need to have a good finisher who attacks at no6 and not a steady bat like tharanga. tharanga should be at no 3 or no.4 and in thiramane and chandimal they have an extra batsman.

    they need a good allrounder the role that kula played in one of the matches scoring heavily against opponent in australia. But they need a consistant bat at that spot.

    till such time even they may still win but cause of weaker play by opponents rather than winning on their own merit.

  • on March 16, 2012, 6:24 GMT

    "If India beat Bangladesh on Friday, Sri Lanka's last game against the hosts will become academic." i mean, cricinfo has hyped this match of IND vs BD which would be a no contest anyways

  • LeoE on March 17, 2012, 8:04 GMT

    Mahela has to take all the responsibility for Sri Lankan losses, not because he happens to be the captain, but because of the uttterly mad, senseless, attempt to bash the opposition bowlers in the first six or seven overs. The rate of eight an over is not sufficient for him, and he attempts to go at T20 rates of nine and more. What is the purpose ? Does he not realize that he and Dilshan make up the the world's most experienced, most capable, and most feared opening partnership ? There is no one other than Viv Richards, Greenidge or Gilchrist, who can emulate their calibre of devastating strokeplay. There is no country in the world that can beat Sri Lanka if Mahela and Dilshan can bat for 25 overs. Then the total would be 150 plus and heading for 300 - 325. But Mahela, Dilshan and Sanga too, never cared for the country. As long as the IPL millions pour in, why should yet another Sri Lankan defeat keep them awake at night ? I feel sorry for the SL fans. They always end up crying.

  • GlodenLionKing on March 16, 2012, 17:36 GMT

    Sorry folks, India will loose again on Sunday against Pakistan and will have their bags packed waiting to see what will happen with Sri Lanka vs Bangladesh (just like they did in Australia) and will finally leave yet another tournament sadly. When was the last time India won a game when Sachin scored a 100 :-)

  • on March 16, 2012, 14:37 GMT

    Yes anyone can give 1000 reasons to why srilankans losing but what should be done to win a game. 1.Top 3 need change their care free attitude(First 15 Overs ) 2. Include more inexperince youth with the seniors 3.try and find a bowler who could complement malinga(coz best bowlers hunt in pairs)

    This may sound bit silly any world cup winning side will tell you that they at last have 2 main strike bowlers' don't see srilanka going any further then what they have done currently. Batting is always up to top 6 mentality srilankans are not on good wicket as the youngsters like thirimana keeps on failing. any good side has to have more of solid professional young talent that should be awaiting there chance to perform. Is srilanka giving the Correct Opportunities to the correct People ?

  • Test-is-the-best on March 16, 2012, 11:02 GMT

    @ Kiss898 true Malinga should also be dropped. its time to replace him. But I need to admit that Maharoof is not a front line bowler of the team. He has not proven his ability as a better all-rounder to consider over Thisara or Mathews. He picked 9 wickets @ an average of 34.00 in CB series.But he was not impressive with batting when team needed it badly. Hope you haven't watched the past matches

  • pratikharivyasi on March 16, 2012, 10:52 GMT

    Sri Lanka out of Asia Cup , Now the Poor Pakistan VS India , we all know the result , India again will be the Asian Champion ...

  • Charindra on March 16, 2012, 9:49 GMT

    This is a blessing in disguise. Now we can recharge our batteries before the England series which is much more important than this meaningless "Asia" Cup.

  • on March 16, 2012, 8:23 GMT

    SL is out now I want Pak to win the finals + the rehearsal match on Sunday ........they are the best side of Asia. and the best bowling line up........Misbah is the coolest captain in Asia well done Pakistan for the wonderful performance yesterday I want Pak to win the CUP since they are the only side who deserves........unlike other weak Asian sides, regards to pak from SL..................

  • on March 16, 2012, 6:39 GMT

    I just don't admire the ALL NEW AVATAR of MJ after being thrown a captaincy of the side to him. Well, I am a big fan of MJ but as a leader you just shouldn't criticize or make comment on someone's poor form of the game. MJ needs to be reminded of his "good we don't depend on someone's favor" comment. Now look where he stands with his side. At the brink?!?!? I don't think so. They are almost out of the tournament, again they are not DEPENDING on any favor from any side. Yes, indeed were depending on Pak's favor to them yesterday. MJ shouldn't forget that he led the side to win the Award of the Sportsmanship at ICC some years ago. I suppose, MJ might have that OZ kind of behavior since he was in OZ for a bit longer time. I really wish him seeing to back to normal soon. The ENGLISH fire power are waiting to welcome them back home. GOOD LUCK & WISH YOU DON'T HAVE TO BE FAVORED FROM THE ENGLISHMEN.

  • on March 16, 2012, 6:25 GMT

    not to talk now that srilankans lost but they need to have a good finisher who attacks at no6 and not a steady bat like tharanga. tharanga should be at no 3 or no.4 and in thiramane and chandimal they have an extra batsman.

    they need a good allrounder the role that kula played in one of the matches scoring heavily against opponent in australia. But they need a consistant bat at that spot.

    till such time even they may still win but cause of weaker play by opponents rather than winning on their own merit.

  • on March 16, 2012, 6:24 GMT

    "If India beat Bangladesh on Friday, Sri Lanka's last game against the hosts will become academic." i mean, cricinfo has hyped this match of IND vs BD which would be a no contest anyways

  • miles100 on March 16, 2012, 6:14 GMT

    Dear Mahela Jayawardena, Please get the experienced seniors to bat in the middle order( Mahela-No5, Thara-No6 and Mathews- No7). At least for now, A youngster like Thiri can open the batting with Dilshan. Sri Lanka's problem is not the top order. Even if the score is 0 for 3 wickets, It is the middle order who don't finish matches effectively. Middle order needs to do a lot of home work on learning how to bat the 50 overs without gifting the wickets away. If the top order scores well it is only a bonus to win by a large margin and not a compulsory thing. This is why all our batsmen have low averages. No batsman remains notout at the time of finishing matches. Look at Australia, India and Pakistan. Their middle order batsmen are very stubborn and determined to finish the job even though these countries don't have natural batting talents Like Sri Lanka. Please bring Randhiv & Mendis Back and encourage them as they are the most successful current spinners for SL.

  • on March 16, 2012, 4:02 GMT

    Now there fate is not in their hands. So Jayawardene has to chew his own words that we don't depend on others.

  • Sugath on March 16, 2012, 3:39 GMT

    Stop this habit of blaming after each loss and be proactive and not reactive. It is clear that the batsmen lack one pointed concentration as was evidenced in the last few matches. It appears that the players go out to bat wanting to destroy the opponents bowling and instead end up destroying themselves. So before the match work on increasing your sphere of influence, and that does not mean becoming arrogant. What the players need is equanimity in some form to address the present state of affairs

  • satish619chandar on March 16, 2012, 3:38 GMT

    Welegedera could have added the much needed variation to the attack.. Kula, Maharoof and Lakmal all were same kind of bowlers and a bit easier for the batsmen to get settled to that attack.. Welegedera for Lakmal could have been worth a try.. Think it is needlessto jump into SL's loss now like their fans do for India every time.. Anyway, the loss will give them some extra couple of days rest to get ready for England series(Unless India loses to BD and Pakistan badly).. Wish u good luck SL..

  • Fast_Track_Bully on March 16, 2012, 3:30 GMT

    As ususal SL are great entertainers...the cup goes to someone else...thanks for participating and bye...hope BD too will trash SL.

  • on March 16, 2012, 3:13 GMT

    let India and Pakistan to play final,come home u dnt need to play against B'desh either.u will hav a big challenge at home,be ready for that,dnt waste ur time in B'desh.u hav won many Asia cup titles, give it to pakistan this time.

  • Sinhabahu on March 16, 2012, 3:07 GMT

    @coolitbaby, good luck in the final, flat track world champs.

  • MS3N on March 16, 2012, 3:00 GMT

    Best of luck pak. for final INDIA VS PAK.....................

  • karthik_raja on March 16, 2012, 2:52 GMT

    hmm.. Now, the proud Jaya and SL's destiny lies in India's hand.. So sad.. :(

  • kiss898 on March 16, 2012, 2:40 GMT

    @ Test-is-the-Best...can you elaborate why u want to drop Maharoof? he is the most consistent SL bowler in the recent past....you should drop malinga before that....may be u arent watching matches....look how malinga performs for mumbai Indians in IPL...you will see a totally different malinga than now....his ODI retirement is not far away

  • on March 16, 2012, 2:24 GMT

    Few days ago Mr.Mahela says " we are not depending on any other team to reach final", now see what he can say "we are not depending on any other team to reach home" ,see how cricket is the balancing game,,, happy journey to lankan team...." LOL" any way thanks to Pakistan team, if SL reached the final we feel bored for there recent tremendous records at the finals, so hopefully we (INDIA) will get the good oponent at the final...

    enjoy finals.. all the best to lankan team too...(against bangla).

  • johnathonjosephs on March 16, 2012, 1:42 GMT

    Lot of Indians having a field day with Sri Lanka's loss. I don't blame them. 8-0 Loss abroad and they had their chance to redeem themselves in the One Day outfit, but Sri Lanka kicked them out. They should win the Asia Cup (bar a Pakistan comeback in the Final) and that should give them confidence and happiness. Funny how in the CB series, India's hopes rode on Sri Lanka losing against Australia in the last match and now, Sri Lanka's hopes ride on India losing to Bangladesh. This Sri Lankan side doesn't look like they care about this Asia Cup anyways and why not? Only 6 matches between 4 countries is kinda ridiculous.... Last Asia Cup was a bit longer than that....

  • SamuelThorpe7 on March 16, 2012, 1:31 GMT

    IRONY AT ITS BEST. lolzz "It is still in our control and we do not have to depend on others to go through. We like it that way" Im afraid you dont have it that way now Mahela. You are depending on an IMPOSSIBLE India defeat to Bangladesh. Better pack your bags and go shopping for a few days. I know he must just want to go home now but SL still have a dead game to go. These wickets are slower and lower than AUS and you cannot just go Bang Bang at the top and "hope" to bat through 50 overs. Look at how Gautam and Virat batted and paved the way for an assault later. You need to learn from how India have been beating you lately. Two India Pak games. DREAM COME TRUE :))

    Here are the flight details btw

    Date 21/03 Flight Departure: Shahjalal International Airport, Dhaka FLight Arrival: Colombo Passengers: Sri Lanka Nation Cricket Team

    Date

  • ChanaL on March 16, 2012, 1:29 GMT

    SL cricket is back to the early 90's team. Overated and Wins a match once in a blue moon. The only difference is now they are overpaid to do this.

  • Test-is-the-best on March 16, 2012, 0:19 GMT

    Its time to think about the whole team performance before the next ODI tour. The reasons are

    1. SL lacking suitable replacements for No 5,6,7 positions since Arjunaas era. ( i. e after Arjua/Hashan/Mahanama) . 2.Since 2007 SL could not win many tournaments as they did earlier. SL do not have match winners in its line up after Jayasuriya/Vaas/Murali - Dilshan/Mahela./Sanga are good players , but not match winners. 3. SL need another spin allrounder to take up Dilshans place after few years ( Dilshan is now 36yrs old , Lets try Jeewan Mendis /Dilshan Munaweera/ Kaushal Lokuarachchi) 4. No more Kapugedara/Chamara Silva/Dilhara/Maharoof, give a chance for Bhanuka/ Roshen Silva/ Shaminda 4.

  • on March 15, 2012, 23:53 GMT

    plz selectors you must use dammika prasad and shaminda eranga... should drop sikuge...malinga must get a rest!

  • Ms.Cricket on March 15, 2012, 23:50 GMT

    Why did Jayawardene himself throw his wicket away in the first six overs? Why has he always done so? How many recent starts has he converted to a hundres?? Non!! Never does he blame himself directly but always indirectly through a group? He is a funny thinker who gets it wrong more than he gets it right.

  • coolitbaby on March 15, 2012, 23:22 GMT

    Have a safe flight home chokers.

  • Ukayholic on March 15, 2012, 22:41 GMT

    I am sure Mahela will have positives to take from this pathetic school boy performance as well.

  • playitstraight on March 15, 2012, 21:36 GMT

    Ah well, all's good and well as now we can have an Ind-Pak final! But on a more serious note, SL have been too overworked and tired, so tiredness is a factor. You really can't expect them to perform well after being so tired. But as usual, Mahela the taskmaster, stated tiredness was not a factor and blamed the top order. Good ol' Mahi.

  • indiaworldchamps2011 on March 15, 2012, 21:33 GMT

    Jaywardhane.... just too much talk and not many results to show... just a couple of wins in australia and people started hailing him as the best captain ever, better than dhoni and what not.... reality is he is nowhere near dhoni as a captain.. just setting attacking fields mindlessly doesnt make someone a gud captain

  • Nadeem1976 on March 15, 2012, 21:07 GMT

    Well played Sri Lanka , you tried your best in last 2 weeks to handle the schedule pressure but finally lost the matches because it is some time humanly impossible to keep on losing in extremely short number of days for too many times. It hurts.

    Go and play well against England because that is most difficult test of your abilities, take rest and try to win against england now. Have fun at home.

    Please don't change your captain now because that method is not working, just play with full strength and open heart.

  • darsh127 on March 15, 2012, 20:36 GMT

    Blame all you want Mahela, your destiny is in our (INDIA) hands :P

  • Harmony111 on March 15, 2012, 20:35 GMT

    Surprised that Mahela is not talking about taking some positives out of their short and bitter stay in Asia Cup....he usually does.

  • sting.dl22 on March 15, 2012, 20:18 GMT

    Dear selectors, why we are not including welagedara ? his bowling is better than lakmal. he can bat better than lakmal n malinga. hope u will agree with me.

  • on March 15, 2012, 19:39 GMT

    Ha ha ha...why dont Jayawardene now says that:" they dont depend on other teams...when there future in this tournament depends on how other teams perform from now on..." What an irony :)

  • Ra_Thore on March 15, 2012, 19:06 GMT

    Jayawardene, it's time to take some rest. Too many tours recently.

  • on March 15, 2012, 18:55 GMT

    Take the blame on yourself buddy

  • on March 15, 2012, 18:51 GMT

    The purpose of the entire tournament is "academic" ..

  • on March 15, 2012, 18:46 GMT

    of course ...it has been a disappointing dismal blaming thyself tour altogether....no show..no proffessiional approach

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  • on March 15, 2012, 18:46 GMT

    of course ...it has been a disappointing dismal blaming thyself tour altogether....no show..no proffessiional approach

  • on March 15, 2012, 18:51 GMT

    The purpose of the entire tournament is "academic" ..

  • on March 15, 2012, 18:55 GMT

    Take the blame on yourself buddy

  • Ra_Thore on March 15, 2012, 19:06 GMT

    Jayawardene, it's time to take some rest. Too many tours recently.

  • on March 15, 2012, 19:39 GMT

    Ha ha ha...why dont Jayawardene now says that:" they dont depend on other teams...when there future in this tournament depends on how other teams perform from now on..." What an irony :)

  • sting.dl22 on March 15, 2012, 20:18 GMT

    Dear selectors, why we are not including welagedara ? his bowling is better than lakmal. he can bat better than lakmal n malinga. hope u will agree with me.

  • Harmony111 on March 15, 2012, 20:35 GMT

    Surprised that Mahela is not talking about taking some positives out of their short and bitter stay in Asia Cup....he usually does.

  • darsh127 on March 15, 2012, 20:36 GMT

    Blame all you want Mahela, your destiny is in our (INDIA) hands :P

  • Nadeem1976 on March 15, 2012, 21:07 GMT

    Well played Sri Lanka , you tried your best in last 2 weeks to handle the schedule pressure but finally lost the matches because it is some time humanly impossible to keep on losing in extremely short number of days for too many times. It hurts.

    Go and play well against England because that is most difficult test of your abilities, take rest and try to win against england now. Have fun at home.

    Please don't change your captain now because that method is not working, just play with full strength and open heart.

  • indiaworldchamps2011 on March 15, 2012, 21:33 GMT

    Jaywardhane.... just too much talk and not many results to show... just a couple of wins in australia and people started hailing him as the best captain ever, better than dhoni and what not.... reality is he is nowhere near dhoni as a captain.. just setting attacking fields mindlessly doesnt make someone a gud captain