Pakistan v Sri Lanka, 3rd Test, Sharjah, 5th day

Mathews denies SL were too negative

Andrew Fidel Fernando

January 20, 2014

Comments: 128 | Text size: A | A

Angelo Mathews was caught on the hook, Pakistan v Sri Lanka, 3rd Test, Sharjah, 5th day, January 20, 2014
Angelo Mathews said Sri Lanka's poor second-innings display with the bat conceded the game © AFP

Sri Lanka's captain, Angelo Mathews, has denied that negative tactics led to his team's dramatic downfall in Sharjah and said his batsmen should have been "a bit more cautious" in the second innings, which he believes cost Sri Lanka the match.

Sri Lanka had achieved an 87-run first innings lead, but scored at 1.87 runs an over on the fourth afternoon and evening, seemingly in an attempt to stall the game and preserve their 1-0 lead. Pakistan took Sri Lanka's last five wickets for 81 on the fifth morning and completed a record chase to level the series. Their run rate of 5.25 on the last day was the highest for any successful chase over 300.

"Last evening, five of our wickets had fallen for 100 and from there onwards, we had to take some time," Mathews said. "Rather than going for runs and losing wickets, we defended at that stage, because we knew we were leading the series and we don't need to take a big risk. On the fifth day there wasn't much turn for the spinners. It's still a very good wicket.

"When we were batting we actually kept losing wickets and we never got a good lead. Prasanna Jayawardene responded to pressure and batted brilliantly, but I thought we should have been a bit more cautious because we've already won the series and we didn't need to give them a sniff. That's what happened in the morning today, when we let our guards down for a couple of hours. We just couldn't bat for another hour. That's all we needed.

"Our batters were not very patient in the second innings and that brought our downfall."

Sri Lanka were also quick to spread their fields in the fourth innings, as Pakistan gathered three quarters of their 302 runs through singles, twos and threes. A slip was occasionally employed but there was no tight infield for much of the innings.

"[Negative tactics] weren't really to blame," Mathews said. "We knew that the Pakistanis have to make a move, and they were desperate to win the game. And you know when you are desperate, you tend to make more mistakes than the others. We were actually not going overboard with attacking but we just wanted to make it harder and harder for them to win the game."

Pakistan required only 53 runs from the final 60 balls of the match and had six wickets in hand. Sri Lanka routinely placed at least seven - but up to nine - fielders on the fence during those overs, with Pakistan hitting 41 runs via singles, twos and threes in that time.

"We wanted to get a wicket in that period," Mathews said. "The ball was a bit old and also reversing a little bit. We actually knew in the last ten overs that they would go for the big shots. Even when we had our nine fielders down at the boundary, they still went for it. We wanted to get a wicket and when the newcomer comes in, to sort of bring in the field and put pressure [on]. They were going to go for it and it was getting dark. That's why we had the fielders out."

Rangana Herath bowled well outside leg stump, with a packed leg-side field, throughout the match. The ploy backfired on the fifth evening, as Misbah-ul-Haq, in particular, used the reverse-sweep to good effect. But, like Kumar Sangakkara on day three, Mathews said the tactic was intended to bring wickets.

"We bowled on leg stump because there was rough outside the leg stump," he said. "We thought that something would happen for the spinners, and they'd get some help. We were trying to get wickets that way, but they batted really well."

Mathews directed blame entirely at the batting in the second innings, suggesting the bowling was hampered by the docility of the surface and could not have done much better. "We played really well in the last three-and-a-half days, but our batting messed it up for us today. It was never a 214 wicket to get all out, especially on a day four or five, when you could still hit through the line. We gifted them wickets and that was not good enough."

Sri Lanka's run rate for the whole match was 2.34 - their lowest for any game in which they have batted at least 100 overs since 2000. "We scored 400 in the first innings and we had to work hard for that because Pakistan were not giving any loose balls. We had to wait for the loose balls and they did the same in the second innings. They bowled very disciplined lines and lengths."

Mathews found solace in individual gains and a drawn series, despite the dispiriting final result. "The way Kaushal Silva and the openers batted in the series was quite brilliant. Rangana Herath was good as always, and the two fast bowlers were also brilliant. It was a collective performance. Mahela batted well in Dubai and then again here, so we want to take all these positives and move forward."

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

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Posted by sadSajith on (January 23, 2014, 15:22 GMT)

Simply one word, ARROGANCE...What kind of leader try to put the blame on team mates when the fault is in his hand?... What has Mathews learn from Mahela and Sanga which always protected their team members in and out of the field?...This is a good example which shows that every good player can't be a good captain... So far Mathews hasn't shown any good leadership skills (except for his contribution as batsman to the team, it has remarkably grown ) as a cricketer or as a person ... With this kind of arrogance, I don't think he has a good future as a captain neither does the team... Hope he wouldn't break the aptitude of the other players..

Posted by   on (January 22, 2014, 9:59 GMT)

Part 2: As per the match situation, if there is anybody to be blamed for the defeat, it is the bowlers and fielding tactics. But SL had a great chance of even winning the match if they approached the second innings positively. How can you criticize your batters when your top six batters strike rate is far below average in the 2nd innings. I am not going to say that Sri Lanka should have been played aggressively. But they should have approached the game positively and played their natural game. When you have 87 runs lead in the first innings and six more session to play, you still can go for a win instead of trying for a draw. When you try to defend all deliveries coming to you and not go for runs, it is not guarantee that you will never get out. You may get out at any point of time. End of the day you don't have enough runs on the board. This is what happened in the match. It is clear that negative approach of the game was the main reason for the lost.

Posted by   on (January 22, 2014, 9:58 GMT)

Part 1: First of all I congratulate Pakistan for this amazing win. As a Sri Lanka fan, I always praise Mathews for his talent and game reading ability. But as a Captain this was a poor decision by Mathews. It is unfair to criticize your batters for the defeat. Because Pakistan chased the target at 5.25 economy rate, Pakistan's best ever in the fourth innings. Also the highest run rate by any team for a fourth-innings total of more than 205. More over Azhar Ali with 38.5 as career strike rate played match innings with strike rate of 75.18. Whatever happened in your second innings batting, 302 runs in just 59 overs is well enough to defend the opposition as far as test matches concerned. More over you have freedom of delivering 3 bouncers per over and you can still bowl in the leg side and offside bit wider than ODI.

Posted by siddhartha87 on (January 22, 2014, 8:58 GMT)

run rate 1.87 and they should have been more cautious???Clarke would have wanted to score his his team 300-330 in 70 overs to bowl Pakistan out in a whole day.Matthews can never win you a match in seaming condition with this attitude

Posted by Vikum72 on (January 22, 2014, 8:49 GMT)

I'm a SL fan and I do believe our approach was bit too negative and lacking in purpose in this 3rd test. In saying that, we also have to consider the fact that Pakistan didn't allow us to be 'positive' buy playing brilliantly. I'm not referring to the chase but more the way their bowling was able to restrict SL to a snail phase and a manageable score in the 2nd innings. However, SL should have at least tried. It is much more noble to have played for a win and lose rather than to play for a draw and lose!

Posted by KnightRider12155 on (January 22, 2014, 7:21 GMT)

@ warden05.. you said it right mate! If the Aussie captain was in Matthews position in the third test, He would have directly gone to grind Pakistan. Matthews hasn't learned anything out of this defeat. I think lot more defeats will come SLs way if he still thinks he did the right thing! Worst captain SL had alongside Hashan Thilekerathne.

Posted by Sageleaf on (January 22, 2014, 6:59 GMT)

Part 2...What I gathered was you were playing for a draw, which is hideous...instead why couldn't you go for a kill and may be you could have won or even lose. But the game would have played in the right spirit and I'm sure people would have endorsed you character. We can only talk and yes it's a different ball game at the middle. If Mahela or you played a rash shot on the 4th day before close of play, people would have said they just threw their wicket. So many can talk and will be many ideas many suggestions but now it is done. The game is is all about attitudes and what you believe counts the most. I keep saying there is no room for complacency in any pro sport. I guess the team lack of trying to know what is complacency and perseverance. I believe that SL is a good cricket team and they will do better. I can count on one thing...that is SL is the only team can give any team in the world run for their money. All the very best for future tours.

Posted by Sageleaf on (January 22, 2014, 6:44 GMT)

Part 1...Angelo...let me tell you is all about experience and learning from it. You can stumble many times but important thing is how high you rise. The entire SL cricket camp would say you guys did not play negative tactics but the whole country and the most will agree with me that you guys were very negative from day one. Your first innings took almost 2 day but you still lost the match. Who is pouring negativity in to your camp? Do you know why Ian Chappell was the most challenging captain in the world? It's because he believed in himself and the team. People of SL have spoken so much negative about your captaincy just losing one game. But I won't it's because you guys played so well in the 1st test and won the second test. That showed character in the team. But what went wrong in the 3rd?

Posted by Vikramaditya100 on (January 22, 2014, 6:31 GMT)

Haa... Mathews is a good player but as a captain he is giving competition to MS Dhoni in dishing out bizarre excuses....initially I thought of supporting SL but after watching Sarfarz play the way he did.... I started cheering for Pak.... Good for Misbah and his boys.... take a bow.....

Posted by GustavXV on (January 22, 2014, 5:50 GMT)

Sri Lankan batters should have been more cautious? Angelo, are you out of your mind?

Posted by GustavXV on (January 22, 2014, 5:33 GMT)

The worst Captain Sri Lanka ever produced. Angelo Mathews not only disgraced SL cricket in & out of the field but made a joker out of himself to the whole world claiming that it was not negative cricket. Many have complained about Sanga, Mahela Sanath, Vaas & Hashan for the actions/decisions by the Angelo Mathews. For those who don't know, players who are senior or in the management would not interfere in captain's decisions. That's the reason why you appoint a captain, to take the decisions in the field.

Posted by warden05 on (January 22, 2014, 5:05 GMT)

I would be extremely worried if I were a Sri Lankan cricket fan reading that Matthews thinks his batsmen should have been more cautious. It is obvious he has not learnt anything from his negative & detrimental tactics. I watched them bat on the fourth day & nearly fell asleep from the sheer boredom of their tactics. They should have been looking at scoring more runs & even trying to win the match. I was cheering heartily for Pakistan in their run chase, it was a fantastic effort even though Sri Lanka gave them a lot of help.

Posted by KnightRider12155 on (January 22, 2014, 3:55 GMT)

Gosh, have to admit that SL did brilliantly well to snap defeat from the jaws of a series victory. Sl's were negative from the day 1. But still they were on top of the game until the 5th day morning session.

Kudos for Pakistanis who turn the game on its head on the last 2 sessions of the test match! Done blame the batters Matthews. You had 301 runs to defend. That was good enough to draw the test looking at the negative way you played as a team..

If you cannot defend 301 in 60 overs in a test match, dont blame your batters for it! It was your foolish field placements and negative lines of bowling which gave away the game! Hope you learned a lesson from this shameful defeat... Next time when you have your opponents backs against the wall, go for the kill.. Actions speaks louder than words buddy! Where were your "Killer Instincts" ???

Posted by Tornado1 on (January 21, 2014, 23:07 GMT)

lol...more cautious...more cautious than what you did?? couldn't understand your cricketing sense really

Posted by Roshini on (January 21, 2014, 17:44 GMT)

But all we beg from our cricketers are not to publicly humiliate the nation and get worldwide wrath due to idiotic actions. Please confine such actions within your house boundary. I can still hold my head high and walk with an honorable defeat than a shameful display of our brand of test cricket. Roshini Vass - Homagama Sri Lanka

Posted by Roshini on (January 21, 2014, 17:43 GMT)

Since gaining test status Sri Lanka was never known for top drawer test cricket. Such exceptional wholesome cricketing display was never seen like we see from other exciting nations from time to time. Test cricket was never in the mood & more often than not Lankan captains have been ultra cautious going in to a test with a mind set of "Not to Lose" the game probably owing to the abilities of our nation cricketers at test level. If this was not the case then we spectators would have enjoyed success over the years & seen the brighter side of things. Someone just reminds me that we are yet to win a test on Aussie and Indian soil. Sadly this bogged mind set mantle is passed from one captain to the other & Mathews is no different. The cricket loving public of Sri Lanka fully understands we are a nation sans a Lara, Ponting, Gilchrist, Akram, Warne, Donald, Holding, Ambrose or a Tendulkar to produce winning results from any given situation. To be cont..

Posted by Guruprasad.S on (January 21, 2014, 17:28 GMT)

One should not be too harsh of Angelo Mathews here. He is new to the job, he will make mistakes and learn. The real blame for somewhat defensive attitude of SL should be shouldered by seniors Mahela and Kumar, who seem to be captaining by proxy. It is time for Angelo to come out of their influence and assert himself. In most of the on-field decisions, one can see Angelo conferring with Mahela and Kumar. Again, I have great respect for both these icons of SL cricket, but Angelo must be his own man and he must make his own decisions. Only then can he grow as a captain.

Posted by Independent_fan on (January 21, 2014, 17:28 GMT)

Congratulations Pakistan. As a Sri Lanka I am deeply disappointed. If you loose, loose with dignity. Mathews, no justification for such a low scoring rate, you have to grow up soon. Mahela/ Sanga you two either lost your mind or conspiring against young team members and country. Two young openers and two seamers are not to be blamed. Dilruwan and Prasanna did their job well. Chandimal should not be in any format of cricket. Mathews haslot to learn how to get full performance from the team. Mahela/ Sanga, fans lost faith on you you two are now only big talkers and not the ones you used to be. Slectors should come forward from where they are in deep sleep now. Be positive for the upcoming series. Thirimanne is not a good option. Good luck Sri Lanka

Posted by CricketFirst on (January 21, 2014, 15:47 GMT)

Needless to mention the disappointment I feel as a Lankan due to the way we lost the match. How can you ever play a game of sport if your intention is not winning. Cricket is all about runs, wickets & fielding. The best Test (cricket) teams such as Aus and SA always create opportunities to score runs & take wickets, hence they win more often than not. From the 1st innings itself SL batting run rate was poor on a flat track and bowling outside leg stump meant giving up many wicket taking opportunities and field placing on the 4th innings is unexplainable when PAK needed less than a run-a-ball to win. Always remember that fans do not remember the results, yet they remember special moments they see on the field. People will not buy SL brand of cricket unless it is positive & exciting. It's better not to sell a product than selling a very low quality product coz you' ll lose the faith of brand loyal customers forever. Dear Mathews, it's time to learn from the mistakes!!!

Posted by golgo_85 on (January 21, 2014, 15:13 GMT)

More cautious?? Definitely the worst captain Srilanka ever had, at least his batting has improved a bit. They were really lucky to not get thrashed 2-0, if Pak had bowled better the first two tests, a 3-0 outcome was achievable.You can't win a series with reactive captaincy, Matthews. On the other hand, this time around bowlers had let Misbah down which was bound to happen one day. Can't wait to see Ajmal against NZ and Aus in a few months.

Posted by   on (January 21, 2014, 13:58 GMT)

Cannot agree with you at all Mathews. We should have been more attacking on the fourth day. We had a lead in the test match. If we batted normally in the second innings we wouldn't have put pressure on ourselves. We let the bowlers dominating by blocking every ball. This is not SL fans want from their captain

Posted by Yousufahmed1 on (January 21, 2014, 13:34 GMT)

Grow up matthew. Grow up!!!!

Posted by Coolbanker1234 on (January 21, 2014, 13:05 GMT)

I don't know what the old cricketers of Sri Lanka think of this disgusting performance. Matthews has lost a fan who thought he will be a good captain. But his negativity cost Sri Lanka the match. And what happened to Dilruwn Perera? Why did he not get a bowl in the second dig. Is he a batsman or a bowler? I am sure his confidence is now shot to pieces. His captain doesn't think he cba bowl. And what about the rubbish served up by Herath. Blame should also go Mahela and Sanga. They should know better. Play positive cricket and if you lose, you do so with dignity. Well done Pakistan. I am a Sri Lankan fan who at the end wanted Pakistan to win, due to our negative tactics

Posted by Lion_96 on (January 21, 2014, 12:45 GMT)

Lets see how this cautious approach will serve SL cricket in the next 15 months. We got tours to BAN, ENG & NZL. Can you imagine if SL got a 1-0 lead in a 5 Test match series? With Mathews, SL will be playing with more "caution" in the remaining 4 tests! Just picture the great enterprising cricket we would witness *NOT!* Its bad enough that Mathews won't admit his mistake. But i hope no SL fan will defend his tactics, which we were plain wrong!

Posted by bouncer709 on (January 21, 2014, 12:29 GMT)

Actually Mathew had no sense what target and overs they needed to give to Pakistan, he lacks the understanding that if you give 300-325 runs in 80-90 overs it will be difficult for the chasing team than chasing 300 in 50-60 overs. Many people here will think how it is easy to chase 300 in 50-60 overs than 300-325 in 80-90 overs, the reason is that when there are less overs, the chasing team know that can try brisk start and if few wkts collapse early on they can switch the gears back to plan B and play 50-60 overs to draw, but if there are 80-90 overs the chasing team will avoid brisk start fearing loss of early wkts and looking at too many overs left they will be in trouble. Yesterday Misbah applied the same logic he sent Sarfraz early and saved his-self back so he can play remaining overs to draw if Sarfraz fails, but Sarfraz played very well and Misbah went according to plan A, they need not to switch back the gears to plan B.

Posted by drnaveed on (January 21, 2014, 12:14 GMT)

some poor captain-ship and poor planning from the SL side. mathews , instead of recognizing his mistake and poor game planning , trying to defend himself, with unacceptable views. i wonder , how his fans and media will handle him when he goes back home . both sanga and mahela left their captain all alone ,to make the decisions. either mathews didn't asked them, about their suggestions ,or they stayed back , just to say do whatever you like. he is not a good captain. a captain should be positive in his approach ,like m.clarke.

Posted by Haleos on (January 21, 2014, 11:26 GMT)

More cautious? Angelo has lost it. They lost because they were too cautious and negative. Served them right. But lets not take anything aaway from pakistan. They showed intent and won. It also needs to be anaylsed what were the greats like Mahela and Sanga doing? Why did they not guide Angelo. Maybe they themselves were negative. Look at both their strike rates. tells you the story.

Posted by msnsrinivas on (January 21, 2014, 10:45 GMT)

Was Mathews talking about the same match when he said they should have been more cautious while batting? Honest question.

Posted by   on (January 21, 2014, 10:13 GMT)

Yes Angelo, the batsmen should have been more cautious. I mean, what were they doing scoring at 1.87 runs an over!??!? That's careless batting. The situation demanded a run rate of less than 1 per over. Then we would have won the match by putting the Pakistanis to sleep.

Posted by   on (January 21, 2014, 9:20 GMT)

Bit more cautious, yes Anji you should never have played third Test after gaining the 1-0 lead in the series, and next time doing press meeting do not mention about we want to play Sri Lankan brand of cricket( which is aggressive cricket played by Arjuna, Aravinda, Sanath). And for Indian fans, remember that WI series where MS Dhoni abandoned the chase 50-60 runs in 9-10 overs with 6-7 wickets in hand because they are 1-0 up and wanna have a shower early. For me top four test teams are 1. South Africa, 2. Australia, 3 Pakistan, 4. ................ we could decide fourth place after India visit to New Zealand and England

Posted by MXcrick on (January 21, 2014, 8:46 GMT)

Fully agree with the views of the Captain. This game woud have been over on the 4th day with a thumping win for Pakistan if not or Angelo. As I read it, there is a terrible lack in the batting Dept. The blame should be squarely on the batting coach and chief selector ? They need to do some soul searching and show justification for their contributions to this debacle. There is no point in just blaming the Captain, he has a right defend the lead that is already there in the series, the failure is because the entire team did not live upto the standard - what about the non-performers ???

Posted by jkumara on (January 21, 2014, 8:44 GMT)

Are you nuts Mathews? Your own ridiculous tactics lead to this misery.

Posted by   on (January 21, 2014, 8:39 GMT)

mathews: you have lost a fan from pakistan. pathetic cricket and pathetic remarks after the match

Posted by   on (January 21, 2014, 8:29 GMT)

Dear must be kidding. Do accept your and team management's negative tactics. what is the meaning of cautious. SL played 101 overs and only scored 214 runs which is too low run rate comparing with the context of the game. if you guz are scored at least 3 runs per over, target could have easily passed 400 runs. Match result would have definitely changed.

Posted by   on (January 21, 2014, 8:18 GMT)

no doubt guys it is a timid performance from the side of Srilanka. i can remember a match where Ausies declared their second innings after batting one session in the 4th day and giving opposition 300 runs and whole 5th day and few overs in the 4th day evening. Ausies won the match. thatch called spirit and brave performance. Being a Cricket Fan we never want to see such a Timid approach from a side like SL. Winning Serious 1-0 is OK but you must never let the opportunity wasted to win it 2-0..

Posted by   on (January 21, 2014, 8:07 GMT)

I think Angelo Mathews didn't read the game right even after it was over. It was not because his team didn't do well. Rather they did quite well in wasting time and giving a lead of 300 with an asking rate of over 5. The problem was that Pakistanis played better than any one anticipated. Their chase was faster and longer than anything Australia or Westindies achieved in their pomp days. When you give a target of 300 with 60 odd overs then you do not anticipate a loss even to the #1 teams especially if you have beaten that team few days ago.

Posted by   on (January 21, 2014, 8:05 GMT)

He is a young captain. May be he got a bit nervous. I am more disappointed with Sanga and Jaya. I dont know why they didnt guide the poor fellow. Hope he learns and make better decisions in future. As for Pakistan, they remain unpredictable...and unbelievable!

Posted by   on (January 21, 2014, 8:04 GMT)

Our batters werent cautious? Is this guy even serious? How much more cautious could you get seriously?

Posted by mysay on (January 21, 2014, 8:04 GMT)

Munish-info, mate you got it all wrong, Mathews & him alone is to be blamed on not a loss but a humiliating one at that. No matter what the situation was, a strike rate of 14??? Your gonna get out at some time or the other when you got blowers such as Ajmal & Rehman going at full rave. Did he think he was going to play out these bowlers? Then get on the fielding, what was he thinking. That's like saying Herath your useless and your gonna get hit, I'll have guys at the boundaries to catch what ever is miscued. Your not worth using attacking fielders. Was not Perera selected for his off breaks? Where was he in the second innings? Mathews played negative cricket being a negative captain, wanted to bed up with a 1-0 lead and deservedly got spanked all ends.

Posted by Real_AB on (January 21, 2014, 7:42 GMT)

Srilanka is the worst test playing nation due to the kind of cricket they play.

They won't admit but negativity is the reason of their loss.

That being said, credit where its due. Very well played Pakistan. Hats off to you, don't think many team would have gone for that total like Pakistan did (Incl. India).

I was unable to watch the match but will watch it's recording or highlights when possible as this is possibly the best 10 chases in test matches in all time.

Well done Pakistan

A Cricket fan from India

Posted by Pindia on (January 21, 2014, 7:40 GMT)

I like Matthews as a player and his batting has improved immensely. Also Sri Lanka have a lot of talent coming through. But the tactics were ridiculous and the statement they should have been more cautious is laughable. Poor chap clearly has no insight- Pakistan won the match due to positivity and belief; Sri Lanka lost the match due to extreme negativity. The lines Sri Lanka bowled, the pace they batted and the pathetic ploys to involve the light and feign injury at the end were the source of all the woes...

Posted by muzika_tchaikovskogo on (January 21, 2014, 7:36 GMT)

Terrible, terrible approach from Angelo. He'd do well to realise that things would have been an awful lot different if his team hadn't crawled at 2 an over. True, Pakistan pulled off an incredible chase, but Sri Lanka's negative approach gave them the sniff of a chance which they grabbed with both hands.

Posted by   on (January 21, 2014, 7:33 GMT)

mathews is saying that he wanted wickets at the last session,and he place all the fielders on the fence how bizarre!

Posted by   on (January 21, 2014, 7:29 GMT)

This is ridiculous, coming from Mathews, and i think the guy is trying to give a new definition to the word cautious. How more cautious could Lanka have been? The overcautious actually was the factor that drowned Lanka in this match. Classic case of leadership failure. At this rate, with Mathews in charge, in the next test Lanka will make only 90 runs per 90 overs per day and will need four days of batting to get past 300 mark. Someone with wisdom must have a heart to heart chat with him. Already the cricketing public all over the world are giving my country team a new slogan, CAUTIOUS.

Posted by munish_info on (January 21, 2014, 7:11 GMT)

first of all understand nothing to blame on mathews's captaincy ,,,,he is a very good player and skipper too,,if he didn't plays on 4th day with the strike rate of 14,,srilanka would have lost the game on yesterday within 2nd session,,,,we have lot to blame as batsmans to kausal,dimuth,sanga ,chandimal,,,coz the way these batsman played only put the pressure to mathews and well as on yesterday mathews was not sure to go for the quick runs ,,,as far as we all know prasanna is not a promising batsman,,,but he tried ,,it didn't work out,,,,mathews is the highest run scorer in this series,,,if he didn't we would have lost this series 3-0 ...bowling wise rangana is the very easiest bowler to get runs and lakmal too,,,,please jayasuriya i beg on you ,,,please select some good pacers to the team,,,,who are capable of hitting at 145kph well as please done select these bowlers in future ODI team too...chandimal is a school cricketer,,please let him play at domestic level

Posted by wanatawu on (January 21, 2014, 7:01 GMT)

How more cautious, you were probably overcautious. I can't remember ever seeing a side that play for a from day one, this is not how sport are supposed to be played, drawing must always be the last resort. But I get it your a young captain just hope you will learn from this.

Posted by Salman_Shakeel84 on (January 21, 2014, 6:50 GMT)

As a Pakistani supporter, this is an alarming statement by Matthews. Run rate dropping to less than one run a over and still Mathews is claiming that Sri Lanka batsmen should have showed more caution. RIP logic and Matthews statement convinced me not to follow and watch Sri Lanka test cricket because its going to become very lazy and boring brand of test cricket...

Posted by stormy16 on (January 21, 2014, 6:42 GMT)

Ironic as Mathews sounds the greatest irony is the batters messed up by being overlly cautious. When you get a lead of 87 with over 5 sessions of a test match, the obvious thing to do is build the lead quickly to (a) put bat the opponent out of the game (b) to pressure on the opponent with fielders rounds the bat in an attempt to win the game. SL for some strange reason brought in a 3rd possibiliy of bat for a draw and in the end didnt get enough runs and left too much time. If they wanted to be defensive then they should have batted for longer, but if you want to give the opponet a target to chase then the target must be significant. Granted the target was a good one but the point is SL didnt put the game away as a result of being defensive and in the end lost the game.

Posted by imtiazjaleel on (January 21, 2014, 6:32 GMT)

Worrying of the result even before you play the game is not good. Every game should have some meaning to it otherwise, what is the point of playing. If you watch the football matches, when a team scores the first goal they tend to defend the lead and eventually they cannot do it because they allowed the opposition to score the goal by going total defensive. Same case has happened with SL and they are suffering more humiliation than in normal circumstances would have.

Posted by MelbourneMiracle on (January 21, 2014, 6:02 GMT)

When Mathews scored a match winning 157* in the 2nd test, he was a great batsman, tactician and improving leader to everyone. And now when the last match is lost under him, he's the worst captain in the world. When umpires didn't agree to stop the match due to bad light, Mathews is a coward and in case if the umpires agreed, we would've said he used his Cricketing brains to save the game. If he set an attacking field even on this flat track and if the batsmen step out and started hitting boundaries, we would've asked why he doesn't put the fielders at the boundary line to save the boundary, but now since he put the fielders at the boundary line we call him negative. When Mahela also agreed and played a slow game in the 4th innings, almost everyone told that we were doing the right thing to save the game rather than risking it to lose but when we lost the match we blame only Mathews for being slow in batting. This is Cricket and this is SL fans for you! Shame on you lankans!

Posted by Fast_Track_Bully on (January 21, 2014, 6:02 GMT)

It seems like SL decided for a draw even before the match started. They never did anything to win the game. But that backfired in the second inngs when the got out cheaply. It is a perfect example of negative tactics in cricket.

Posted by   on (January 21, 2014, 5:42 GMT)

So, what Mathews is saying is; we weren't negative enough. This series had proved two things about Mathews: First, his batting is much better if he plays as a specialist batman. And second, he is NOT captaincy material...

Posted by SeanB on (January 21, 2014, 5:28 GMT)

Negative tactics were for all to see when SL were bowling. Slow over rates, needless delays do not dupe the viewer anymore. That is where true spirit of the game was lost.

Posted by VisBal on (January 21, 2014, 5:20 GMT)

Sri Lanka's field in the second innings did not look like they were trying to prevent the loss. It was more like a one-day field where you place everyone on the ropes to prevent the boundaries. Poor planning. There is no way a bowler can bowl to this field and keep the scoring down below 4 an over.

Posted by rshan on (January 21, 2014, 4:48 GMT)

Come on Mathew, admit it. You messed up wholesale with negative batting and field placing. Any other team would have successfully defended a run rate of over 5 to be scored in two sessions, and on the 5th day of the test. Your negative approach was the cause for the defeat and it is evident to all.

Congratulations Pakistan, for the astonishing win!

Posted by MeijiMura on (January 21, 2014, 4:37 GMT)

You've gotta love the irony of it all. Everyone is saying that Sri Lanka were too negative and then the captain is quoted as saying they didn't play cautiously enough. In any case what I found most disappointing as a neutral was the time wasting of the Sri Lankans and how rather than concentrate on their bowling and fielding they instead spent all of their energy wasting time, complaining to the umpires and raising their hands in the air and tea-potting instead of bowling a tight line, making the batsmen hit through the field and over the top. Instead the field were put back and Pakistan took easy single after easy single without any pressure being placed on them whatsoever. That was incompetent captaincy. Everything else that happened regarding the behaviour of the Sri Lankan players brought the game into disrepute. In the end I was happy to see Pakistan win. The antics of the Sri Lankans turned me right off. Cricket should be played in better spirit than that.

Posted by VKohlitheGreat on (January 21, 2014, 4:26 GMT)

So do we expect even more negative cricket in the series against BD? Thats the only thing I can interpret by the words of Mathews that come what may they are not willing to learn and play positive.

Posted by   on (January 21, 2014, 4:03 GMT)

After seeing how SL played, i am not sure why ICC's 2 Tier system is bad. Rules should be built around these kinds of things to relegate them to next tier.

Posted by   on (January 21, 2014, 4:01 GMT)

When Paks have created a record what is there to deny Mr. Matthews ? Your leadership is poor and tactics - ask Arnold it was lousy !

Posted by Kelum_w on (January 21, 2014, 3:46 GMT)

I disagree with what Matthews is saying,Yes if we batted for another 30mins we would have saved the game but if we scored 20+ runs we most likely would have saved it. We only scored 45 runs in 33 overs in the last session the day before. That kept PAK in the game and this is the first tactic that back fired, we should have not only tried to bat PAK out of the game through time but also through runs. If you score only 10 runs in a hour the opposition really only needs 1 over to get it, however if you moderately score 25-30 runs in an hour then they would need at least 3-4 overs to get it. If the idea was to bat for time then why did they score nearly 5 runs an over in the morn. Doesn't make sense does it Secondly we bowled too negatively & field placing was too defensive. PAK were chasing just 5 runs an over not 7 or 8. The run rate wasn't high enough where they needed a boundary an over to reach the target, there wasnt a need to put everyone in the boundary. Gave away too many singles.

Posted by   on (January 21, 2014, 3:46 GMT)

Terrible captaincy from Angelo. Far too negative. You don't put everyone out in the field when they only need 5 an over. Seriously ridiculous stuff. The fear of losing actually ended up being the reason they lost.

Posted by Udendra on (January 21, 2014, 3:44 GMT)

Being a young captain I don't think Mathews did the sole decision making. We all know that coaches & senior players too chip in with their "advice".

Posted by SaadRocx on (January 21, 2014, 3:35 GMT)

Am I the only one who thinks Mahtews is making no sense here??

Posted by Ind_cric_lover on (January 21, 2014, 3:28 GMT)

I had a lot of respect for Mathews but he has lost it by his unsportsmanlike attitude. Umpires were alert enough to the situation and responded brilliantly. They could have stopped the game due to bad light but that would have been bad for the format which is already losing out spectators. This is brilliant for test cricket and a lesson for teams with negative tactics.(fielders feigning injuries, outside leg stump line, pestering umpires for bad light even when batsman has to face your fastest of bowlers, bowlers bowling outside leg stump, saying that because of bad light you could not stop a boundary when the ball was atleast 20 meters away from you!)

Also Mathews didn't even once mentioned that Pakistan played very well !! SL team always blames themselves for their loss and never gives the credit to the opposition.

Posted by sadSajith on (January 21, 2014, 3:23 GMT)

whats wrong with mathews.. I never thought he would fall this low to be so ignorant and not accepting the fact that he made a mistake. Everyone shouting about him making mistakes not to make him go home or to make Sri Lanka go down but to make sure that same mistake will not happen again. Hanging there another hour? if they played their normal game they could hang on there for even 5 days. Even the school boys know too defensive means too risky. Everybody know how he plays, either defending the ball or slogging(works very well for him). But why is he asking other players to do it. And what was he thinking about when pakistan came to bat. Did he really think he can draw the match by not making any pressure. And asking worlds No. 3 bowler to bowl wide outside the leg side and not giving fast bowlers any support to get wickets by tight field.This guy do wonders as a batsmen but he surely ruining other players mentality and the teams natural way of play by applying his mentality to team.

Posted by jeffsani on (January 21, 2014, 3:18 GMT)

First Congrats to Pakistan for making such a memorable come back and aggresively winning the test match.Also Conrats to Azar Ali,Sarfaraz ad Captain Misba.And comming to sri lanka from day one they were just playing to kill time only and a draw what added to their digrace was their Negative Tactics like complaining about light generally its the batting team that complains about light as the have to play fast balls thrown at them Every body the Commentators,the public and the tv audience have seen their negative tactics YET instead of admitting that yes we messed up The Captain disgraced not only himself but also his whole team and Sri lanka.Hope better sense prevails and we see more aggresive approach to a test match.(This test match was a completely Negative advertising and if more matches go on like that test cricket will be finished from cricket.)

Posted by   on (January 21, 2014, 3:17 GMT)

Sri Lanka's batsmen were indeed horrible in the second innings, but it was an even more embarrassing and disgusting bowling performance. Well done Pakistan, you deserved to win. Everyone's talking about Sri Lanka's disgraceful performance. Not only did they lose the match, they lost every chance of winning the series and brought Test cricket to disrepute. Only 4 bowlers were used? What was Mathews thinking?

Posted by   on (January 21, 2014, 3:11 GMT)

@everyone. Sri Lanka just showed the whole world why they shouldn't even be playing test cricket. Where other countries move to make it exciting and actually do their best to win every game. No one knows where Sri Lankas focus is. Utter shame honestly. Pakistan did a great job. They deserved this win.

I think Sri Lanka's aim was to bore everyone to death.

Posted by   on (January 21, 2014, 3:09 GMT)

@ SLGirl: I'm pretty sure Pakistan, or any other decent team can do it if put in the same situation. Mathew's tactics were not only negative, they were pretty dumb as well. He wanted to put pressure on Pakistan so they would make mistakes, but how was placing all the fielders on the boundary putting pressure on the batsmen? They could score singles and doubles easily and thats why Sri Lanka lost. They waited for Pakistan to self destruct without them making any moves to instigate it. It didn't happen and Sri Lanka lost. And Mathew's statements in the post match presentation and in the press conference show that he isn't bright enough to understand what hit him even now!

Posted by Lion_96 on (January 21, 2014, 3:09 GMT)

As a Sri Lankan, this article really worries me because the captain hasn't learned from his mistakes. To blame the batsmen for not being for more cautious in the 2nd innings? How cautious do u need to be with RR of 1.83? I reckon Geoff Boycott batted with more intent than we did on Day 4. I just hope hes defending his tactics publicly but deep down he knows he was wrong. This is not how SL plays cricket. Tony Greig would have turned in his grave had known how we played this past week.We have only won 1 Test series since Murali retired in 2010. And that number won't changed much we employ similar tactics in the future. Let me also apologise to all cricket fans out there for SL's tactics. Wasnt good for the game. I dont like seeing negative cricket from any cricket team,especially my own.

Posted by   on (January 21, 2014, 3:08 GMT)

I am happy for pakistan's batsmen who were struggling off late. I wish these breed of new generation Pakistan's batsmen should mature and become world class players.

I always liked the fighting spirit of pakistan when the chips were down. They are the most dangerous and most unpredictable team.

Good Work Pakistan Team. I am happy you beat Srilankans, who thinks they are the best. Pakistan Shattered the Srilankan Team ego... :)

Posted by   on (January 21, 2014, 3:08 GMT)

As a srilankan cricket Fan I think we have to stop playing test cricket till mathews resign from captaincy.Also we have to cancel england test matches coz negative attitude just killing test cricket..Teams who score quickly win test matches..England scored slowly they lost the ashes..India score slowly they lost to south africa.Mathews was a negative captain from his school days also in club cricket..Chandimal is a attacking captain who won 12 matches by innings of 18 matches for his school.Sadly he doesn't score runs these days..srilanka fans should watch more rugby than cricket.

Posted by koldmeat on (January 21, 2014, 3:00 GMT)

I disagree with Angela. They were out and out negative. They are a disgrace to Cricket. He must be sacked from captaincy by the Sri Lankan Cricket Board or else he will do it again.

Hail Pakistan for an unbelievable win..

Posted by NAKumar on (January 21, 2014, 2:59 GMT)

It is sad how Mathews and a few of his team mates attempt to take us for fools. Even though we have not played test cricket we know enough see when it is simply not cricket. I wonder if Rangana Herats hair turned grey due to sun and rain and not age and experience! Never seen such a pathetic display ever even in a soft ball match and sincerely hope ICC take a good look. Not Mathews or anybody should be allowed to make a mockery of it.

Posted by rationalcricket on (January 21, 2014, 2:58 GMT)

I had a lot of respect for Mathews mainly due to his fighting spirit, but today his reputation is dented. Why is he claiming his leg side bowling was a tactic to take wicket since the pitch had something to offer there? why would you place your fielders on the leg side if the pitch was offering something. Seriously poor captaincy, even if it's an excuse that he hasn't won a series abroad for ages you rather win fighting then chicken out. Batting slow is fine but that SLOW wowww, and nothing beat the leg side bowling and complaining how the fielders can't see the ball. Throughout the match it was a poor reflection of what Sri Lanka cricket is known for, the lions.

Posted by   on (January 21, 2014, 2:58 GMT)

Mathews is a good player and after becoming captain he has rose to occasion with his own game. But as captain he still is novice and he made same mistake Dhoni made in SA in 1st test. On 4th day India were just trying to bat out time without any intent for scoring and they fell short by about 30-40 runs. SA almost steal that match right under our eyes. When you are playing to save the game it does not matter how you play, but when you are leading, you need to keep momentum. With last 15 overs of SL innings producing only 15-16 runs that gave Misbah whiff that SL are afraid of losing, handed him the momentum. Now coming to Pak, that is the reason I will buy a ticket to watch them, always. No other team would have attempted & achieved what they did. No wonder if they lose next match again to say Zim and then win again SA. They will probably never become #1 due to same reason but people will still love to watch them. And for a change instead of bowlers, Pak batters won a game for them.

Posted by pradeep_dealwis on (January 21, 2014, 2:50 GMT)

Mathews isn't an idiot..he knows he messed up big time and trying to cover up (badly, of course)..yes the batters messed up..scoring at the rate they did..if they batted normally (forget being aggressive) , Pakistan would have needed 400 odd to win and we would have either won the game or worst case drawn it. Pathetic by Mathews and Co. You are losing the respect of SL fans.

Posted by KFRITZ on (January 21, 2014, 2:44 GMT)

Usually batsmen ask for the light.. this is probably the first time a fielding team was literally begging for light...

Posted by first_slip on (January 21, 2014, 2:33 GMT)

Give me a break Mr.Mathews, you were pathetic and you should pay the price for this by loosing captaincy and possibly your place in the team, you set the field to seve boundaries but PAKs won with singles and twos, i've never seen such negative tactics anywhere before, it's Embarrassing, i am a sri lanken

Posted by   on (January 21, 2014, 2:29 GMT)

Match close 5 clock pakistan extra 1 hours playing test match pakistan test match bedddddddddd test match srilanka series 1-0 match LION KING team

Posted by Bdcricketdebator on (January 21, 2014, 2:27 GMT)

Many people saying srilanka were those people,do u think pak would b so possitive after 1-0 lead?i dont think so.they could play for for draw iam sure.

Posted by Bdcricketdebator on (January 21, 2014, 2:16 GMT)

@slgirl,i agree with u in some point but not all.i think there weren't any nagative tactics in first innings but in 2nd innings i think it was nagative.pak should have not won it in 59 overs.bowling was something very bad.

Posted by   on (January 21, 2014, 1:50 GMT)

Having 9 fielders outside the ring and letting them get 5-6 runs an over without any risk and batting for 33 overs for 45 runs. If that's not negative then I don't know what is. Matthews doesn't need to look far when even Hashan from the dressing room looked puzzled and he's one of the most defensive captains of SL. Hashan refused to chase 190 to win in 40+ overs NZ in Kandy. We have never had strong bowling attacks in the past but to bat on a flat wicket as if to save a test is beyond me. SL might have lost in the days of Arjuna and Aravinda but we left our mark of swashbuckling batting wherever we played. It was sad to see the way SL play test cricket both in the 1st innings bowling to Misbah and Batting and bowling in the 2nd.

Posted by   on (January 21, 2014, 1:46 GMT)

Basically a repeat of Amazing Adelaide in 2006. Another test where the batting team inexplicably let the other team into the match with terrible defensive batting. Someone needs to remind Matthews that runs are better than dot balls. A run soaks up the same amount of time as a dot ball does but makes your total infinatly harder to chase.

And when an opposition captain knows you have no intention of scoring runs he can use a myraid of tactics and fielding positions to extract your wicket. Dot balls create pressure!

Posted by GustavXV on (January 21, 2014, 1:41 GMT)

We lost the match because of Angelo Mathew's negative approach and there's no question about it. God save the future of Sri Lankan cricket, if still our captain asserts that it was not a negative approach. He must really be living in a dream world. Those who argue it was not a "negative tactic" seem unable to distinguish the difference between positive and the negative. The brighter side is this is a good wake up call for the selectors. Pakistan played positive and fighting cricket, that's the spirit, CONGRATULATIONS PAKISTAN!

Posted by Test-is-the-best on (January 21, 2014, 1:40 GMT)

It seems this captain doesn't need to learn from his mistakes. Therefore this kind of approaches can be expected in future too . A big salute for Pakistani captain for leading from the front and bring his country proud. The golden era of Sri Lankan history came to end in 2007 as great players start retiring. Since 2007 Sri Lanka failed to win major tournaments except 1 Asia Cup 2008 held in Pakistan. There is no match winners in the team except Dilshan the only guy who ensured victories for the team in the last few years. It is apparent that other players are incapable of bringing wins though they involved in such attempts once in a blue moon.

Posted by ssshNevo on (January 21, 2014, 1:17 GMT)

lol what a joke Mathews. You have been taught a lesson here

Posted by   on (January 21, 2014, 0:55 GMT)

Mendis has it all wrong Srilanka batted for 110 overs in their second innings they could have cautious and picked up singles and doubles could have pushed their lead to 350+ making a Pakistan win virtually impossible.

Posted by Humdingers on (January 21, 2014, 0:41 GMT)

Well done Pakistan - great fight! Wouldn't expect anything less from Sri Lanka (remember the Dilshan wide to Sehwag to deny him a 100).

Posted by   on (January 21, 2014, 0:03 GMT)

The signs were obvious that SL is playing for a draw when ultra defensive, negative minded Mathews instructed Herath to bowl leg stump line to Misbah in PAK's 1st innings on the 4th day morning. It was also obvious Mathews wants to win the series than this Test. How on earth SL captain says that he wanted to win this match when he himself batted 128 balls scoring just 31 @ 24.21. If you are afraid of losing, don't ever expect to win any game of sport and my humble appeal for Mathews is to stay home and be a good husband to his wife than playing Cricket. I would rather watch Sira led Dambana XI than ultra negative Mathews led SL XI. People like Mathews will not only continue to lose matches but will make true sport lovers stay away from this great game.

Posted by   on (January 20, 2014, 23:38 GMT)

yeah right Angelo ;o)

Posted by JoshFromJamRock on (January 20, 2014, 23:37 GMT)

I have never been a fan of Matthews since his "spirit of the game" incident against Sehwag (bowling a big no-ball to deny Sehwag a deserved hundred when the game was done and dusted). He did something similar in the last hour by trying to coerce to umpires call the game off because of bad light and his time wasting. I know it sucks to lose but at least accept defeat gracefully and fairly like Darren Sammy LOL. He (Matthews) nearly did a great disservice to the game and fans by doing all in his power, with a negative mindset while batting and bowling, to force a dull draw from day one. I'm glad it backfired big time. Based on this report, honesty doesn't seem to be a trait of his either. He should learn a thing or two, at least about being a sportsman and gentleman, from Kumar Sangakkara. I'm being harsh some will say but its the truth. I thank the Almighty One for Pakistan. They saved the day. Yaay!

Posted by aus-j on (January 20, 2014, 23:24 GMT)

worst test match ever i see, been lankan, i feel happy for Mathews to loose, cos he need to learn, come on, with 300 runs in hand, and put 7 fielders to boundary line, that is poor, if SL keep more fielders inside 30 yard ring, PAK need to take risk, which may loose wickets, but if you allow the easy run,and come close to target, they get even 80 runs in last 10, what about Rangana, bowling well outside leg stump, why SANGA dident say any to Mathews about Negative tactics?, even MAHELA? i think, this two are really fed up with board, so they just want to play for them self, not care country? come on ........ disappointed sri lankan

Posted by   on (January 20, 2014, 23:22 GMT)

I have never seen such terrible captaincy in my life.. Mathews is a disgrace to srilankan cricket with such negative tactics.. captains like that should get banned. they stall the game .. credit to pakistan for taking the game forward by taking the initiative. this is why clarke is the best captain in the world.. hes aggressive and plays to win. other teams play to NOT lose

Posted by CricketFever11 on (January 20, 2014, 23:16 GMT)

Of course losing this match will be a big learning curve for young Mathews. Honestly, He did some mistakes. But he is still very young and learning. Hope he will never do these mistakes again. Any way Drawn series away from home against major test playing nation is more than happy for SL. Prior to this series Sri Lanka had nothing to lose but T20 number one rankings. They remained the number one rankings, drew the test series with most of the young talents. Overall this a good tour for Sri Lanka. End of a cracking series though. Cheers. Friendship between SL and Pakistan live long.

Posted by dabbadubba on (January 20, 2014, 22:49 GMT)

these kind of flat pitches are a shame for test cricket.. no turn on even day 5.. pretty boring wicket.. pak just got lucky here..

Posted by   on (January 20, 2014, 22:19 GMT)

Mathews is a man without a clue. His batsmen rarely lifted the bat and yet he says "they should have been more cautious". This is a captain who has no idea what it means to attack or defend. He took the cowardly approach to kill time and paid the price for it. A fitting end to a cowardly approach. Pakistan fought like lions and deserved the victory that finally came. Its time the selectors made Abdur Rahman a permanant member of the team. He deserves a regular place in the side.

Posted by Tweety20 on (January 20, 2014, 22:07 GMT)

What's wrong with preserving the lead and playing for a draw?The team is well within their rights to do whatever they think is right for their side. He said so himself to the author but it ws the 4th innings batting and lose of wickets that hampered it.

We can't criticize anybody cause we were not actually playing on the field unlike them.watching is one and doing what ur watching is another one.

I'm happy for pak coz they saved their faces,a loss would have made Pak fans very upset and misbah's neck would be on the line like Angie's now. Don't worry Angie,keep fighting,keep learning and keep leading.we love you.

Posted by American.Cricketer on (January 20, 2014, 22:03 GMT)

According to Matthews, 'We knew that the Pakistanis have to make a move, and they were desperate to win the game. And you know when you are desperate, you tend to make more mistakes than the others'.

Here's the issue Matthews, 'YOU' were desperate to draw the game from ball one, that's why you ended up making mistakes and lost. If you had gone in with the desire to 'win' the game right from the beginning, you would not have ended up on the losing side. Coaches should use this game for generations to illustrate how after scoring over 400 runs in the first inning, you can still end up losing if you don't play positively.

Lastly, people who ridicule Misbah should get a reality check. If it were not for Misbah, Pakistan would have been playing the world cup qualifier with the associate nations in New Zealand right now. Cricket historians will one day realize the value Misbah has bought to Pakistan cricket.

Posted by basusri133b on (January 20, 2014, 21:45 GMT)

Sri Lanka deserved to loose this game. Mathews comments are pathetic. The negative tactics employed by the Sri Lankans back fired and they got reamed. Very good too.

Posted by casper21 on (January 20, 2014, 21:32 GMT)

Nice! Cautious batting? Really? Can't think anyone can bat more cautiously than Mathews bat on 4th day evening. Scored 14 runs from 99 balls with 14% strike rate. SL should have scored another 40-50 runs on that session and it could have made the things little different. And it was silly to have spread field from the 3rd over of the last innings instead should have tried to attack the batsman. Specially after wicket fell they should have set attacking field to new batman. They didn't do that either. SL selectors need to look at Captaincy again. SL can't afford this kind of leadership at World cup in 2015.

Posted by 512fm on (January 20, 2014, 21:29 GMT)

Sri Lanka should be embarrassed by the way they played this game, thats why they will stay a mediocre team in the near future. They didn't even go into the match thinking about 2-0 it was all about getting the draw and thats exactly what they deserve for playing such a negative brand of cricket. These comments from Mathews really make me wonder whether hes the right man for the job, I mean if you guys actually scored a bit faster, may have been able to set Pakistan 350+.

Posted by   on (January 20, 2014, 21:11 GMT)

The series result reads 1-1; but for most of the world, Pakistan won! (Saying it as a neutral bystander).

Posted by samincolumbia on (January 20, 2014, 21:03 GMT)

Mathews is in denial and shock just like the SL fans. They richly deserve the shame and embarrassment. They had to wait for 15 years to win a test series since the last one...Maybe they might win a test series in another 15 years!

Posted by kasifdotinfo on (January 20, 2014, 21:00 GMT)

Sri Lanka's approach to batting in their second innings can't really be faulted, given that it forced the opposition to attempt a record chase, but their tactics in the field were misguided, and their performance was poor.

Herath, in the context of the final innings, was not "good as always" - he was, in fact, historically bad. After the opposing spinners took 7 wickets between them and bowled tight spells, Herath had a return of 0-100-5.26. With the kind of cushion he had, he didn't have to shoulder any great burden; a couple wickets at that same expense or more restrictive bowling still without any wickets would have been enough.

Posted by   on (January 20, 2014, 20:58 GMT)

Pakistan were favourites to win this test series but after the drawn match both teams showed great spirit and levelled the series couldnt be a better ending to a great series between two of the greatest teams

Posted by Gangnam_Gangsta on (January 20, 2014, 20:55 GMT)

Matthew is clearly in denial. How can he defend his tactics of scoring 400 over two days, when even on a 5th day pitch, Pakistan chased down 300 in less than a day with a young side. It is not a good sign if the captain either lives in denial or tries to deceive so early in his carrier. But the most disheartening episode was left for last few minutes, when Matthews like a school boy, tried to deny Pak their legitimate victory by employing time wasting techniques. All this when this series started in a perfect environment with no ill will from either side.

Posted by asim229 on (January 20, 2014, 20:48 GMT)

Usually in tests umpires are more lenient on giving wides to the bowls outside off then in limited overs so If I was in place of Mathews and wanted to restrict runs then instead of bowling on or outside leg stump I would have told the bowlers to bowl 5 deliveries short of length out side off moving away with the packed outside field and one delivery a yorker or within stumps so that there is a possibility of restricting and also to get wickets on all 6 balls. With this sort of tactics I guarantee that Pakistan wouldn't have been able to score 200 and would probably even loose bcse bowling on legstup lines erves no purpose.Even in ODIs I noticed that all Srilankan bowlers were bowling full on the legstump which were easy pickings for the pak batsmen which I also failed to understand.

Posted by   on (January 20, 2014, 20:45 GMT)

Really - he denies it. "Irony" from so much negative Play...

Posted by   on (January 20, 2014, 20:35 GMT)

As a Sri Lankan I can only be happy that Pakistan won this match because negative cricket deserves only defeat. I hope Mathews will be taken off captaincy and replaced with a more aggressive and dynamic young leader. Though Chandimal failed this series he is the best qualified for the job.The World 20/20 Championship next month is an opportunity for him to show his mantle as an aggressive leader. This Pakistan victory was also Whatmore's cricketing brains at it's best. He shuffled the batting order with aggression at the top and reserving Misbah as the last line of defense in case his strategy fails.

Posted by   on (January 20, 2014, 20:34 GMT)

Angelo is a big match specialist! He thinks winning one match and draw the rest is good! You keep 9 fielders on the boundary means you should not be in the team man!

Posted by   on (January 20, 2014, 20:29 GMT)

what more caution he wanted? 38 off 22 overs or 19 of 13 odd overs today? nobody saying to go at 5 rpo. 3 rpo would have given them at least 100 more runs. i think 2.8-3.30 is standard on these type of wickets.

Posted by   on (January 20, 2014, 20:26 GMT)

According to Angelo Mathews, "Our batters were not very patient in the second innings". Really Mathews?? Scoring at the rate of 1.86 after playing more than 100 overs, what more patience you want from your batsmans? Congrats to team PAk and Lanka as well to level the series.

Posted by KingOwl on (January 20, 2014, 20:23 GMT)

One more thing. It was not just the batting that was negative. Bowling and field setting were as well. And, not a single over to the off spinner? Was he in the team for his batting? What damage could 1-2 overs have done? I think there are lots of positives to take from the tour. But this is a BIG negative and probably trumps all the positives, unfortunately.

Posted by KingOwl on (January 20, 2014, 20:15 GMT)

I think Angie is digging himself a deeper hole for himself. This response clearly shows that he is only a 25 year old Sri Lankan lad! It had nothing to do with lack of patience. By playing too defensively, they allowed the bowlers to dominate. They made no runs and eventually got out with nothing to show. I said this earlier too, during the days when Mahela and Sanga were captaining. It's the same now. These are all captains who are afraid to take risks. It is a personality trait and you cannot be transformed in to a risk taker all of sudden. The problem is that there aren't any other options for leadership either. Since Arjuna, unfortunately it has all been downhill, captaincy wise. But I do not want to blame Mathews alone for this because I can see the senior's influence very clearly.

Posted by   on (January 20, 2014, 19:56 GMT)

If test match is a product then Pakistan showed why you should buy it..and SL did their best to convince you that you shouldn't buy it !

Posted by   on (January 20, 2014, 19:50 GMT)

If you score less than 230 runs on Day 1 flat pitch and still defend your tactics thn its really a shame !

Posted by   on (January 20, 2014, 19:24 GMT)

From the Day 1, Sri Lankan players body language was showing that they were not playing to win the game but just trying to draw and secure the series 1 - 0. If they had played positive cricket, showed some aggression, especially after scoring a good total in the first innings, they might have had result in their favour. It was an amazing test match. Credit goes to Pakistan, specially the way Azhar Ali and Misbah batted, and Sarfaraz cameo made things lot easier for Pakistan. Any other team watching this test match will learn a lesson to play positive cricket. CHEERS!

Posted by   on (January 20, 2014, 19:20 GMT)

Good show by Pakistan Cricket team. We could grab first test same way. Pakistan players need to get rid of what called " Sense of Complacency". Often during a particular match, sensing a victory, our players loose wit. Anyhow, lot of admires for Lankan friends who fought bravely throughout the duo.

Posted by voyager on (January 20, 2014, 19:20 GMT)

Mathews, you are making it more embarassing for yourself with these words! 'Bowling down the legside to get wickets'?! really?

Posted by   on (January 20, 2014, 19:12 GMT)

Matthew was negative. He used tactics against the spirit of the game. Umpires are equally guilty for allowing them to do so. Matthew has not enhanced the reputation of Sri-Lanka. They did not play the game in true and fair spirit.

Posted by shahid6995 on (January 20, 2014, 19:07 GMT)

Don't be disingenuous Angelo. Your batters were "not patient enough"???? Scoring at 1.87 RPO was not being patient enough? I would hate to see what patient batting means to you then. Timeless test match? Whole sessions without scoring? Just admit that you were more interested in preserving your lead in the series and your negative tactics backfired and you lost to a team who decided to take initiative after being cornered. There is nothing wrong in honestly appraising what went wrong but when you tell the cricketing public such blatant whoppers then it kind of diminishes your own respect in our eyes. You don't think we have the brains to comprehend what you were trying? Be honest, say "We messed up, should have been more positive" and that would be much more acceptable to all of us. Your team played the series mostly well and would have (SHOULD have) won 1-0 or possibly even 2-0, if only you had been positive. Best of luck for the future, you have some good new players. Respect.

Posted by SLMaster on (January 20, 2014, 19:06 GMT)

There aren't any negative tactics from SL. How often a team chases 300+ score in 60 overs. Last time it was by WI in 1984 - 30 years ago. Do you think PAK can do it again? I do not think so...Well done SL and PAK !!!!!!!!!!! It was good game of cricket. At the end of the day SL level the series. Both teams are at the same strength....

Posted by   on (January 20, 2014, 18:54 GMT)

No doubt Mathews is a fine player but he still has to learn few things of the captaincy. It would have made good sense if he had confessed the mistakes made. The commentators and even the TV viewers were of the opinion that SL were playing for a draw; throughout the match. Their approach was evident right from the day one. On the other hand, Pakistan after a cautious start in the first innings went on to score briskly, for they wanted to make up for the time consumed by SL in their laborious run effort. Ahmed Shehzad's brisk innings, particularly after he completed his fifty should not be forgotten, which has had huge impact on the final outcome of the match.

Posted by jerryman on (January 20, 2014, 18:49 GMT)

The cautious batting would be considered alright to save the test , however it is also important to keep the run rate at around 2.5 -3 runs an over . If we had done this in the first innings or the 2nd innings we would have more runs on the board. Not sure why Perera was not bowled either considering Rangana was rather expensive as well. Anyway hopefully we learn from our mistakes and live to fight another day. In the test format give more youngsters a chance and may want to consider dropping Chandimal . His failure to score more runs also added to the pressure . Matthews captaincy came under scrutiny today . Like Clarke sometimes you need to be a bit more attacking to look at winning.. Playing for a draw is only an option , when the odds are completely against you .

Posted by   on (January 20, 2014, 18:45 GMT)

amazing..he still fails to understand his mistake and continues to defend his negative batting..batters were not patient in the second innings. wow.. give us a break..."we just needed to bad another hour".. clearly shows a draw was on his mind from first ball of day one..that's very poor..when u go in a test match with an intention to draw more often than not u end up losing up.

Posted by   on (January 20, 2014, 18:35 GMT)

Don't deny, accept! If not you will commit the same mistake again and again. As a Sri Lankan fan, it was painful to watch the first four days of the match, even though we had the upper hand.

Posted by   on (January 20, 2014, 18:34 GMT)

no problem every body knows what they tried to do last day and they paid the price .....

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