India v Sri Lanka, Asia Cup, Fatullah February 28, 2014

'We did those little things right' - Mathews

ESPNcricinfo staff
  shares 24

Mathews hails match-winner Sangakkara

Sri Lanka have won their first two matches of the Asia Cup, beating their two strongest opponents, Pakistan and India. Both were close matches, and Angelo Mathews, Sri Lanka's captain, said they had won because they had grabbed the important moments.

"We've been winning those close games," Mathews said. "Once again it was a nervous game but we do those little things right. But we need to play better cricket against stronger teams. Today also I think we could have won it a bit easier than what it was in the end because the middle order collapsed."

Mathews said Kumar Sangakkara's 84-ball 103, the fastest century of his career, which came on a slow pitch that other batsmen from both sides had struggled to score quickly on, was one of the best innings he had seen.

"He's a true champion," Mathews said. "Has done it for the past so many years. Once again when the team needed, he delivered. It was a treat to watch him bat and it was one of the best innings I have seen in the recent past and most importantly he got us through. I am really happy with the way he batted."

Sri Lanka had picked three spinners for this match, and it helped the team that they won the toss and avoided bowling when the dew came into play. Asked about this, Mathews said Sri Lanka had the resources to win even if they had batted first.

"We were geared up for both batting or bowling first," he said. "But we wanted to chase as the dew comes in to play. Wicket was slow so we played [Ajantha] Mendis in place of [Suranga] Lakmal. Had we lost the toss India would have bowled first as well. Bowling second is not tricky because it turned with Jadeja and Ashwin as well. So it was tricky for our batsmen as well. We have the allrounders too with Sachithra at eight and Mendis at nine. We have the batting depth so we were up for the challenge if we had to bat first as well."

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Cricketluv on March 2, 2014, 6:55 GMT

    Yes, India lost because they dropped some catches. Unfortunately in cricket you have to catch the 'catch', if not you can't get the batsman out. The little thing Mathews did right was electing to bowl first, and with their team mates scoring the required marks within the 40 overs entitled. Two umpires umpired both the innings, and match was played in a neutral venue. ha ha ha . Forget finding excuses, and think of a trick or two for today's game that brings out best of the game.

  • randikaayya on March 1, 2014, 20:11 GMT

    siddhartha87: you've got a well respected name my friend, try to be reasonable I comments. If you've actually played competitive cricket you will know what those little things are. Yes Sanga master stroke got us over the line, but if you honestly think that a single innings is the only contributory factor to a team win, I'm afraid I won't be wasting time talking to you I the future. Little things are things such as converting the ones in to twos, calling correctly for. Runs, not making fielding blunders, calling for high catches early and clearly, knowing when to accelerate when batting and when to drop anchor. Need I say more?

  • GRJVPR on March 1, 2014, 13:09 GMT

    Kohli has lot to learn from legends like Sangakarra. look at the way he celebrate after that fantastic ton.actually no celebration at all. team objectives are greater than personal milestones!

  • scarrule on March 1, 2014, 12:54 GMT

    The mother of all cricket matches is tommorow, 100 times better than ashes, a game which has record for highest viewership in history of cricket. Yes, its INDIA V/S PAKISTAN guys. Boy, r u excited.

  • Ammad.x on March 1, 2014, 10:01 GMT

    Well what a match it was- simply a nail biting contest! Hats off to the winners for staying calm and let's see how it goes on in the future. All eyes on the BIG match, yes you've got it right- Ind vs Pak! This would decide many things!

  • on March 1, 2014, 9:23 GMT

    Yeah even I am wondering what those little things were. Angelos post match conferences are always fun and mostly irrelevant. The one that sticks to my memory is when SL tried to be defensive and set an impossible target hoping for a draw but Pakistan scored at more than 5 an over and turned it into an ODI and won the Test. He then tried to argue that he wasnt being defensive by batting too slow too long. MSD also comes out with someone classics.

  • on March 1, 2014, 9:20 GMT

    GayanganaSL. I dont think Gentlemanship is decided by how a batsman celebrates. Sanga didnt celeberate because he was more focused on getting the remaining runs and didnt want a break in his competition.

  • on March 1, 2014, 9:17 GMT

    @Praveen SM. In the last game SL won more because of suicidal Pakistan batting than good SL death bowling. Please check your facts.

  • sachin_vvsfan on March 1, 2014, 8:16 GMT

    We can all talk about ifs and buts but the difference to me was mendis. India was cruising at one stage and he first dismissed kholi and then kncoked out the middle order but 264 on slow pitch was decent but not enough with this brittle bowling/fielding unit.

  • Forward-DEFENCE on March 1, 2014, 8:10 GMT

    I think everyone can understand who is the GENTLEMAN from the celebration of Kholi s century against Banglas and Sanga s century against Indians in a tough situation

  • Cricketluv on March 2, 2014, 6:55 GMT

    Yes, India lost because they dropped some catches. Unfortunately in cricket you have to catch the 'catch', if not you can't get the batsman out. The little thing Mathews did right was electing to bowl first, and with their team mates scoring the required marks within the 40 overs entitled. Two umpires umpired both the innings, and match was played in a neutral venue. ha ha ha . Forget finding excuses, and think of a trick or two for today's game that brings out best of the game.

  • randikaayya on March 1, 2014, 20:11 GMT

    siddhartha87: you've got a well respected name my friend, try to be reasonable I comments. If you've actually played competitive cricket you will know what those little things are. Yes Sanga master stroke got us over the line, but if you honestly think that a single innings is the only contributory factor to a team win, I'm afraid I won't be wasting time talking to you I the future. Little things are things such as converting the ones in to twos, calling correctly for. Runs, not making fielding blunders, calling for high catches early and clearly, knowing when to accelerate when batting and when to drop anchor. Need I say more?

  • GRJVPR on March 1, 2014, 13:09 GMT

    Kohli has lot to learn from legends like Sangakarra. look at the way he celebrate after that fantastic ton.actually no celebration at all. team objectives are greater than personal milestones!

  • scarrule on March 1, 2014, 12:54 GMT

    The mother of all cricket matches is tommorow, 100 times better than ashes, a game which has record for highest viewership in history of cricket. Yes, its INDIA V/S PAKISTAN guys. Boy, r u excited.

  • Ammad.x on March 1, 2014, 10:01 GMT

    Well what a match it was- simply a nail biting contest! Hats off to the winners for staying calm and let's see how it goes on in the future. All eyes on the BIG match, yes you've got it right- Ind vs Pak! This would decide many things!

  • on March 1, 2014, 9:23 GMT

    Yeah even I am wondering what those little things were. Angelos post match conferences are always fun and mostly irrelevant. The one that sticks to my memory is when SL tried to be defensive and set an impossible target hoping for a draw but Pakistan scored at more than 5 an over and turned it into an ODI and won the Test. He then tried to argue that he wasnt being defensive by batting too slow too long. MSD also comes out with someone classics.

  • on March 1, 2014, 9:20 GMT

    GayanganaSL. I dont think Gentlemanship is decided by how a batsman celebrates. Sanga didnt celeberate because he was more focused on getting the remaining runs and didnt want a break in his competition.

  • on March 1, 2014, 9:17 GMT

    @Praveen SM. In the last game SL won more because of suicidal Pakistan batting than good SL death bowling. Please check your facts.

  • sachin_vvsfan on March 1, 2014, 8:16 GMT

    We can all talk about ifs and buts but the difference to me was mendis. India was cruising at one stage and he first dismissed kholi and then kncoked out the middle order but 264 on slow pitch was decent but not enough with this brittle bowling/fielding unit.

  • Forward-DEFENCE on March 1, 2014, 8:10 GMT

    I think everyone can understand who is the GENTLEMAN from the celebration of Kholi s century against Banglas and Sanga s century against Indians in a tough situation

  • siddhartha87 on March 1, 2014, 8:04 GMT

    don't know what are "the little things" that SL did right as they won only because of Sanga classic.

  • NAKumar on March 1, 2014, 7:30 GMT

    The truth is India was better in their resolve to lose this match that Sri Lankans. They both tried hard to lose the match but India succeeded, Sri Lankans threw their wickets as if there is no tomorrow and Indians simply refused to take any of those, congratulations!

  • on March 1, 2014, 7:20 GMT

    If you look at two press conference by Mathews and Kholi It shows difference between the discipline of both players. For kholi they lost only because of Dew factor.. India is a huge with vast country. So in the format of cricket they are the people who can find the best talent.. And still the esprit from 1.27 billion who are mad about cricket blame on due factor for their loss. That's the different between Dhono,Azarodeen,Tendulkar and Kholi as a captain. Of course Kholi is a talented young player.. Yet he dont have the discipline and the genuineness to become a gentlemen captain is a Gentlemen's game..

  • SL_Boy on March 1, 2014, 4:36 GMT

    so Chandi also cant bat under pressure, we have replacement for Mahela

  • rezmata on March 1, 2014, 4:25 GMT

    In the matches against Bang'd and Afg I hope Thisara Perera is given an opportunity to come higher in the order - maybe above Mathews. SL needs to develop his temperament and range of shots to make him a quality all rounder. As for Chandi... what do we do with him??? Just a passenger in the team!!

  • thaikkathameed on March 1, 2014, 3:24 GMT

    Please drop Rohit Sharma from the team. If at all, if there is an unwritten rule that he should be compulsorily taken in the team then please send him 7 down or 8 down in the batting line up. Sending him as an opener is putting unnecessary tension on the other opener and the batsmen to follow. Normally he is taking 3-4 overs to open his account. Please take him in the team when India are playing only in India. HE IS A PROVEN FLAT TRACK BULLY.

  • on March 1, 2014, 2:34 GMT

    Wonderful win. yes Indians are making too much of dew. Sri Lanka defended the last 50 runs when Pakistan had 6 wickets remaining even with the dew. That is called good death bowling. I bet even with a dry ball B.Kumar and Shami would bowl good death overs.

  • on March 1, 2014, 1:44 GMT

    Job well done Lankans... winning is a good habit... just continue the trend....

  • Ashreiko on March 1, 2014, 1:28 GMT

    Its great to finally win against India. It was a good game, a nail biter where the game shifted from one side to the other in a matter of balls. In the end the difference was the class of Sanga. Great game, and well fought India. and all the best for the rest of the tournament. Wishing to see Sri lanka lift this cup...

  • on February 28, 2014, 23:42 GMT

    though there is a long way to go. Sri Lanka remains the team to beat in asia cup 2014.well done lions

  • SLSup on February 28, 2014, 22:51 GMT

    Well put by Matthews as regards Sangakkara managing to score so quick on a slow wicket where others struggled. Not unlike when in that BNG Test Sanga single-handedly scored almost 50% of the near 900 runs SL scored in a game that BNG came within 200 runs of winning with 7 wickets in hand. As I said then, BNG would have bashed SL if Sanga didn't bat as good as he did.

  • Tweety20 on February 28, 2014, 20:34 GMT

    Good work lionzzz,you delivered another nail biting thriller (plz don't make it a habit coz it might be dangerous to some faint hearted people).There were some weak areas so plz work on them and improve. JAYA SRI.

  • LegSpinBowlr on February 28, 2014, 20:28 GMT

    Looks like India missed dhoni at all places , at toss, in batting and wicket keeping ;-) most of all the toss

  • jerryman on February 28, 2014, 20:13 GMT

    Time for SL selectors to play the players in form . Priyanjan should come in Chandimal and the team will be more balanced as he can bowl a few overs too at a fairly economical rate . We need to stop bowlers leaking runs . It is ok to give about 60- 65 runs in a 10 over spell if you are putting a dent in the batting side by taking 3-4 wickets . Think Malinga should bowl just 3 overs in his opening spell ,unless he is getting wickets each over , remaining 2 in the batting power play and the last 5 from over 41-50 . His death bowling tends to stem the runs . Don't be complacent against Afghanistan either and a win with a bonus point can give a rest to maybe sanga /malinga in the final game against Bangladesh to keep them fresh for the final .Good luck lions

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  • jerryman on February 28, 2014, 20:13 GMT

    Time for SL selectors to play the players in form . Priyanjan should come in Chandimal and the team will be more balanced as he can bowl a few overs too at a fairly economical rate . We need to stop bowlers leaking runs . It is ok to give about 60- 65 runs in a 10 over spell if you are putting a dent in the batting side by taking 3-4 wickets . Think Malinga should bowl just 3 overs in his opening spell ,unless he is getting wickets each over , remaining 2 in the batting power play and the last 5 from over 41-50 . His death bowling tends to stem the runs . Don't be complacent against Afghanistan either and a win with a bonus point can give a rest to maybe sanga /malinga in the final game against Bangladesh to keep them fresh for the final .Good luck lions

  • LegSpinBowlr on February 28, 2014, 20:28 GMT

    Looks like India missed dhoni at all places , at toss, in batting and wicket keeping ;-) most of all the toss

  • Tweety20 on February 28, 2014, 20:34 GMT

    Good work lionzzz,you delivered another nail biting thriller (plz don't make it a habit coz it might be dangerous to some faint hearted people).There were some weak areas so plz work on them and improve. JAYA SRI.

  • SLSup on February 28, 2014, 22:51 GMT

    Well put by Matthews as regards Sangakkara managing to score so quick on a slow wicket where others struggled. Not unlike when in that BNG Test Sanga single-handedly scored almost 50% of the near 900 runs SL scored in a game that BNG came within 200 runs of winning with 7 wickets in hand. As I said then, BNG would have bashed SL if Sanga didn't bat as good as he did.

  • on February 28, 2014, 23:42 GMT

    though there is a long way to go. Sri Lanka remains the team to beat in asia cup 2014.well done lions

  • Ashreiko on March 1, 2014, 1:28 GMT

    Its great to finally win against India. It was a good game, a nail biter where the game shifted from one side to the other in a matter of balls. In the end the difference was the class of Sanga. Great game, and well fought India. and all the best for the rest of the tournament. Wishing to see Sri lanka lift this cup...

  • on March 1, 2014, 1:44 GMT

    Job well done Lankans... winning is a good habit... just continue the trend....

  • on March 1, 2014, 2:34 GMT

    Wonderful win. yes Indians are making too much of dew. Sri Lanka defended the last 50 runs when Pakistan had 6 wickets remaining even with the dew. That is called good death bowling. I bet even with a dry ball B.Kumar and Shami would bowl good death overs.

  • thaikkathameed on March 1, 2014, 3:24 GMT

    Please drop Rohit Sharma from the team. If at all, if there is an unwritten rule that he should be compulsorily taken in the team then please send him 7 down or 8 down in the batting line up. Sending him as an opener is putting unnecessary tension on the other opener and the batsmen to follow. Normally he is taking 3-4 overs to open his account. Please take him in the team when India are playing only in India. HE IS A PROVEN FLAT TRACK BULLY.

  • rezmata on March 1, 2014, 4:25 GMT

    In the matches against Bang'd and Afg I hope Thisara Perera is given an opportunity to come higher in the order - maybe above Mathews. SL needs to develop his temperament and range of shots to make him a quality all rounder. As for Chandi... what do we do with him??? Just a passenger in the team!!