ICC Cricket World Cup 2011 / News

Sri Lanka v Pakistan, World Cup 2011, Group A, Colombo

Top-order collapse cost match - Sangakkara

Sa'adi Thawfeeq in Colombo

February 26, 2011

Comments: 150 | Text size: A | A

Kumar Sangakkara, the Sri Lanka captain, rued his side's top-order problems which wasted the solid start provided by the openers as they came up short in their run chase against Pakistan to register their first home defeat in a World Cup.

Tillakaratne Dilshan and Upul Tharanga put on 76 for the first wicket but Sri Lanka then lost 4 for 20 in seven overs. The middle order became bogged down as Chamara Silva struggled to build momentum until it was too late and despite Nuwan Kulasekara's brave effort the target always appeared out of reach.

"We did pretty well to restrict them to 277 and the start we got was good enough to keep on batting, but when you lose four wickets in the same amount of overs and you are less than 100 for four wickets down, it makes it a bit difficult," Sangakkara said. "We can say that we missed Lasith [Malinga] a bit, but the guys were pretty up to it.

"On this track 277 was very gettable and you saw how close we came at the end. If we had done a little more hard work with the top order batsman, I think we would have made it and crossed the line. The real negative for us from this game is we lost a bunch of wickets in a very short space of time."

Sangakkara believes his side will have learned some valuable lessons from the defeat, a result that shouldn't hamper Sri Lanka's chances of progressing to the quarter-finals. "Also the fact that partnerships are important and we should never panic at any point," he said. "We were well behind the run rate, but we still fell only 10 run short. So basically if we had kept building partnerships, when we had that great start, I think it would have been a different story."

Tillakaratne Dilshan was bowled by Shahid Afridi for 41, Sri Lanka v Pakistan, World Cup, Group A, Colombo, February 26, 2011
Tillakaratne Dilshan's departure came in the middle of a bad period for Sri Lanka in their run chase © Getty Images

Shoaib Akhtar rolled back the years with an express delivery to remove Mahela Jayawardene which followed quickly from Shahid Afridi's removal of Dilshan for 41. "That kind of gives them the momentum and unfortunately that was the real critical period in this game," Sangakkara said.

Chasing is notoriously difficult at the R Premadasa but Sangakkara refused to use the toss as an excuse. "Winning tosses will not decide a match. On a pitch like this, had we played better cricket and done our basics especially in batting, we could have changed the decision."

And even in defeat there were elements of Sri Lanka's performance that pleased him including the role the spinners played in the Pakistan innings and how Silva overcame his sluggish start to give the home side a chance late in the chase. "[The spinners] were outstanding. The rest of the fast bowlers started off a bit shakily but I think we came back to the game pretty well," he said. "The opening partnership was great and the way Chamara Silva batted.

"Kulasekara again proved he can handle the bat well and Angelo Mathews unfortunately didn't have enough time to get himself set. When we were so far behind it is easy to say that's it and walk away from the game. But the way we fought it out and how close we came is I think we can do them.

"Pakistan are a very good side and well balanced. They showed today that they got a lot of pride also. Everyone writes off a team at their peril and cricket has a lot of surprises. Today they played better cricket than us all round."

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Posted by Ravindra on (March 1, 2011, 8:06 GMT)

Kapugadra ( The best world class player we have in this current SL team, but not played to his potential and not given enough opportunities ). Unfortunately like Mathiew most of the time just sacrifice his wicket. Never get opportunity bat against weak teams or during the power play, because our top order bat eligently against weak teams.Mahela (Overrated Player) match winner only against weak pace attacks teams and teams who have lot of spinners should bat bat after Kapugdara & Mathew.We have too many average players/test players on the top and World class plays in the bench or in the lower order. Sag stragiest good but you can use those stragies after you retiere . Let the best play win or loose part of this game but we dont like too see 1/2 players represent our country. Mahela cannot bat agist quality fast bowlers so whay dont he bat down the order we all know he is good player agist spiners and let take a chance and promote Kapu to the top. Good players dont fail forever

Posted by umair on (March 1, 2011, 7:53 GMT)

I really feel even being Pakistani if Malinga was there in the SL team RESULTS might Have been Different but At the end of the day its result tHAT Matters

Posted by Dummy4 on (February 28, 2011, 19:29 GMT)

well it is too late to coment on these points now. What is done, is done. Yes,We never should have lost that game. We almost came to a point of winning. Malinga has to be there. Kulasekara had no fire that day at all.WE realy miss Vass.Well Boys of SRI LANKA, all the best for the rest of the matches.

Posted by Sage on (February 28, 2011, 17:38 GMT)

Guys, especially Kumar and the team management don't give excuses. This is the World Cup not an ordinary limited over series. As I saw in one of the leading news papers…"Bring on the Pakistanis" well they came played and conquered. You let down all the cricket fans at the Premadasa stadium yesterday. When I saw the team selected for this match I was very disappointed. No Dilhara because Malinga was not fit and Chamara Silva? Gosh guys, watch the tapes of the world cup match against West Indies in 2007. Sarwan took control of Chamara Silva by bowling on his legs. Does he have enough exposure like the other players since lately? I think he sold the game for Sri Lanka, though he recovered towards latter it was too late. Our team never believes in making a single in to two. Just comfortable taking singles. We were expecting things to happen instead of creating. I was expecting Sri Lanka to be the favorite but this game created lots of doubts but we can still win. Go get it guys.

Posted by Sajid on (February 28, 2011, 13:41 GMT)

Look Sri Lankan Fans, it was a bad day for Sri Lanka. Otherwise, if cricket pundits are saying that Sri Lanka is a favorite then it means something. The only thing which has changed is that Pakistan has got some boost in confidence and Sri Lanka has lost some confidence. And also who will play who in quarter finals. But I truly believe that Sri Lanka will reach Semis. Best of luck, a Pakistani fan of Pakistani and Sri Lankan Cricket teams. Long live Pak-Sri Lanka friendship.

Posted by Dummy4 on (February 28, 2011, 7:34 GMT)

Let SL learn lessons n rectify mistake n cm back srtong in the forth coming matches.

Posted by Shehan on (February 28, 2011, 6:33 GMT)

congrads pakistan! SL put this behind.. Think about the next.. learn from mistakes. Wish Jayasuriya was there. SL lacks hard hitting players. All the best for the other games SL!!

Posted by Dummy4 on (February 27, 2011, 23:29 GMT)

pOWER PLAY TAKEN IN WORNG TIME IT SHOULD BE BY 34 OVERS... and mathews should be bat before samarawera... as a captain of the team has to understan the match since he is still on batting.. ITS from start srilanakn body language did not show that they gona beat pakistan.. its a sad..

Posted by Ted on (February 27, 2011, 21:48 GMT)

Mr. Shankar, Malinga is not having any injury at the moment, that prevents him from playing... he bowls in practice sessions at his best. He recovered from his previous injury long time ago. If he is injured he wouldn't be in the squad at all. He is fit enough to play but the reason given for ommision is, simply due to fear of uinjury according to Sanga, which is absurd. If he is fit enough to be in the squad, he should be able to manage 10 overs in short spells for sure.

Posted by ntokozo on (February 27, 2011, 20:49 GMT)

At this rate, all Sri Lankans should forget about the World Cup. I always thought they were being a bit too overhyped as "favourites". For me, Pakistan, amid controversies are still more dangeous. Sri Lanka ONLY come a close second if Malinga is fit, otherwise they are weigh behind the others.

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