Pakistan v Sri Lanka, Asia Cup, Fatullah February 25, 2014

'We thought we were 25-30 runs short' - Mathews

ESPNcricinfo staff

'Malinga made the difference' - Mathews

Between innings during their opening match of the Asia Cup, Sri Lanka felt they had fallen short of a winning total against Pakistan. Lahiru Thirimanne had scored a century and added 161 with Kumar Sangakkara for the second wicket. With that in mind, Sri Lanka should have scored "at least 325", according to their captain Angelo Mathews.

"I actually think that we were 25-30 runs short, to be honest," Mathews said. "Especially with the start that [Kumar] Sangakkara and [Lahiru] Thirimanne got for us, we should have got at least 325, minimum. We lost our way in the middle, we kept losing wickets and we had to consolidate in the last few overs, to set 297 target. I actually thought, if we didn't lose wickets, we could have got 325-330 easily."

In the end, Sri Lanka's score of 296 proved enough to secure them a 12-run victory. But at one stage, they had looked out of it, with Pakistan needing 57 from the last eight overs with six wickets in hand. Mathews said that Sri Lanka's bowlers had had no answers to Misbah-ul-Haq and Umar Akmal during their 121-run fifth-wicket partnership.

"When Misbah and Umar Akmal were batting, they were batting brilliantly, and we just didn't have answers to them," Mathews said. "We just had to hang in there. We knew that if we take one wicket from there the game is going to open once again, so we did that and fortunately our bowlers did it once again, Lasith Malinga took that crucial wicket, and that turned the game for us."

Malinga ended up taking his sixth ODI five-wicket haul, and reached 250 wickets in the format. When asked what discussion captain and pace spearhead had before his final spell, Mathews said he usually left it to Malinga to make his own plans.

"When it comes to Lasith, he has always been our best bowler," Mathews said. "We always bank on him in pressure situations. He's been our best bowler for so many years, and we always throw the ball to him, and he knows exactly what he has to do. I was pretty comfortable with what he wanted and I always give him the option to do whatever he wants because he is very well experienced and he knows exactly what he's doing."

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Manesh on February 27, 2014, 4:45 GMT

    SL still searching for a bowler against good teams like India. Much hyped Malinga is going over park in flight against mighty Indian batting line-up. Pak team should learn from Indians how to handle a 3rd class bowler like malinga and send him 80-90 runs.

  • Kepili on February 26, 2014, 16:34 GMT

    @ruwnish: I agree with you. Chandimal is an accomplished opening batsmen by nature, like Thirimanne. Their natural capabilities & technique are well suited to bat in front order. Unfortunately, SL cricket admins prefer to fill the spot they created by UNJUSTLY eliminating another established young opener (Upul Tharanga), with a player initially slotted in to the side as a wicket keeper from nowhere (substituting for injured Sangakara, despite having 3 Wicket-keepers Chandimal, Dilshan, Tharanga in side to do the job). Some supporters of this unjustly happenings are the ones who are asking to eliminate Thirimanne & Chandimal. Yesterday Thirimanne DEMONSTRATED his solid batting skills as an OPENERr against a formidable side.... he came up with an unbeaten CENTURY Vs AUSSIES (in Australia) in the other SOLITARY OCCASION he was given to bat in front order.THE CONTRAST in batting skills with perfect strokes around the wicket (compared to cross bat slogging at the other end) was visible.!

  • Gayangana on February 26, 2014, 16:22 GMT

    @ Shiras Misbah If the 48 th over is bowled by thisara or angi if the batsmen striked to different parts u [many] will ask why did not angi give the ball to suranga since he a main bowler.These are tough decisions to make as a captain .one day u might be correct and in another day u might be wrong.Anyway suranga need to improve his death bowling I prefer Dammika for the next match

  • Lalith on February 26, 2014, 9:37 GMT

    Tissara should bat only the last 5 overs.

  • Randika on February 26, 2014, 7:09 GMT

    ruwnish: I'm afraid to say that in the context of yesterdays performance Chandimal fell short of the mark. He was unable to help the team lift the tempo and finish strongly while at the other end Mathews was able to do that. I'm not sure what positives are being pointed out by you, but following the game yesterday I felt that some other batsman, even Nuwan Kulasekara would have contributed a lot more towards SLs cause!

  • sam on February 26, 2014, 6:49 GMT

    It was ok for SL to get 296. If they had gone beyond 325 as Anjo expected, PK would have started to play T20 style with the powerplay overs. That would have affected the Lankans in the later part of the game.

  • Yohan on February 26, 2014, 5:23 GMT

    It s really good of Mathews accepting mistakes and also giving credit to opposition when its due . SL made a mistake of sending Thisara too early . he should have been there after Chandimal . Both set batsmen lost was a blow . When it s coming to bowling , Lakmal should complete quota in early and death bowling to be done by Malinga along with Mathews . Good performences though from Malinga , Thiri , Sanga , Mathews . Debutanat Chaturanga looks gutsy in bowling . Good luck for the game vs India .

  • Dummy4 on February 26, 2014, 3:41 GMT

    thought Sri lanka as a Team made crucial tactical errors.. Noted ones r sending T.perera early. should hav sent chandimal and left perera to do the finishin job.. the other one was bowlin lakmal in 48th over. he almost gave the game away. shoud hav continued bowling with perera or matthews with his change us should hav bowled

  • Ruwa on February 26, 2014, 2:32 GMT

    I want people to see Dinesh Chandimal's contribution yesterday. Most of the comments by readers in various places feel Chandimal should be dropped due to his batting failures. He is a brilliant young prospect Sri Lanka need to have & his availability is much required in the future than now & it's Sri Lankan cricket administrators' duty to fine tune his batting & abilities.

  • Yasitha on February 25, 2014, 23:20 GMT

    To be honest after that sanga-thiri partnership i thought we were 40-50 runs short........

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