Pakistan v Sri Lanka, 1st T20, Dubai December 12, 2013

'We were 15 runs short' - Chandimal


Sri Lanka captain Dinesh Chandimal has admitted his team may have misread conditions in Dubai after their three-wicket loss to Pakistan in the first Twenty20. Chandimal had said his team should have aimed to score 150 batting first at the toss, but after the match he suggested the pitch played better than he had anticipated, and a score closer to 160 should have been their goal. Sri Lanka made 145 for 5.

"In the last year this pitch has been really slow, but this time the ball was coming nicely on to the bat. I think we were about 10-15 runs short as a batting side. After that, our bowlers didn't bowl in the right areas and we gave away some 10-20 runs. Our fielding was also below par. That's why I think we lost the game."

Chandimal lost the toss but had intended to bat first, believing dew would be less of an impediment to the side bowling second than it proved to be.

"After about 10 overs, the dew factor came into play. Then our spinners couldn't grip the ball. At that time, we couldn't bowl really well, and also the ball came onto the bat really well after 10 overs. The dew factor also contributed to us losing the game.

"We came to the ground on the previous night to check the dew, but last night there was no dew. We had a game plan, which was to bat first because they have some good bowlers, and we wanted to put the runs on the board and put pressure on them. In the end Shahid Afridi played a good cameo role. His innings was the turning point."

Pakistan captain Mohammad Hafeez had anticipated the dew, and he lauded his bowlers' for restricting Sri Lanka to a manageable score. Sri Lanka could not score at more than 6.5 runs an over for much of their innings, as Afridi and Saeed Ajmal pinned them down during the middle overs, with regular wickets slowing their progress.

"We were expecting the same total," Hafeez said. "We were thinking if we can restrict them under 150 or 140, we would have a good chance because we've got a good batting unit, and also allrounders like Shahid Afridi, Bilawal Bhatti and Sohail Tanvir can give us more strength in our lower order. Once we restricted them to the 140s, we knew we could do it. We were very confident we could chase it. The way Shahid Afridi finished the game was pleasing to see."

The victory was largely scripted by Pakistan's more experienced players, but 24-year-old opener, Sharjeel Khan, made a promising 34, though bowlers Bilawal Bhatti and Usman Khan had less successful outings. Hafeez suggested inexperienced players would be trialled again in the next match, with a view to playing them in the World Twenty20 in March.

"The mega-event is about to come, so that's why we tried some of the new guys - Bilawal Bhatti, Sohaib Maqsood and Sharjeel Khan. We are planning for the World Twenty20, and what we wanted was for seniors and juniors to play together. Going into the mega-event, the juniors will get a little bit of feel of international cricket, and they are performing very well and showing great character. At the same time the seniors are playing their role. We are happy with the momentum we are getting."

Andrew Fidel Fernando is ESPNcricinfo's Sri Lanka correspondent. He tweets here

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Dummy4 on December 13, 2013, 6:18 GMT

    Guys, any one know that Dinesh Chandimal has made a record by scoring 15 + run after 2 years in a T20 match. As a Sri Lankan i feel very shame to have a captain and player in the squad like Chandimal. Don't understand what is Sanath Jayasuriya is doing as a team selector.

  • Dummy4 on December 13, 2013, 4:03 GMT

    Chandimal always talk about shortage of runs after losing a match,SL should bat aggressively than this match,it is not suitable to play T20s with players like thirimanne to win ,they are only for ODIs and Tests,useless to talk about run shortage after the match

  • Android on December 13, 2013, 3:14 GMT

    plz chandimal bring thisara top in the order

  • iman on December 12, 2013, 18:30 GMT

    Pak lucky to escape with W...Hafeez made a few mistakes and SL could not capitalize on it. The biggest mistake of all, SL did not bring Tisara P up the order.

  • Janaka on December 12, 2013, 16:30 GMT

    Please stop giving excuses! That's it!

  • Salman on December 12, 2013, 16:27 GMT

    Pakistan was lucky to win this match. Hafeez made all the mistakes. First: Team selection: when junaid sit out for Suhail tanvir. That is a bad decision in any format and any conditions in cricket. 2nd Usman Khan was given one over: Hafeez was expecting miracles from this young talent in his first ever over in International cricket. now his confidence will as low as it can be. 2rd batting first is Pakistan's strength. you win toss and bat. we saw that in South Africa and also in Dubai. when you bat first there are more chances that you win. Hafeez should not repeat these mistakes in the next game. winning and losing are part of the game.

  • Dummy4 on December 12, 2013, 14:38 GMT

    Hafeez "we have a good batting unit" LOL what a joke Hafeez.....The truth is we have a horrible batting unit!!!!

  • Dummy4 on December 12, 2013, 12:44 GMT

    Please send Tisara Perera before Yourself (chandimal), Thirimanna and Mathew. Give the guy a chance to hit some runs.

  • prasad on December 12, 2013, 11:13 GMT

    Thissara perera was a absolute waste at no 7 he should bat at no 6 in t 20

  • udendra on December 12, 2013, 11:05 GMT

    we won't be 15 runs short if Chandimal comes at no. 10 or 11.

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