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

Jayawardene blames top order for loss

ESPNcricinfo staff

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

  • Leo 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.

  • Kanchana 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 :-)

  • Dummy4 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 ?

  • Supun 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

  • Pratik 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.

  • Dummy4 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..................

  • Dummy4 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.

  • Dummy4 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.

  • Dummy4 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

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