Pakistan v Sri Lanka, 3rd Test, Sharjah

Sri Lanka drown in their negativity

Sri Lanka's captain insisted his team had not lost because they had been negative. He would be hard pressed to find many who agree with him

Andrew Fidel Fernando in Sharjah

January 21, 2014

Comments: 222 | Text size: A | A

A worried Angelo Mathews has a word with Richard Kettleborough, Pakistan v Sri Lanka, 3rd Test, Sharjah, 5th day, January 20, 2014
Angelo Mathews speaks to umpire Richard Kettleborough about the light in the final moments of the Sharjah Test © AFP
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On the fourth evening of the third Test, Sri Lanka spurned the chance to press their advantage and crawled, bat in hand, slighting spectators, opponents, and in turn, the game itself. Before the last day's play was done, cricket had bit back, bloodied Sri Lanka to mindlessness, then left them for dead in the gloom. The team did not just lose a Test match in Sharjah, when they slowed play deliberately in the final overs, Sri Lanka lost the cricket world's respect.

Only Test cricket can take two-and-a-half hours of seeming idleness - a session where nothing appeared to happen - then retrospectively assign it haunting, definitive meaning. Among Sri Lanka's greatest successes had been their ability to subdue Saeed Ajmal, but on a surface that by Sri Lanka's own admission had not begun to take menacing turn, they lay voluntarily immobile as Ajmal put men around the bat and worked himself into one of his best spells in the series.

He dismissed Mahela Jayawardene that evening with one that ripped more than the batsman expected, and the following morning claimed the key wicket of Prasanna Jayawardene - Sri Lanka's top scorer in the innings (who, strangely enough, had also been their most positive batsman). Abdur Rehman had wheeled himself into a rhythm in the fourth day's evening session, when Sri Lanka had been only marginally less conservative. Together, the pair wiped out Sri Lanka's final four wickets on day five, leaving the door to victory ajar.

After Pakistan had run their opponents down, Sri Lanka's captain presented a weapons-grade denial that negativity did not cause their demise, suggesting instead that his batsmen should have been even more patient in their second innings. How Sri Lanka arrived at that conclusion is unclear, because six of their batsmen fell playing defensive strokes in the innings, and they had in fact lost two wickets in the session they had almost brought to a standstill, by scoring only 45. 


If they truly believe they were not cautious enough, Sri Lanka are like a man who attempts to capture a castle by charging head first into its walls, then when he regains consciousness, determines he should have sprinted at the granite a little harder. The directive to revert to ultra-defence had actually come despite each of Sri Lanka's top eight batsmen having crossed fifty in the four innings prior to their second dig in Sharjah. The great peril in playing conservative cricket is that in two good sessions, Pakistan could lurch forward to obliterate four days of slow work from Sri Lanka.

If they required any evidence supporting the merits of positive cricket, they can look to their own meltdown in the field on day five. Boundaries early in Pakistan's innings prompted immediate deployments at the fence, and as Pakistan pressed harder and harder Sri Lanka prepared a feast of risk-free runs into the outfield. Almost three-quarters of Pakistan's 302 had come in singles, twos or threes.

As the final ten overs of the match approached, Sri Lanka spread the field even further, expecting a man nearing a scintillating ton and a captain who has only missed getting 50 in one innings in the series to slog one brainlessly to their outfielders. They needed less than a run-a-ball. Pakistan were having one of their superhuman days, but Sri Lanka felt they would suddenly begin batting like children. All nine fielders were routinely placed on the fence for Misbah-ul-Haq, and possessed of sound mind, Misbah did not take the ludicrous bait. He hit out hard, attempting to pierce the gaps, but he never put the ball long enough in the air to risk his wicket, because every time he got bat to ball, he was guaranteed at least one run.

"We wanted to get a wicket in that period," the Sri Lanka captain said after the match. "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."

No neutral fan of cricket could have barracked for Sri Lanka on the fifth evening. On social media, the reactions of Sri Lanka's own supporters turned from disappointment to anger to disgust, before reaching the consensus that this was Sri Lanka's most craven showing in the professional era. If their captain's comments after the match can be taken at face value, the team remains staggeringly out of touch not only with the spirit of their sport, but the with will of the fans who sustain it. 


After the scheduled finish time of 5:30 pm had passed and it became clear that only bad light could halt Pakistan, Sri Lanka's fielders began complaining they could not pick up the red ball under lights. When the winning run was hit, a pair of senior players went first to gripe to the umpire instead of shaking hands with the deserved victors, and then, Sri Lanka's cowardice was complete.

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

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© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

Posted by Rebel_Who_Follows_All_The_Rules on (January 24, 2014, 19:27 GMT)

@Sinhaya: When I said SL have not won a series away from SL, I was mentioning their test record. So how many test series have they won away since 2000 barring the minnows of course??

Posted by Sinhaya on (January 24, 2014, 16:14 GMT)

@Rebel_Who_Follows, we have not won series outside? Here are our away series wins. Winning Asia Cup in 2008 in Karachi, winning 5-0 in England in 2006, winning 2-1 in Australia in 2010, and also winning the ODI series in NZ in early 2006. The wins in 2010 in Bangladesh and Zimbabwe tri series was not insignificant as it was an official ODI tri series.

Posted by Rebel_Who_Follows_All_The_Rules on (January 24, 2014, 8:56 GMT)

@Sinhaya: LOL, If you are reduced to falling back on random tri series played in Zim and Bang of all places, then the size of your'' iceberg of thrashings'' is quiet limited.As far as ''reborn Jayasuriyas'' are concerned, well for your sake I hope they are better than the original Jayasuriya because despite him being in the side, SL have not won a single series outside SL since 2000 (barring minnows)... Try winning a series first against non minnow teams outside SL before talking about ''thrashing'' them...

Posted by dmqi on (January 24, 2014, 8:09 GMT)

I am very upset with my favourite team, SL. Why in the world Mahela and Sanga did not suggest the captain to be little aggressive in batting with 6 wickets in hand and then to defend 300 plus runs, you do not post players around the boundary. Poor spirit indeed. Offense is the best defense. How did they draw the 1st test, they forgot.

Posted by Sinhaya on (January 24, 2014, 3:06 GMT)

@Rebel_Who_Follows, what happened in the 2007 WC in West Indies? What about 2008 Asia Cup in Pakistan? What about the 2010 tri series in Bangladesh, tri series in Zimbabwe and the 2010 tri series in Dambulla? We have reborn Sanath Jayasuriyas who are no one but Kushal Perera and also Shehan Jayasuriya and they will continue the heroics of Sanath Jayasuriya for the next decade.

Posted by Rebel_Who_Follows_All_The_Rules on (January 23, 2014, 17:56 GMT)

@ Sinhaya: Mind telling me what happened in the final of that Tri Series were Tharanga scored 174??, the Champs trophy semi final??, the ODI series in 2012 in SL, the Asia Cup??, the World cup final??, the CB series in 08??, the World cup in 03??, the Natwest series in 02??, the world cup in 99?? Not to mention, not having won a single test match in India!!!

Posted by Sinhaya on (January 23, 2014, 4:51 GMT)

@irishhawks, you are obviously not following cricket. We can easily survive without Sanga and Mahela. Surely don't you know that Angelo was named man of the series in the tests? The test series was drawn 1-1 which means both teams were well matched. We have Kushal Perera, Kaushal Silva, Eranga, Pradeep and Chandimal etc to take us forward. Sri Lanka have convincingly thrashed India in every corner of the world with utmost ease and will continue that way. Sanath Jayasuriya's 189 in Sharjah, 152 in Mumbai in 1997, Tharanga's 174 last year, Murali's 7/30 in Sharjah are just the tip of the iceberg of gigantic thrashings India suffered at the hands of Sri Lanka.

Posted by bandes1971 on (January 23, 2014, 4:45 GMT)

oh poor irishhawks ,you have gone too far to expose yourself as a joker to impartial educated fans in this column, dont show antagonist comments against a country , of course u can do it to a person if u wished to, its not only we became highlighted in 1996, pls recall ur memory, even after 1996 we became runners up in few events and champions in T 20, what u have to understand is cricket is such a game no team or individual can stay on top forever they have their ups and downs, like what is happening to ur team now a days. pls give comments in a gentlemen way

Posted by Sinhaya on (January 23, 2014, 4:37 GMT)

This is what Moin Khan did. All Lankan fans disapproved time wasting. http://www.espncricinfo.com/magazine/content/story/419183.html

Well 13 years ago cricinfo was not advanced enough to allow discussions like this. Basically this was not the first time it happened after all. As a Lankan fan, I suggest Angelo and the whole Lankan team be fined 50% of their match fees for time wasting.

Posted by Htc-Android on (January 23, 2014, 4:34 GMT)

@Dravid_Pujara_Gravitas_Atheist. May be Sri lankan players should learn sportsmanship from Dhawan, on how to mock injured players. Every Sl fan here accepted that what they did was wrong. But your players arent gentlemen either. I can list plenty of them, If I am going to talk abt sportsmanship of Indian players.

Posted by GustavXV on (January 23, 2014, 3:41 GMT)

@Samitha Suranjan Dharmasiri; Yes, Cricket is a team sport, and there are 11 players but there's only one captain to make the decisions. Though there are senior players, as team players, they would not interfere in captain's decisions unless the captain seeks advice. You are absolutely right; you have no idea what you are talking about. The coaches are there to coach & the managers are there to manage and they are not paid to advice Mathews. I guess you should enlighten yourself about the job description of the above mentioned before you make such comments.

Posted by Sinhaya on (January 23, 2014, 3:24 GMT)

Angelp wasting time was totally unacceptable. But dont forget how Moin Khan did the same in 2000 against England in Karachi to avoid defeat.

Posted by Messa1 on (January 23, 2014, 3:18 GMT)

@Dravid_Pujara_Gravitas_Atheist After getting hammered by NZ(NO.8 RANKED TEAM) seems like they dont know the meaning of shame.LOOL. U guys keep living in the past and bringing up these incidents which happened 5-20 years ago! no one cares about them, and tell ur flat track team to cancel all overseas tours. The way they are currently going it's highly likely they'll lose to Afghanistan! LMAO

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

I agree with the Author. Disgraceful cricket by Sri Lanka. But I don't expect anything different from them. Remember how mean-spirited one of their senior players actually was when he intentionally denied a century to Sehwag in the past? Is that a big-deal? Yes and No, because character comes through, during such incidents. Now, this Mathews guy under the supervision of Sangakkara and Mahela drove the final nail in the coffin of spirit of cricket. Slowing down intentionally, bowling negative line over after over and finally cribbing about light - well everything about the Sri Lankans spirit is disgraceful...Sorry folks. This isn't cricket.

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

I cant blame Mathews . I dont know what is the thing happened behind . I dont know who made those worst decisions because anyway cricket is a team game . There was bunch of managers coaches outside. they must have seen what is happening and must have advice mathews . Thats what they paid for . Isnt it ? Anyway our(SL) cricketers must know these days cricket is not only about playing . It is also 50% about strategies . In 2013 50/50 matches times how many times we sent bowlers instead of batsman while there is batsman sitting in the bench . We wont most of the times but is it a bad strategy . we almost lost our middle order mentality by that . How many times we sit back and waited to something happen in 35 to 40 overs in last year in 50/50 . Most of times we won and so we didnt analyzed . I dont agree with so many people saying Chandimal failed in test series . He and mathews saved 1st test for us. If not this is a series lost. Also He was our most run taker in odi series.

Posted by   on (January 22, 2014, 11:22 GMT)

When sarfraz got out, Sangakara mentioned him that he should have walked... he must have no shme in his heart to say that given what he had done in the first innings. Many of my good friends are from Sri Lanka and Lanka used to be my second favourite team but now have lost the respect....

Posted by AltafPatel on (January 22, 2014, 10:31 GMT)

Pak won hearts of all cricket fans including India and SL. SL lost its credibility all over cricketing world.

Posted by   on (January 22, 2014, 10:22 GMT)

Thats being too harsh on mathews .. he is still learning .. Im sure he would reflect back and take a lesson. Unfortunately his negative tactics have subdued the wonderful cricket he played through out the series.

Posted by irishhawks on (January 22, 2014, 10:22 GMT)

Sri lanka cricket better get ready for your west indies like situation after mahela and sanga retires! you guys have nothing to show except tah 1996 world cup. Do u? and u say u made us cry in 1996 semifinals? who cried? Vinod kambli not because of srilankans but because of crowd behavior or reason only he knows.. How can u forget the numerous beatings Srilanka has taken from India in recent years? do i have to remind you of your greatest bowler MurliTharan treated like school boy bowler in 1999 World Cup? and what about Mendis whose career has been ended by Sehwag and gambhirs assault? YOu are ordinary and will always stay that way...

Posted by ms2000 on (January 22, 2014, 9:24 GMT)

Its time for Angelo to say good bye for the Captaincy and play as a nomal player. He has disgraced the country by trying very low tactics at the end overs. If he had a little leadership qualities he should have know by day 04 evening what to do. He was wasting too many balls when he could easily have got another 40-50 runs added to the score. He was not a Captain and never will be. How goood you are at play all cant be captains. This is another failed Captain. Angelo, you are a disgrace

Posted by   on (January 22, 2014, 8:50 GMT)

Mathew is the worst Captain Sri Lanka has ever had. His approach was disgraceful. He should remember that cricket is for gentlemen and if he does not want to behave so, he should give up cricket.

Posted by shanepe2003 on (January 22, 2014, 8:38 GMT)

Uncle# crlshamalka# I kw u r watching these comments coming frm all over the world. (Not just from me) hope u and u r grate captain rcv "Over Due Payment" appoint Mathews as the captain of Sri Lankan side is the worst thing happened to SL after Boxing Day Tsunami!!

Posted by   on (January 22, 2014, 7:57 GMT)

As a Pakistani fan I am absolutely ecstatic about Pakistan's victory but people who are going a long way to tell the Sri Lankans that they dont have sportsmen spirit or they used below the belt tactics, they should really remember the Lahore Attacks on the Sri Lankan team. They have always supported cricket and frustration does makes you do funny things. no doubt about that .. but Sri Lanka as a team and as a Nation are very much our brothers...

Posted by   on (January 22, 2014, 7:29 GMT)

I'm a west indian and I pay attention to Sri Lanka cricket too. They impressed me since the1996 world cup. Actually me and my dad predicted they would win it after they harassed us and Australia in Australia a few months before. Fast forward 2014 and if they continue to play negative cricket then they will lose the support of their people. I won't go into details of their play or attitude as the whole cricketing world saw it. I just want to know what sanga and mahela were doing. I thought they were there to help and advice and guide this Mathews guy. I mean you didn't only lose a test match you looked foolish in front of the world and enforced it by talking nonsense in the end. You see I personally like the Arturo gatti approach, ie fight hard to the end. I might lose and be bruised and bloodied but the other guy knew he really went to war. So come on Sri Lanka pull yourself up.

Posted by   on (January 22, 2014, 4:16 GMT)

Well played Pakistan. However I cannot understand such behavior of Sri Lanka. I have been watching them since 1996 and I think this is one of the worst.

Posted by Yousufahmed1 on (January 22, 2014, 3:59 GMT)

@ CricketFever11 By playing the game without spirit. They have been doing it forever.

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

Angelo Mathews is the worst captain any test team has had in a long time. He seems to have not even the slightest clue. Keeping fielders in the deep even after Pakistan were scoring heavily in ones and twos was ridiculously poor captaincy. Then saying Sri Lanka's batsmen should've played with more caution if they were not cautious enough already.

Posted by Philippe on (January 22, 2014, 3:48 GMT)

very well played PAK. SL never deserved to win this test match... Its impossible to believe that some test playing nation simply couldn't change mentality of minnows.... & started playing the test match for a draw right from the first day... thats not fair... I don't think apart from Ranatunga & Jayasurya's time this team has ever played like champions... this is height of being negative & pessimist... I still remember the WC 2011 final match toss situation with MS Dhoni of India. Sanga called for it & wen umpires asked Dhoni said that he couldn't listen. Sanga could hv said wat he opted while tossing a coin. But he did not utter a word... that's the thing I hate most about SL cricketers. They are atleast not honest... WC 2011 toss situation was really something which shows characters of SL cricketers.

Posted by top_SPIN on (January 22, 2014, 2:57 GMT)

If Sri Lanka has won something significant in world cricket that would be the world cup in 1996. They played fearlessly, recall the semi-finals openers were gone without scoring but they ended up by making opposition players crying. The whole attitude is now to avoid loosing the match regardless of limited overs or tests. Going for a draw on the last day is logical, but from day one it was clearly visible that we were playing for a draw.

however now sadly when pressure gets in the team collapse like a house of cards. With a mediocre balling attack the only way to make a statement in a match is to score runs. Am I the only one thinks that our highly hyped vice captain Chandimal is no where near international caliber? Compare him against Indian counterpart players.

This was a disgrace to whole Sri Lankan cricket supporting community. Loose it that is fine but not like a looser.

Posted by correctcall on (January 22, 2014, 2:42 GMT)

Dubious result! Have the mafia struck? The integrity of sub Continental cricket is under question - when can we expect a result from the SC in the Meyappin case?

Posted by   on (January 22, 2014, 2:01 GMT)

Nothing new here, the Sri Lankan team has been this way since the Ranatunga days

Posted by   on (January 22, 2014, 1:48 GMT)

Congrads.Pakistan you deserve that win.

Posted by Akram1971 on (January 22, 2014, 1:10 GMT)

One of the most dissapointing performances by Sri Lanka I have seen in a long time. Pakistan had 302 to chase in almost 2 sessions and we fluffed it. Sri Lanka played negative cricket and deserved to lose the game. Watching Sanga and Mahela just stand there doing nothing was even more dissapointing. I have lost all respect for these two players who should have been in Matthews ear helping him out. This was a golden opertunity to win a test series (outside SL) bar Zimababwe or Bangladesh. Herath was abismal, 5th day track and he bowls a leg side line getting constantly swept by the batsman. Hang your heads in shame boys. Kudos to Pakistan for taking the fight to the opposition

Posted by Moppa on (January 22, 2014, 0:06 GMT)

Wow, I missed this result. Amazing and disappointing from the Lankans. It's a bit like England in Adelaide 2006, but worse - only runs can make you safe when batting in the third innings of a Test match these days, with ODI and T20 cricket, teams have become so adept at chasing on the final afternoon. Not sure about Mathews' captaincy credentials. Also, a pity for a team that transformed ODI cricket in 1996 with positive play to descend to mind-numbingly defensive lows.

Posted by   on (January 22, 2014, 0:05 GMT)

as a sri lankan I'm disgusted and ashamed by the conduct of this team and the captain. Pakistani s approach to the fourth inning was a great advertisement for test cricket well done Pakistan. I hope Pakistan go from strength to strength from here. where as sri lankan players, they won't be worried. they have their big fat IPL pay check to look forward to.

Posted by CricketFever11 on (January 21, 2014, 23:43 GMT)

Sri Lanka has given a perfect send of to Graham Ford.

Posted by   on (January 21, 2014, 23:31 GMT)

I am an Indian living in the US. I watched this match from 5:30 am in the morning for the last 25-30 overs supporting Pakistan all the time. I hated the way in which Mathews was trying to hold on to the 1-0 advantage and batting at such a snail pace; ridiculous. This is not the SriLankan team which consisted of such exciting players like Duleep Mendis, Roy Dias, Aravinda de Silva and Jayasurya.. they were always positive even if they were losing. And when Pakistan hit a boundary in the last 2-3 overs, Lankan fielders gesticulated as if they couldn't even sight the ball.. very silly. Justice is served in that Lanka lost; and Pakistan deserved to win with their positive attitude.

Posted by   on (January 21, 2014, 21:53 GMT)

i think srilankan captain is responcable of losing this with his batting nd filed set in last 30 overs

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

Funny how the final outcome can change the perception of the most loyal fans. I see that many Pakistani fans are supporting the way SL played. Obviously that is because they won the match. Fact is the same fans would have criticized SL had Pak lost/drew the match and more critics would have taken out their swords against Misbah. It is a similar case for SL too. But on the whole, great win for Pak. The find of this match in my view was Talha. This guy really impressed me with his pace and swing. For SL this probably is their worst match played completely against the spirit of the game. The blade runner is now no where to be seen. ;-)

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

I'm a neutral fan & I was really hoping Sr Lanka would play positive cricket & take the series, but Pakistan were the team playing positive cricket & positive cricket must always be respected & supported. Sorry, Andrew, Sri Lanka did themselves great harm with their attitude, pushing for light (That is why we have umpires) & to remonstrate with the umpires after the match instead of shaking hands with the victors? What does that tell you? Worthy of support or not? Not in my world, my friend. Take positives though, you did manage to draw a series away & against Pakistan, matching South Africa, you must build on this & keep the momentum going.

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

In truth this could be a turning point or just another failed jump start. I have no great expectations of Pakistan other than hope that one day they can show more consistency. The very best teams will always have a desire and hunger to win, something that Pakistan has but unwilligness to use. Anyway, turning to SL tactics, thery were no different to what Pakistan did when England won the game in Karachi a few years back under Mohin Khan Captaincy. So do i blame them no...any other team would have done the same period!

Anyway, im amazed with the amount of fans from the big "THREE" following cricket were there is no commercial gain! Shouldnt you all be posting on your relevant team sites or is that a premature remark? lets hope so :-)

Posted by   on (January 21, 2014, 20:59 GMT)

Who here remembers how Randiv had bowled a no-ball to prevent Sehwag from scoring a century? Its not the first time where sri lanka has shown negative play!!

Posted by   on (January 21, 2014, 20:44 GMT)

Me, being an indian was also rooting for pakistan to win(yeah thats an exception) specially because the way lankans played. They were playing as if they wanted to draw the remaining matches and go home 1-0. Pretty sure the whole world and even sri lankan fans would be wanting pakistan to win the match. Absolutely disappointing, but not unexpected from the lankans... They have been known to do things like this in the past.

Posted by   on (January 21, 2014, 20:34 GMT)

Many are greatly disappointed by Angello Mathews. I recall his very slow knock in Sri Lanka against Australia a few years ago, just to get his century, totally ignoring the chance to win the match, thus making us sick to watch. He and his "boys" must learn that personal glory is not what fans want for players, it is entertaining cricket. This was a match that Sri Lanka had in its bag but threw it away by utter disgusting conduct, before and after the end.

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

Great article. Attack is the greatest form of defense almost always.

Posted by   on (January 21, 2014, 20:26 GMT)

Beautiful article .. Sri Lankan players and team management should realise that this is not how cricket is supposed to be played.

Posted by   on (January 21, 2014, 20:17 GMT)

This was so unlike the Typical Srilankan Side, full of Sportsman spirit. I wonder how come a wonderful ambassador of the game like Sanga failed to teach that to his juniors ? :o

Posted by Rahulbose on (January 21, 2014, 20:14 GMT)

They are not the first team to play negative cricket when leading 1-0 in the final test of a series. The plan was to bat out the day and they failed to do that, so Angelo is correct in his assessment. The strategy might have been flawed and showing a lack of confidence but it is not as outrageous and everyone is making it out to be.

Posted by dhurandhar007 on (January 21, 2014, 20:04 GMT)

Despite having some great players like Sangakkara, Mahela, Aravind de Silva, Muralitharan, Chaminda, etc., Sri Lanka overall has a very negative mindset. Some examples - this very test match against Pakistan; preparing 1000 run wickets at home in the hope that Murali will dismantle the opposition but the opposition will not have anyone to dismantle SriLanka (that backfired against Shane Warne); bowling an intentional no ball so the Indian player at the crease who was on 99 would not be able to get to a century when only one more run was needed for a win by India; and many more. Sri Lanka can be a great team, but their negativity does not let them rise. Who would want to watch Sri Lanka bat or bowl or field when they score at the rate of 1.3 RPO, bowl at the 6 or 7th stump outside leg or off, and make gestures of being color blind and unable to see the ball when fielding.

Posted by Satish_Sharma001 on (January 21, 2014, 19:59 GMT)

It is universally accepted by now that SL really messed up this match. After scoring 400+ runs in the first innings and restricted Pakistan to under 350 runs they should have pushed to win the game. They could have actually win the series 2-0 if they planned to win the match. Unfortunately they chose to play this mindless cricket that only their captain and team management can explain. I think Angelo should be replaced or at lease given a long coaching in captaining a test side by current and old great SL players and captains. The first lesson in that coaching should be "If you play for a draw for all five days you will actually lose the match."

Posted by Nadman on (January 21, 2014, 19:56 GMT)

Sri Lanka is a great team with Great Attitude usually. But I am afraid they lost more then a Test Match here. They Lost their respect. A Pakistan Fan

Posted by flowersintherain on (January 21, 2014, 19:20 GMT)

To all those who say that Matthew is on a learning curve, "character" cannot be learned.

Posted by xylo on (January 21, 2014, 19:05 GMT)

I wonder what wisdom seniors like Mahela and Sanga passed on to Matthews if any. The brand of cricket that they played is so unlike of them.

Posted by   on (January 21, 2014, 19:02 GMT)

I totally agree as a sri lankan ,this time Pakistan played brave genuine fearless Cricket...great lesson for the other teams .i don't know what type of plan Sri Lankan had ,but one thing sure Pakistan chase was magnificent ...!!!

Posted by   on (January 21, 2014, 18:37 GMT)

I always very respect srilankan team & after my own team (Pakistan) i always favor Srilanka & S.A bcoz of their positive altitude towards cricket but this time srilankan team really disappoint us. I really dont believe this is the same srilankan team we know. Atleast some senior player guid captain to be positive walking like a crawl & think world will not see you is just rubbish.

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

It was a well deserved victory Pakistan. Pakistan had nothing to lose and it was negative attitude which let Lanka down. Methew has great players around him, they didn't help him. Not taking credit from Pakistan cricket team, they stayed positive and led well by MISBAH. Young guns have been performing well. These are good signs for Pakistan cricket. Being deprived of international cricket in Pakistan, they have been showing great results.

Posted by vinodkd99 on (January 21, 2014, 17:47 GMT)

Frankly speaking, I am short of words. A team that leads by 87 runs start batting like a lame duck and then Captain saying in Post Match presentation that Batting let Lanka down. Actually it was not batting that let Lankans down, it was their Attitude. In about 29 overs of Partnership between Mathews and Jayawardena, they scored less than 40. Were they saving the test or what. Lankans batted about 270 overs in the test and Pakistan did bat about 170. On a pitch where Pakistan Batsmen (not known to be stronger part of Pakistan) got runs @ 5.25 in 2nd innings, Lankans were too keen not to see their own RPO going above 2.0 while batting. As a topping on pizza, they served Pakistan with 9 fielders on boundary. Did Pakistan want anything lese to get out of jail? I am an Indian but certainly not an idiotic fan Bashing Lankans, but certainly I do not have words to express myself. May be why Lankans have not won even a single series outside Sri Lanka for past 13 years (except in BD and Zim).

Posted by thilina213 on (January 21, 2014, 17:46 GMT)

This shows poor cricket by the sri lankan.I think Mathews shouldn't be very good learner compare with other team leader.With this momentum sri lanka never win world cup in the future. Cricket is a mind game.Pl guys use common sense when you are playing.that is more than enough to win a game. this is shame.....shame....

Posted by Dhali_BD_Fan on (January 21, 2014, 17:16 GMT)

The only thing that was disspointing that Sri Lankans were talking about the light situation - but that is undersatndable after such a long series - everyone was tired. The main point here, is that the results is still a 'drawn series' which confirms that Sri Lankans as well as the Pakistanis playes very well. The Pakistanis were blasted a few days ago by the South Africans and they came back fighting, and Sri Lankanks still have a relatively new captain and they are still gelling together and working/testing strategies - which will only make them better. I have always supported SL (I am a BD fan) - nothing changed after this match.

Posted by   on (January 21, 2014, 17:15 GMT)

First of all, many thanks to the author, who I believe is the Sri Lankan correspondent for Cricinfo, for stating the FACTS WITHOUT ANY BIAS. Angelo and the Sri Lankan management clearly had ONLY ONE goal heading in to this test and it was to play for a DRAW. At no point in this test, with the exception of perhaps the declaration in the first inning, did they show any intent of winning. Playing for a draw is not a crime. But the manner in which they went about it with their batting and bowling, even in the Pakistan first inning when they had 400+ on the board, was most certainly a show of lack of respect and an insult to the integrity of the game and its fans. Then after it is all said and done to DENY or refuse to accept failure was simply disgraceful and classless. This was one of the worst days to be a Sri Lankan fan. As fans, let us not forget how BRILLIAN PAKISTAN was as well! They played with such passion and heart. May international cricket return to Pakistan soon!

Posted by sachinssnn on (January 21, 2014, 17:13 GMT)

Very poor thinking from Angi, i was just praising him that he was showing glimpse of Arjuna in him. Guess i was very wrong. His poor thinking led SL to defeat against Kiwis in their last ODI series. When he had fast bowlers in his bag to bowl the last over, he gave it to Herath especially when it was a wet outfield. Now from ball 1 in Pakistan innings he was in defensive mood. Didn't attack at all. Poor thinking. If he is a learning player he should have learnt from his mistakes. I don't see it in him. He didn't bowl Dilruwan at all & he gave a pathetic excuse for that. As a SL fans the future is very gloomy for us.

Posted by   on (January 21, 2014, 16:55 GMT)

@Rukshan Dharmadasa - Sanga and Mahela have commanded the respect of world cricket for many years now and SL is often considered to be playing in the spirit of the game, considered true gentlemen, etc. However, no one has noticed the negative line they continue to bowl in ODI's or the rogue tactics they apply in test cricket. I think they stand exposed after this game. Pakistan not going for the win in the first test was solely due to their batting inabilities. With that being said - this is an extremely unpredictable and exciting Pak team. With their backs to the wall - they responded with character which was of course lacking with SL. SL lost due to their negative approach on the game. If asking umpires to unfairly call of a match is not considered against the spirit of the game then i dont know what is. They deserve all the bashing and criticism. Rise above nationality and look at things from the POV of a cricket enthusiast, the picture will then be a lot clearer.

Posted by SevereCritic on (January 21, 2014, 16:54 GMT)

This is the problem with Test Cricket and this is why World Championship Test will remain a myth. Series wins away from home are so rare and far between that teams will go to any length to get one in their pocket. Asides from SA, no team has consistently won test series away since the great Aussies of the Waugh-McGrath-Warne era. Specially, for a team like Sri Lanka, who gets to play so few test series. So, you can't blame Mathews for trying to grab on to the rare chance of an away series win at w/e the cost. Most other captains (except probably Clarke) would have opted for the same defensive approach. Congratz to Misbah and team for going for it and getting it.

Posted by   on (January 21, 2014, 16:05 GMT)

For the life of me I cannot understand why the Sri Lankan Cricket board agreed to augment daylight with artificial light in a Test match! If they hadn't we could have easily saved it.

Posted by   on (January 21, 2014, 16:00 GMT)

Two senior players ( Sanga and Mahela ) in Sri Lanken side should be responsible for this big loss. These two players are spreading negative thoughts among the team. Check their batting style in this match.Even after we had a lead of 80 + runs in first innings Mahela batted to draw the match. He wasted 144 Balls to score 47.That's the staring point towards loosing the MATCH.To win matches batsman should play more positively..Only Prasanna batted very positively otherwise match would have ended much earlier..

Mahela has scored 11000 runs in Test.But feel no real impact those runs to the game.Pls compare TWO senior players of pakistan side ( Younis Khan's and Mishba ) to Two senior players of SL side ( Sanga and Mahela ). Younis and Mishba played very positively and were consistant through out the series. But Mahela nad Sanga played very NEGATIVE LY and were totaly inconsistant..

Posted by   on (January 21, 2014, 15:56 GMT)

As a Pakistani, I am delighted over Pakistan victory in such an amazing way. Pakistan also got the world record of highest run-rate in a successful chase of a 300-plus target and the second highest for 200-plus target but I find it very unfair to criticize Sri Lanka that much by some. Yes, their approach was a little negative, and yes, it was also against the sportsmanship when they tried to convince the umpires to call off the game because of comparatively poor light, but actually they did what many teams would do in such a situation. Nevertheless I must say teams should avoid such negative approach as it is not good for healthy cricket and becomes more embarrassing if a team still loses. Sri Lanka was very keen to win the series and understandably that was the main objective in their mind. They were successful in their strategy for the first 4 days but lost the match only when brilliant yet unpredictable Pakistan showed amazing skills in the final two sessions of the match.

Posted by Tornado1 on (January 21, 2014, 15:54 GMT)

Great Article Fernando. Very rightly said but i wonder if that is the plan by Atapattu. Mahela and Sanga can't be that dumb. It was hard to believe the way Srilanka batted on 4th day. Time was important but as were runs so had they scored 30-40 more runs in that session, it would have been 350 in 58 overs. Its just one of those moments when you can't defend or even think what happened

Posted by AngryAngy on (January 21, 2014, 15:45 GMT)

There's a big difference between playing for a draw chasing a huge 4th innings target and playing for a draw from the beginning of the third innings with a 50+ run first innings lead. If you're going to shut your opponent out of a game, you don't have to be aggressive, but you do have to be forceful. Sri Lanka's failure to bat enough time out of the game was coupled with an apparent belief that stopping 4s would also be enough to stifle the run chase. This warranted neither a particularly offensive nor defensive game plan; the conventional approach is simply to set a big target. A defensive attitude becomes a problem when you concede a mile one inch at a time.

Posted by   on (January 21, 2014, 15:45 GMT)

Lesson for Pakistan: Play aggressively as they did in the 2nd innings and more good things will happen. Misbah, hint, hint.

SL played awful. It wasnt just the batting in the 2nd inning, but even the bowling in the 1st inning. Deliberately bowling over after over 2 feet down the leg side is appalling.

Kind of reminded me of India in Kumble's last test against Pakistan in India. They did the same and lost unexpectedly to Pakistan. Dhoni learned from it and became a much more attacking captain. Hope Matthews takes the same lesson. This is an amazingly talented SL side.

Posted by DD_f0rever on (January 21, 2014, 15:40 GMT)

@ Salman Siddeeque Ali

No wonder, you didn't watch the match.

1. AB's innings on Day 5 was to save the Test from a losing position.

2. SL's approach from Day 1 was to DRAW the match. They scored 420 odd runs in first 2 days.

3. On Day 5, when some 30 runs were needed off 30 balls, Pak had 5-6 wickets in hands. SL players including their Captain started wasting time.

They deserve Criticism.

Posted by   on (January 21, 2014, 15:38 GMT)

Mathew's fledgling captaincy is clearly visible. Still these are early days and he can learn from it, Having said that nothing to take away from Pakisthan they rightly deserve to win the match. Could Sri Lanka salvaged a draw - we will never know

Posted by looloogun on (January 21, 2014, 15:33 GMT)

even in the end mathews could have saved this match if he had concentrated on bowling dot balls with close in fielders rather the finding ways to waste time and claim bad light ..worst captaincy funny that a experienced player like misbah didnt go for bigshots even when there was 20 odd runs to win ..even axhar ali wasted time kissing the ground celebrating his hundred ,,,the umpires could have called bad light anywhere around when 10 runs were needed ,,,even if they had cut the last over draw ...lucky pak ..misbah is good man though

Posted by   on (January 21, 2014, 15:10 GMT)

people it's just one match n every tom, dick n Harry has a wrong thing to say about sl cricket.you call your selves cricket fans? cricket is not there to blame the losing side n put them down by saying so many unwanted things. true SL did everything wrong from day 2 of the last test match. But they have dominated the series in all other matches. and all your pak fans who praise their so called positive team are still unable to answer why pak couldn't go for the win in the 1st match when they had 70 odd overs.were they sleeping?

Posted by   on (January 21, 2014, 15:10 GMT)

a very btfl test match .... worth to watch

Posted by chapathishot on (January 21, 2014, 14:56 GMT)

I dont think there is anything wrong with what the Lankans had done ,Any other team would have done the same.The number one team did the same ,The English gentlemen have done that.Pakistan did the same against England in the older times.So it is cricket and nothing wrong with the tactics.And hats off to Pakistan for winning it despite the tactics and Kudos to umpires for upholding the game by not calling off the game for light.

Posted by SwingReverse on (January 21, 2014, 14:46 GMT)

Even though Lankan team was negative in their approach, you can't discount the talent and promise the younger generation of SL players have shown. SL fans should look forward to the tournaments coming up in 2014 and 2015...we know they are going to be in touching distance of these trophies!

Posted by   on (January 21, 2014, 14:45 GMT)

Disclaimer first: I didnt watch the match.

However, I completely disagree with the author here.

When AB Divilliers batted for 200+ deliveries for 30-40 odd runs to save a test match in the fourth innings, did anyone call it negative cricket?

Different teams has different strategies; and that mostly is dependent on their strengths and weaknesses.

Which cricket almanac has said it is wrong to go defensive in third, but not in fourth?

Every single team at some point has done 9 fielders at ropes and complain about bad light, even though visible. This is something universal to the sport of cricket.

Would Pakistan would have done something different? Or for that matter would India (my country), SA, Aus, Eng, etc. would have done different? Maybe yes, maybe not. But thats part of their strategy.

To the repsected author and fellow cricket lovers: Test Cricket is not T20. There is no compulsion to anyone for watch it. Playing for draw is a legitimate and legal option in this format

Posted by CricketMaan on (January 21, 2014, 14:42 GMT)

Misbah had no choice but to go for win for he was behind in the series! It would have been intreting to see how he would have approached if its was the 1st or 2nd test. But BRAVO!! Well done Pakistan. When you play positive cricket then you get positive results!!! From India

Posted by   on (January 21, 2014, 14:42 GMT)

The appalling behaviour of the Sri Lankans is in stark contrast to the way the Indians conducted themselves recently in SA. After having looked the dominant side going into final day, India were staring at defeat in the end. Yet, they went about their job without any fuss and they even bowled an extra over due to their excellent over rate! I was disgusted when Randiv bowled the no ball few years back to deny Sehwag his century. But I thought that was just one individual. Well the whole SL team including the respected figures are all of the same grain. Quite shameful.

Posted by   on (January 21, 2014, 14:17 GMT)

Nobody is talking about the emergence of Mathews as a bonafide superstar batsman,what is the reason for that,think about it Mathews,respect from a cricket fan my lankan freinds.

Posted by pitch_curator on (January 21, 2014, 14:17 GMT)

I think SL really missed Mahela in the field. He seems to be the only SL player who respects the game and plays with spirit. We have been Sanga's antiques for long now. He seems to be influencing Mathews and that is bad as SL will lose a lot of fans if they keep playing like this. If you look around world cricket, you can not imagine many captains like Dhoni, Misbah or Sammy doing what Mathews did. Only Cook could have possibly done it.

Posted by likeintcricket on (January 21, 2014, 14:08 GMT)

I understands the disappointment Srilankans fans are feeling rightnow, but I think any team with the bowling resources Srilankans have could have done the same. They were so close to winning a series away from home against a quality side that out of frustration they adopted all means to halt pakistan but on a Pak day everything backfired. One more wicket at 200 could have turn the table but as you say luck favors the brave and pakistan did play with a purpose. But these things happen for every good cricket nation. Just take the example of England and India when a few months back they were all firing and now their fans are firing them. Despite a last few hours heroics frpm Pakistan team I believe Srilankans have done enough to prove they are a strong and upcomming team. They are missing class bowlers like Murali and Vaas as Pakistan are missing Wasim and waqar and Inzi. But I definately believe these two nations are very talented and they will reproduce good talents in comming years.

Posted by   on (January 21, 2014, 14:08 GMT)

Great performance by Pakistan .Truly i would not have any problem even if Pakistan had lost chasing like Lions.For the first time under Misbahs captaincy i saw our cricket team played the brand of cricket Pakistan was remembered by go in all guns blazing.I have always been critical of Misbahs approach ,he doesn't play defensively but neither does he take the initiative and go on the offensive.

I loved to see the flair in Pakistan batting line up .Mathews i have no idea why are you blaming the batsmen no offense a club level team would have defended 300 in two seasons .You were afraid to lose and so set fielders on the boundary line after only a few overs i have never seen that before in my life.The problem is not that you lost but you are still denying that your judgement call was wrong to go defensive.

Posted by DaDaL0G on (January 21, 2014, 13:59 GMT)

Mathews has made his mind before the toss "Draw can give us series so we should play for draw from ball 1" that is why its happened , frankly i was big supporter of sirilanka loved to see jayasuriya , sanga, Arvinda , Mahanama batting but the stuff which was happened totally against the sportsmanship its shame for Sirilankan Captain, coach and Seniors who were out their and making this drama possible. He should learn how to win the hearts of spectators not just a match or series . Arjuna Ranatunga was the best sportsman and he should assist the team.

Posted by padmal on (January 21, 2014, 13:53 GMT)

That was a horror of a display by Sri Lanka... They should have learnt a lesson.. hard way though...Anyway congracts for both the teams.............

Posted by Romanticstud on (January 21, 2014, 13:37 GMT)

The people had a similar response to South Africa on the 3rd evening of the Durban test match as with Sri-Lanka on Day 4 ... South Africa, however, had time on their side and could afford to consolidate their position before piling on the agony on Day 4, with India on the back foot and winning the game on Day 5 ... Sri-Lanka didn't have a plan for Pakistan's assault and paid the price for it ... Pakistan were given the freedom to attack the bowling ... Misbah is a master of chasing targets (including the small one they has against South Africa) ... Sri-Lanka must look at how South Africa go about defending targets in test matches ... They have a more positive outlook ... especially when bowling ...

Posted by   on (January 21, 2014, 13:27 GMT)

i am nt confused abt mathews captaincy and srilankan team...they do so well to proud our tiny island...when ever srilanka lose or win i love lankan team....gd luck for t20 world cup guys.

Posted by jerryman on (January 21, 2014, 13:25 GMT)

Thanks Andrew for your insight. I believe we did not play the last session in the true sportsmanship the game requires. Mahela J was off the field so Kumar S as the senior member should have been advising Matthews . At times they seemed to be childish and seem to sulk . Just show respect to the umpires decision and move on with the game.. SL should do a post mortem and they will find the root cause for the defeat was the slow run rate .. With the overs in the 1st innings we could have easily accumulated another 50 runs on both days and in the second innings we could have easily got another 30 runs. This would have enabled a draw and a series win. Very boorish behaviour , our cricketers should have been the 1st to congratulate Misbah at the crease on their victory. Imagine the reverse scenario , I am sure Misbah would have been congratulating our cricketers if we had won.. Lessons learnt .. Cricketers need to earn the respect of fans not only in SL . Not alienate our supporters base.

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

Srilanka were playing for a draw so they lost this game. Pakistan showed some real aggression, even if they have drawn the series would have been still lost so Pakistan played for win hence they won the match. In cricket always aim for a win. Great display of real cricket by pakistan.

Posted by Lord.emsworth on (January 21, 2014, 13:12 GMT)

Well said Andrew! I agree with everything you wróte in your opening paragraph. I would like to add that Mathews protesting about the light in the dying moments of the game with Pakistan needing just a few more runs to win showed what an unsporty character he is, in addition to his miserable tactics.

Posted by fahimalavi on (January 21, 2014, 12:48 GMT)

People are talking about Srilanka's batting average, it wasn't pretty bad as 3.00 per over is an average run rate. It is over highlighted due to Pakistan played with ODI style in their second innings.

Posted by KingOwl on (January 21, 2014, 12:36 GMT)

I am one of those SL fans VERY disappointed. However, I must say that I am neither angry nor disgusted. Far from it. They made a big mistake. Their strategy was wrong, even though they may have believed in it. One can move on thinking that they would have learned from the mistake. But that is where the problem lies. This is a trend. It is about strong leadership that is not afraid to take risks, not afraid to win. And it is not just about Mathews, it is about the seniors more than about Mathews because they often set the tone. People like Mahela and Sanga are great people, but they don't have the personality of Arjuna's or Gangulys or Imran's. SL needs a real leader of men who is not afraid in situations like this. I am afraid Mathews is just like Mahela and Sanga. Very talented, but not born leaders. They are basically managers and diplomats. But I also do not see potential leaders in the wings. So, I am hoping that Angie will transform himself (knowing that it is a tall order).

Posted by xylofon on (January 21, 2014, 12:28 GMT)

Its true that Lanka deserves some negative comments from cricket fans because they behaved badly yesterday. Pakistan fans have a right to be upset right now. But we are not perfect considering what happened when Lanka toured Pak, ok, these are two different issues but lets not make a big deal out of it.

Also, I think its cool with rivalry but not disrespect. As a pak fan I love my team and our archrivals are india but I think a really good side from india is good for cricket overall, same thing with Bangla, Lanka or anyone else for that matter - theres lots of nations coming up who play well & show love of the game, Ireland, Afg, Zimb etc.

Lets stop the hate. We can still love our team and not be superfond of our rivals but lets raise the level of communication or it will only come back to bite us later. Its not easy but lets try.

Posted by ABLcric on (January 21, 2014, 12:16 GMT)

How come Sri Lanka scored 642 runs in 1,642 deliveries, while Pakistan managed 643 runs in 1,000 balls? Angelo, please respond!!

Posted by ham1990 on (January 21, 2014, 12:15 GMT)

I think this article is right on the money. Sri Lanka seem to have forgotten about the brand of cricket that has made them so successful and loved in the past along with its fans. As a person who has always supported SL, I am glad Pakistan had the mettle to orchestrate a not only an improbable run chase, but a result that has been a good advertisement for Test Cricket.

The conduct of the senior players is questionable as their sportsmanship has been in question since after the 2007 World Cup Final loss. Sri Lanka need to wake up and rediscover the brand of cricket that made them successful, whilst still playing responsibly. That flair needs to come back, and it certainly would not have gone amiss in this Test where they could have easily batted Pakistan out of the game via the sheer weight of runs they could have piled up.

I just wish Angelo Mathews along with the seniors would admit that they played the most atrocious negative cricket in a long time.

Posted by   on (January 21, 2014, 12:03 GMT)

Good one Andrew. I seriously hope Angelo reads this. He is a kid and should learn. True Sri Lankan fans would be disgusted by their behavior (not the lost). We are a far better team than this. A team which have done wonders in just 30 years of achieving test status, should know better. If Angelo does not learn from the captains before him on how to play the game in the right spirit, he will not be remembered as a true leader we Sri Lankans respect. We have one of the best captains in the world. But the unfortunate thing is that, he is fed up of captaincy. Mahela, we miss you already.

Posted by zzby on (January 21, 2014, 11:59 GMT)

Mathew is not culprit , the real culprit are senior players mahels,Sanga and coach. Srilanks has right to play slow but playing to slow often result in loosing the match these days which should have communicated to them.

Posted by   on (January 21, 2014, 11:50 GMT)

since day 2 I have been saying SL never came with the intention of winning a test. they played over 274 overs scoring almost 100 - 150 runs short. fans said SL were protective and pitch is not playable. day 5 proved how much batsmen got out of it. SL missed one tactic, if they had given pak to bat 100 overs for the same target. pak would have been caution and slow and would have lost wickets. now pak strategy was go for it. if they loose too many wickets for a smaller score musbah and shafiq would go for the defense. and as they had over 100 overs second new ball would have been available and reviews had been refreshed. SL did 60%right but if they had think a little more they could have won or drawn. hard luck for SL so proud to see pak win

Posted by wapuser on (January 21, 2014, 11:33 GMT)

The winners SL lost the series,, respect, sympathies , all the hard work and momentum in the last two hours of the test series..Even if you do it for your country, negativity is against the soul of the game..you know what positivity can do??, I would still like to see the dismissal of Yunis khan and leaving the crease without even staying for a second after he edged the ball..that's positive approach buddy.

Posted by Iceman29 on (January 21, 2014, 11:12 GMT)

@ pcexp: You are absolutely right buddy...respect.

Posted by DD_f0rever on (January 21, 2014, 10:56 GMT)

@ VKohli

Agreed. Although it was Randiv who bowled that intentional no-ball to deny Sehwag a century but I would not blame him..as Randiv was the youngster/ newcomer that time and it was actually Sanga who told him to do so from behind the wickets.

There are a very few Cricketers left nowadays who play Cricket in right spirit. (Amla is one of them,,so is Kallis)

Sanga should not have done this. In this test he and Mahela should have encouraged Matthews to be aggressive and go for the win.

But negative tactics backfired and cost SL the series(which they culd have easily won) and more importantly the IMAGE/ Respect which has hit a new low.

Posted by Rebel_Who_Follows_All_The_Rules on (January 21, 2014, 10:44 GMT)

@SLslinga: You want to talk about performances in away tests?? Ok, since 2000, barring minnows, SL have failed to win a single series outside SL, they are still yet to win a single test in AUS and IND and thanks to yesterdays tactics, that proud record still stands...Congratulations!!!

Posted by Iceman29 on (January 21, 2014, 10:42 GMT)

@SLslinga: Wow..SL won a single test match in SA in 2012....Bravo!!!...Lets give them the best team from Asia award... Its like kettle calling the pot black :P..What about Australia?? England?? NewZealand, West Indies??

Posted by pcexp on (January 21, 2014, 10:37 GMT)

@ CricketFever11 ... Please respect all cricket fans. Indians are also big fans of cricket. And every one got right to post his/her comments here. We must not keep hate in our self about any nation. Every one wants to WIN. We must not show our anger about India or for other countries. Cricket is full of enjoyment no matters who vs who. By the way i am a Pakistani.

Posted by GermanPlayer on (January 21, 2014, 10:14 GMT)

I think Angelo just had a learning curve. Sometimes we fail to realize that the captain is bearing the burden of the nation.

Also, a nice lesson for Misbah. Being aggressive brings in fans. Even if Pakistan had lost it in the end, the fans would have been satisfied that they at least tried!

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

And as we have it, more people remember Sehwag's that score of 99 than maybe Sachin's ton in Sharjah against Australia, all thanks to team SL and their sportsman spirit (or the lack of it).....

Posted by   on (January 21, 2014, 10:11 GMT)

Agree with Andre Fernando! Good article!

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

@ SLslinga,,, ohhhh man even yours womens team also not able to win againest india haaaaaaaa

Posted by   on (January 21, 2014, 10:06 GMT)

sometimes it seem that lankans forget how to ball ....in that situation....they have to reformed it quickly.

Posted by SaudFaruqi on (January 21, 2014, 10:01 GMT)

Sri Lanka let up and paid the price, simple as that.

Posted by rajurajendra on (January 21, 2014, 9:53 GMT)

First of all they should remove Angelo Mathews as captain. Though he is a good all rounder, he is not capable for the captaincy roll. He is such a lazy fellow and his moves in ground makes you feel that. A captain should be a good motivator and should be active in the field always. But Mathews always stays in one corner closing his mouth with his lazy looking face & moves. He should learn from Mahela, Sangakkara or even from Chandimal and learn to be energetic in the field being responsible for motivating the entire unit. He should remember the legendary Arjuna Ranathunga how he has motivated a handful of talents to world cup winning unit. This is purely my own opinion.

Posted by   on (January 21, 2014, 9:35 GMT)

The Negativity made Srilankan Team in such bad taste, usually the Srilankan are not so negative, but for some strange reason Angelo Mathews adopted this negativity, and there was some comments from some that, look how nice Angelo is batting, had this happened with Misbah, every body would have criticized him, dear whoever you are, U SEE THE RESULT OF THOSE NEGATIVITY, that's why i always say Misbah is good batsman but his thinking is either very slow or very negative, if just adopt a little bit of positiveness what he showed in the pakistan's 2nd innings while chasing, he could make pakistan team into a much better team

Posted by VKohlitheGreat on (January 21, 2014, 9:30 GMT)

@ SLslinga : India loosing 9-0 in the last 10 tests is way better than SL having never won a test in India. Here is the head to head: In Ind : [Ind 10] [SL 0] [Draw 7] (8 of 10 of those wins by an innings) || In SL : [Ind 4] [SL 6] [Draw 8]

Posted by Bdcricketdebator on (January 21, 2014, 9:28 GMT)

@iceman,please dont publish incorrect nd lie information about sri like u always do.disgusting.srilanka have won a test against sa in 2012 where india made sa look unplayable.they won recently against pakistan but u will b thrash by nz.

Posted by martin000 on (January 21, 2014, 9:28 GMT)

@Messa1, Alteast we play the game with right spirit.. the whole world is not telling you how to win but how to play this gentleman's game... grow up kiddo!!! either it's the sport or day to day affair, the whole world has to spoon feed you the right things

Posted by   on (January 21, 2014, 9:28 GMT)

As a Pakistani fan I am absolutely ecstatic about Pakistan's victory but people who are going a long way to tell the Sri Lankans that they dont have sportsmen spirit or they used below the belt tactics, they should really remember the Lahore Attacks on the Sri Lankan team. They have always supported cricket and frustration does makes you do funny things. no doubt about that .. but Sri Lanka as a team and as a Nation are very much our brothers...

Posted by Fast_Track_Bully on (January 21, 2014, 9:27 GMT)

Few days back one SL fan talked about number of 'Spirit of Cricket award' they got. They will surly get that award this time! Even when India lost all matches, they never used such negative tactics to avoid defeats. You can bowl out side off or pitch it on leg side but cannot waste time to get the help of darkness to save your face. If the batsmen can see and hit the ball perfectly, who else in the field has the right to complain about darkness?? Also, as per new rule, even batsman cannot complain about it. Learn the basics Lankans. Try to appreciate others.

Posted by Baundele on (January 21, 2014, 9:27 GMT)

Talk about sportsmanship, Sri Lanka (Mahela) complained about Shahadat Hossain's grunts during his bowling delivery while playing test matches against Bangladesh. However, that does not make me 'hate' Sri Lanka. I love watching Murali, Vaas, Mahela, Sanga, Dilshan, Malinga, Jayasuriya, de Silva and the great Ranatunga play. Yesterday was a different case, though. It brought their own downfall. It was more of a tactical error than sportsmanship.

Posted by   on (January 21, 2014, 9:24 GMT)

The article is very well written and summarizes the test match. I was surprised to see Sri Lanka doing it the bad way, they have lost respect. Want to hear from the Sri Lankan Greats Sanath, Arvinda and Ranatunga on the approach. However, Attapatu has let it down.

Posted by   on (January 21, 2014, 9:23 GMT)

SL always play negative crckt... when sehwag was nearing to 100 dilshan directed the bolwer to bowl a no ball. sanga is always behaving as a street cricketr, he has o sportsmanship.. He should behave like rahul dravid in the feild..

Posted by Big_Chikka on (January 21, 2014, 9:16 GMT)

in reality a test lost by sri lanka......don't think so, more an engineered victory for pakistan BUT for people blowing on about the quality of these two teams, just a reminder..........no one really knows how they will do in the world cup or tests on Aus/SA/NZ soil. why? because both getting better as units hence performances over 12 months not great indicators, and both have almost been frozen out of bigger tests.

Posted by Iceman29 on (January 21, 2014, 9:15 GMT)

Hats off to Pak team who played against all odds and won this test match and came victorious above the SL team's crookedness and bad light...I would accept Pak as the best team right now from subcontinent even though their batting is fragile...

Posted by Iceman29 on (January 21, 2014, 9:12 GMT)

@SLslinga: ya India is 9-0, Aus is 7-0 and now Eng is 5-0 and going to be 5-0 in oneday too...but all the above said team will not play crooked cricket like SL....And all the above said team have won something or other outside the subcontinent before those loses but What did SL win outside SL???

Posted by yorkslanka on (January 21, 2014, 9:11 GMT)

@priceless- i absolutely agree with you and said the same in a post in reference to the match report..our bowlers let us down not being able to defend 301 in two sessions..simple as that..

Posted by Iceman29 on (January 21, 2014, 9:04 GMT)

@ SLslinga: ya India is 9-0, Aus is 7-0 and now Eng is 5-0 and going to be 5-0 in oneday too...but all the above said team cant play crooked cricket like SL....And all the above said team has won something or other outside the subcontinent before those loses but What did SL win outside SL??? a big Zero.....Sometimes truth hurts buddy but you got to deal with that...this article is all about your team's spirit and sportsmanship but you are taking this to normal Ind team bashing to cover up as always....pathetic...

Posted by   on (January 21, 2014, 8:56 GMT)

@ Metro-ant, Royal won it last time. As a Royalist I know, neither Thomians nor Royalists go for the draw. I'm sure Thomians will try their heart out to win it this time. I guarantee you. Rivalry is there up to the highest level even more than what you see between Aussies & Poms. Problem is the pitch, they are playing on SSC. I don't want to tell you how flat that wicket is. And they play week right after the match between Ananda & Nalanda, which makes that wicket more flatter.

Posted by Iceman29 on (January 21, 2014, 8:56 GMT)

@SLslinga: Sometimes truth hurts buddy but you got to deal with that...this article is all about your team's spirit and sportsmanship but you are taking this to normal Ind team bashing to cover up as always....pathetic....seniors players in your team such as Sanga and Mahela have lost their respect...your team deserve this..

Posted by priceless1 on (January 21, 2014, 8:53 GMT)

disagreed, i think Anjalow used the correct tacttics (to secure the SL's first series win after long time ), only thing that went wrong here that he didnt have enough fire power in the bowling department to contain Pakistan or bowl them out , if they were too positive then it would have given more time/ overs for PAK batters to chase the total down

Posted by lancia71 on (January 21, 2014, 8:46 GMT)

True Angi is human and bound to make mistakes and that's life. But negative tactics went on 5 days. what were all the seniors and coaching staff did? It was frustrating to see so many lose balls being played with a dead bat. Pak attack is good but not something close to Aussie or SA. On flat tracks we should have been around at least 3.5 runs per over. And it was a shame to see our team trying hide behind bad light without playing the game in the right spirit. Sanga I thought you would guide the young captain but sorry to hear you were also part of it. Overall we deserved to lose and well done Pakistan.

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

As a Sri Lankan I'm disappointed more than anyone. And I'm not going to deny any allegations made, Randiv's no ball incident & this one. & I apologize for what my team has done. But it is really sad to see when some people are trying to accuse Sri Lanka as a unsporting nation in general. But you have to keep in mind that these players almost got KILLED in PAKISTAN for the sake of the game. If you are trying measure the SPORTSMANSHIP of Sri Lankans, don't forget to measure that one as well.

Posted by   on (January 21, 2014, 8:43 GMT)

so all you pak supporters.Why didn't pak go for the win in the 1st match if they are the so called most positive side in the world?

Posted by   on (January 21, 2014, 8:43 GMT)

Well done Pakistan and sorry to Sri Lanka. Its just a game guys and we should respect the winners and losers side by side. No blames to Sri Lanka for either slowing down the game or any misbehave but its just the cricket. Lets forget it and look forward for the best coming from both the teams in their future projects!

Posted by Salman_Shakeel84 on (January 21, 2014, 8:42 GMT)

I never expected such below the belt tactics from Sri Lanka:

-Fake injuries -Fielders instead of chasing the balls pointing that they could not see even though Misbah and Azhar Ali could see it like a football -SriLanka batting run rate dropping less than a run and bringing game to standstill

Bravo Pakistan, you make us proud by not only wining the test match but also becoming a great ambassador of Test Cricket.

On the other hand, Sri Lanka you must learn how India played with big heart and sportsman spirit against South Africa, SA were almost near to win but India never got into negative tactics of bowling leg side or doing deliberate delays.In the end, India earned a respectable draw played in a very positive spirit of test cricket. Sri Lanka not only you lost match but you lost many fans (including me) who thought of Sri Lankans to be fearless lions. I am afraid not anymore.

BTW I am a Pakistani supporter.

Posted by CricketFever11 on (January 21, 2014, 8:41 GMT)

What the Indians are doing here. Lost to number 8 ranked side and giving lectures to other on winning. Flat Track Bullies. Cant put bat in to ball out side India which include ODI double centurions.

Posted by Metro-ant on (January 21, 2014, 8:38 GMT)

It starts with school cricket in Sri Lanka. I've played both in Australia, England and Sri Lanka and I've found school cricket here to be the most negative out of them all. Even as most Sri Lankans know of the Royal-Thomian you have teams deciding to go for the draw at the end of day 2 of a 3 day match which is ridiculous. I think a lot of these players have really inflated egos coming from school cricket and with a lack of development at club level when they get into the national team they think they can get away with a lot of things they did at schoolboy level. I mean come on what was Mathew's response to losing? A lack of patience on the part of the batsmen? Please! I hope this new coach can change the mentality of the players because right now there's no hope especially when young leaders like Chandimal and Mathews justify their negativity. Though we all remember how Australia escaped during the 5th test at the Oval so there is an obvious double standard.

Posted by matchfixerpkn on (January 21, 2014, 8:37 GMT)

nothing wrong in negative tactic of batting..thats up to srilankn team.. but real shame is that their bad behaviour in field by delaying the ball and compalinign on bad light when almost they lsot match...

Posted by shinewindies on (January 21, 2014, 8:30 GMT)

I am an Indian and i must admit it was a great test match or rather i would say a great test series, barring few boring sessions in the series the momentum kept on swinging from one team to another. Both teams played their hearts out and everyone must agree that it was the best test series to be played in the UAE till date. Really impressed after a long time from the Pak team for the fight they showed. Good for world cricket as a whole. Again greetings to the Pak team from India. Misbah u beauty.

Posted by sushantsingh on (January 21, 2014, 8:26 GMT)

@Soumabha Basu.....yes, you are right. I am watching cricket for past 20 years and never found any country playing the negative cricket and lack of sportsmanship as much as shown by Srilanka. and to make the matter worse there is so called great left hander in the Srilankan side who regularly do this, he is mosttly included in such tactics.......he was one of the senior player who visited the umpire as usual......

@Tweety20..........better accept the negative attitude of your team instead criticizing the author.....

I has mentioned the negative attitude of Srilanka after day 2 and most of their supporters were shouting that they are doing this to win the series......now look what happened.....negative mindset of a poor captain has drawn a series which was won.

@Andrew Fidel Fernando.........nice article man......salute and hope to see more gems from you in future. keep up the good work

Posted by jeri14 on (January 21, 2014, 8:25 GMT)

Enough of Chandimal...please drop him for BANG tour..he is not sound in Techniq..Aravinda de silva explained why he was not selected for 11 world cup..Now it's enough..Chandimal, tharnga have wasted their talents..Lack of self practice made them into this spot..Its enough..I remember out of the blue, Kandamby was given the captincy and here again we see Chandimal leading the side...how is this possible...Chandimal pls dont goto BANG next week...I dont want to see your name next Monday on the scorecards...pls...

Posted by shanepe2003 on (January 21, 2014, 8:25 GMT)

Not only neutral fans being a SRi Lankan I was cheering Pakistan. Yes it's sad to say but the truth is we deserve to lose that match. This is what happen when you give a captaincy to a player whos not even deserve to be in the team. But dear SL fans worst is yet to come cos if bangalidesh claver enough, they kw if they attack positively this poor team Headed with overrated muppet call methews got no answer!

Posted by yohandf on (January 21, 2014, 8:20 GMT)

Anyway SL team got well deserved punishment for negativeness irrespective of what Mathews has to say . Hope even Mathews learned lesson insight though he can t reveal . Hope they would play with positively in coming games to regain lost fan base . At footnote this UAE series was much better for Sri Lanka comparing to 2011 . hey won a T20 , won 2 matches in ODI (last time 1-4) & won a test for the first time . More importantly they have found gutsy youngsters in Kaushal Silva , Kusal Perera , Ashan Priyanjan & Seekkuge Prasanna as a all rounder . Bangladesh tour and 1 st test will start in weeks time and hope they dump all happened and go for it . Go Lions Go .

Posted by   on (January 21, 2014, 8:17 GMT)

as a lankan I am completely disapointed with angelo mathews and co... What the hell was sanga and mahela doing on the field? Did they not have any sense to help mathews out and give him some sense of direction. Cricketers who play at village level won't play so negatively with the bal or set outragous fieldsl! 300 runs is plenty to defend and had they maintained an attacking mindset with the ball wickets would come. Herath was a joke bowling to the rough. Where was dilruwan perera? I can't imagine the reception for Angelo Mathews and co in SL they need to seriously reconsider their tactics and NEVER EVER LET THIS HAPPEN AGAIN! Congratualtion to Pakistan they were fantastic and deserve their victory and deserve all the praise...

Posted by Harmony111 on (January 21, 2014, 8:12 GMT)

Hey everyone, pls read the last para of this article, pasted below:

******"After the scheduled finish time of 5:30 pm had passed and it became clear that only bad light could halt Pakistan, Sri Lanka's fielders began complaining they could not pick up the red ball under lights. When the winning run was hit, a pair of senior players went first to gripe to the umpire instead of shaking hands with the deserved victors, and then, Sri Lanka's cowardice was complete."******

How can a team fail to defend 300 runs in 60 overs, some of which were bowled in poor light? Pak are not exactly a top class batting team, they have inexp batsmen and often struggle to chase avg totals in ODIs but here they showed tremendous heart and more imp the correct attitude.

Comparing this to Ind-SA 1st Test is specious. Ind's bowling is extremely weak. SL fans claims they have a much stronger bowling attack, is this their attack? SA didn't score at 5+ RPO. Moreover, they are #1 playing at home. They got ABD.

Posted by Bdcricketdebator on (January 21, 2014, 7:55 GMT)

@iceman viratthegreat nd other indian who r taliking or rather bavling about srilanka,u just dont give up right?aftr loosing 9-0 at away test talk about respect!!i hope ur being taught a good lesson by a hapless nz side.

Posted by Tweety20 on (January 21, 2014, 7:39 GMT)

It's enough already Andrew,we get the point. Stop adding insult to injury. SL made a mistake and paid for it,their plan backfiredwe get it! How many more articles are you gonna write about this? As if it was the first time something like this happened,oh please! Angie is a human,he is bound to make mistakes and that's how he learns.Seniors have no say in this,it's upto the captain to make the final decision. I see the SL haters are having a party with this news including their own versions of how -ve SL is.LOL (''haters gona hate'').we've seen that all the time. One mistake and everything positive and good is forgotten...indeed it's a funny world. So SL is the only nation that committed 'test cricket attrocities'' LOL. Don't worry Angie,as sn as you win another test match, all will be forgotten,all fans & journalitsts will be praising you again and the 'vicious' cycle goes on.

Posted by   on (January 21, 2014, 7:32 GMT)

It's not the first time (by a long way) that Mathews has been criticized for over-negative tactics; fair enough, he's still growing into his position, but his approach seems to be ruled by fear of losing rather than desire to win. This is very definitely not what Sri Lanka fans want (I live in SL so I know this) - naturally they would prefer their team to win, but if they are to lose, they want it to be with a bang, not a whimper. The captain needs to do a lot of hard thinking and self-analysis - and this won't be helped by refusing to admit that his tactics were fundamentally flawed.

Posted by sachin_vvsfan on (January 21, 2014, 7:26 GMT)

@pcexp Yes I remember they continued the game with SA spinners (who were bowling negative line too) In the same match in the last innings we an extra over in the stipulated time which increased SA chances but then thanks to SA tail They chose to play safe.

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

Chaminda Vaas bowling deliberate wides to Saurav Ganguly to deny him a century, in a test match in Kandy. Ganguly left stranded on 98*

Randiv bowling a deliberate, huge, front-foot no ball to Sehwag on 95*. Sehwag too, denied a century.

N then, there is the whole of 5th day yesterday, against Pakistan.

Yet, people consider me biased when i state how badly i despise the Sri Lankan team for their lack of sportsman spirit.

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

I am a Pakistani in South Africa. Just want to say thanks to all the cricket fans specially Indian fans to appreciate Pak effort wining this test. Cricket must be played and praised out of politics ... Its a real enjoyment for the fans all over the world. What SL did paid for that otherwise SL team is also one of a good teams.

Posted by   on (January 21, 2014, 7:18 GMT)

"The team did not just lose a Test match in Sharjah, when they slowed play deliberately in the final overs, Sri Lanka lost the cricket world's respect."......great article that describes the truth about SL team...

Posted by gujratwalla on (January 21, 2014, 7:10 GMT)

I am astonished at the Sri Lankans and their tactics because i felt they had have the better of the series.Readers! I have been watching Test Cricket since 1966 ...this negative attitude is nothing new!We have had a surfeit of exciting one day matches with thrilling finishes and probably my young fans expect Test Matches to go the same way!But i find it hard to swallow that Matthews who has held his team's batting together could retort to such shameful methods not that i believe he lacks courage.Pakistan proved that as in life NO RISK,NO HAVE...with men like Sanga,Mahela in the team and Sanath Jaysuriya behind the scene...incredible the messs...simply unbelievable.

Posted by pcexp on (January 21, 2014, 7:02 GMT)

Was very funny situation when SL captain and players were complaining about BAD LIGHT. Bad Light effects batsman more than bowler and fielders. I remember ( if i am not mistaken) in test between SA and IND in SA because of bad light Umpires allow only spinners to bowl but SL fast bowlers continue to bowl even in bad light. Really appreciate PK batsman who still manage to play and take runs. About negative tactics ... it was very strange Herath bowling only on FOOT MARKS and only on leg stump and more than half of the team was fielding at leg side. If it was a ODI or T20 Herath bowled more than 3 wide balls an over. Well deserved victory for Pakistan.

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

Time has changed but attitude (read negativity) remains the same. Remember Sehwag was denied a century in an ODI by an intentional and planned wide ball which also ended the match......

Posted by   on (January 21, 2014, 6:57 GMT)

though am an Indian, i used to support the better team always...yesterday I lost all the respect to the srilankan's, they lost all the reputation what they gained recently...Bravo Pakistan...

Posted by Baundele on (January 21, 2014, 6:55 GMT)

To a neutral cricket fan like me, Sri Lanka's fielding strategy in the last innings has been pathetic. Pakistan were allowed singles at ease. Mathews is not a good captain, and I am saying this not only based on this single match. I am not sure what other option SL does have. Dilshan was tried and failed as well.

Posted by Iceman29 on (January 21, 2014, 6:54 GMT)

"The team did not just lose a Test match in Sharjah, when they slowed play deliberately in the final overs, Sri Lanka lost the cricket world's respect."......great article that describes the truth about SL team...

Posted by sachin_vvsfan on (January 21, 2014, 6:51 GMT)

@Messa1 I read both Iceman29 and Fast_Track_Bully comments and i dont find single statement where they are lecturing SL on 'how to win' rather giving back to those SL fans who talk about sportsman ship that only SL fans seem to posses and every one lacks.

Posted by Iceman29 on (January 21, 2014, 6:44 GMT)

@Messa1: Pls read my comments properly before replying my friend....I was not even talking about winning or losing in my comments nor giving advise to anybody...I was talking about the comments which was posted by SL fans in Indian forum giving advise about sportsmanship...The Articles itself is all about that..If you have read the article completely you should know what am talking about....

Posted by VKohlitheGreat on (January 21, 2014, 6:43 GMT)

@ Messa1 : I am not sure what exactly you want to convey but I am sure you will agree that maybe India lost but SL lost, ashamed themselves, killed test cricket & went against the spirit of the game.

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

@VATSAP....you are kidding right ? one of the main reasons India isn't winning much is the lack of patience shown by our players, coupled with innocuous bowling. India beat Aus when they scored 400+ even after losing a day and a session to rain. cmo'n mate, Pak won handsomely but don't belittle others, remember the same Pak team got bundled for <50 and also lost to Zim!

Posted by   on (January 21, 2014, 6:41 GMT)

Well the srilankans tried hard to draw and win the series- and that was the downfall they were playing for the draw- no backup plan B if they were losing- well cant blame them- only in the last two sessions they realized they gona loose- too late- but the Pakistanis tried even harder to win and level the series- and as a Pakistani i am proud of that-

Posted by Dravid_Pujara_Gravitas_Atheist on (January 21, 2014, 6:40 GMT)

I agree with the author. I indeed lost all the respect for Sri Lanka. I lost lot of respect when a veteran cricketer (Sangakkara or Mahela was it?) denied century to Sehwag with no respect for the spirit of the game. And now, the way they batted was horrible and lacking in spirit again. Complaining about light - lacking in spirit again and what I saw was a straw-man in Mathews. Mathews has some issues and he needs to sort them out, may be some kind of inferiority complex? You can't expect any better cricket from Sri Langa. Can you? I posted after the first two days that the pace at which Sri Langa batted was appalling. Now this result is not at all a surprise. Well played Pakistan. Congratulations on this win. Cheers!

Posted by India_boy on (January 21, 2014, 6:39 GMT)

Despite having talented players like sanga and matthews (mahela is just Colombo track bully), and murali, arjuna, desilva and vaas in the past, SL has resorted to one of the most negative cricket played by an Asian team in the recent past. What Arjuna used to do was strategy or tactics, what the current crop is doing is nothing but deploying negative ways to save their backsides, starting from bowling a no-ball to deny Sehwag a century. SL has no doubt become the ENG of asian teams - boring cricket, negative attitude and despicable habits. Wake up SL, already cricket is dying in your island, dont kill it further. Play attacking, interesting and honest cricket even if that means losing. Learn from WI, they may not win quite often but at least no one accuses them of being dishonest and boring! cricinfo pl publish

Posted by rocky2611 on (January 21, 2014, 6:38 GMT)

I remember Suraj Randiv denying Virendra Sehwag a ton by bowling a no ball deliberately. They have been like that since long time.

Posted by stormy16 on (January 21, 2014, 6:35 GMT)

While taking nothing away from Pakistans amazing chase SL I am afraid were poor and pathetic with tactics and attitude. A bitter taste in the end to what was a good series for SL. Not sure what brought about this attitude but not being able to defend 300 in 60 overs on a 5th day wicket against an opponent whose batting has struggled to dominate through the whole series is unforgivable. The lesson for SL is there is not right way to be negative! There are many ways to be positive and even if you lose after being positive, one can still take alot away from the loss. But if you lose after being negative it will only haunt you again. I find it hard to beleive why Perera didnt even get a bowl and why Rangana was bowling in to the foot marks when it was not getting the desired outcomes. He did the same in the Pakistan first innings and then watched Rehman get decent turn with conventional spin but still perceviered with the negative line. I am SL slept to death in this game!!

Posted by koldmeat on (January 21, 2014, 6:34 GMT)

No Mr. tanstell87, most of the teams would have had 3 slips, 2 gullys, 1 forward short leg, mid on and mid wicket up for at least 30 overs. Come on, 302 in 57 overs and on the last day after lunch, it is a shame Sri Lanka could not defend it. If it was Pakistan or India, both teams would have placed an attacking field to win the game. After a long time I have seen all the fielders are in the boundary line. What amazed me most, even when Pakistan needed around 30 runs the field was not up and they did not even try to block the singles.

Shame and disgrace to Sri Lanka, the captain must be banned for at least a series or else it will convey a bad message for Sri Lankan cricket.

Hats off to Pakistan cricket team...

Posted by KarachiKid on (January 21, 2014, 6:34 GMT)

Really liked the expression here: "If they truly believe they were not cautious enough, Sri Lanka are like a man who attempts to capture a castle by charging head first into its walls, then when he regains consciousness, determines he should have sprinted at the granite a little harder."

Posted by shahid6995 on (January 21, 2014, 6:33 GMT)

All the vitriol directed at Angelo Matthews is well deserved, but I find it hard to fathom that when this ridiculous plan was being hatched in the dressing room that the senior guys, mainly Sanga and Mahela did not stand up, take Angelo Matthews outside to the back alley and gave him a talking-to about what the hell he was thinking. How on earth did they decide to go along with all this foolishness?? Angelo showed his true colors but it was not very good to see Sanga and Mahela staying quiet about this.

Posted by MAK123 on (January 21, 2014, 6:31 GMT)

Let us give the benefit of doubt to Sri Lanka. Perhaps the Lankans never expected that Pakistan would go for such a huge chase (302 off 59 overs), especially when Pakistan lost its openers while the score was only 48.

The Sri Lankans may be forgiven for their slowing tactics in the end, which is part and parcel of today's game. They wanted to win as desperately as Pakistan did. Well done both Pak and SL. In the end, it was a great match to watch.

Posted by   on (January 21, 2014, 6:30 GMT)

I watched last 7-8 overs of match ... WTH SriLankan team was thinking? Captain was warned for excessive complaining about bad lights.. Fielders were not running to save boundaries.. just complaining with raised hands.. And look at the strike rates of sri lankan players

Posted by   on (January 21, 2014, 6:22 GMT)

As a Sri Lankan I think Sri Lankan cricket board should summon both the captain & vice captain & warn them about their strategies they used. I wonder senior players like Mahela & Sanga & also ex-players like Hashan, Vass, Marvan & Ruwan were doing while captain messing up everything??? Disappointed!!!

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

It was disappointing to see what Faf did last time in UAE (talking about ball tampering) but it was even more disturbing to see the attitude of Sri Lankan team in Sharjah test. I really had great respect for these two countries who have always been very positive and behave like gentlemen. I am afraid I have lost all that respect.

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

Srilankan team tried their best to malign spirit of cricket...

Posted by Messa1 on (January 21, 2014, 6:21 GMT)

@Iceman29 and @Fast_Track_Bully Oh Please man u lost to NZ few days ago, can u tell me how the so called no 1 team got defeated by the no 8 ranked team?LOL. Also dont forget Ind almost lost the first test match against SA, they cant defend a 400+ run score. Absolutely pathetic. So pls dont give us lectures on how to win!

Posted by   on (January 21, 2014, 6:12 GMT)

Negative cricket by Srilanka has disappointed alot of their cricket fans. And well deserved victory for Pakistan.

Posted by Scuderi on (January 21, 2014, 6:03 GMT)

Was there a betting plunge on Pakistan for the win or a series draw?

Posted by   on (January 21, 2014, 5:57 GMT)

Sri Lanka came with worst ever plan to save the series. They put another question mark on their sports and game spirit. They deliberately bowled at slow rate. I will not criticize on their slow batting as negative game spirit but rather a worst game plan. Mathews is inexperienced but not mahela and sanga. Current loss of sri lankan team show that they are not playing as single team.

On other hand Pakistan chose to chase the target which was risky till last 10 overs but due ti negative approach of Sri Lankan team and good planning and batting of Pakistani team it became posible

Posted by Iceman29 on (January 21, 2014, 5:55 GMT)

All the SL fans where so long thumping their chest about their sportsmanship and bla bla bla in every forum...Is this what you called sportsmanship?? The final paragraph in this article was the last nail in the coffin....instead of congratulating the pak players the senior players in SL team went to argue with the umpire...pathetic...we have seen these things from the SL team in the past during the Ind Vs SL matches....atleast pls stop posting about sportsmanship in other forums from now on....where is yorkslana??the other day he was advising Ind fans about sportmanship :P....Cricinfo pls publish this.....

Posted by Fast_Track_Bully on (January 21, 2014, 5:54 GMT)

Once again SL proved themselves as a group of arrogant cricketers. They did it in the past too. No wonder SL has less supporters in the world. They are yet to learn the manners in gentleman's game.

Posted by anver777 on (January 21, 2014, 5:53 GMT)

To my knowledge this is the 1st time a SL team had batted so negatively in a test match, & really cost them the match.... the turning point of the match was the 4th day of SL batting, another 60-75 runs on the day, the target would have been bigger & safer for 5th day !!!

Posted by   on (January 21, 2014, 5:46 GMT)

Im a Sri Lankan Fan but have to say Mathews & Company had ruined the spirit of the game. We have lost our reputation among Cricket fans. Fake injuries, Bad light, Complains have come to the match in final overs. SL Played for Draw. Thats why we lost the match. All credits goes to pakistan. They had no pressure in middle overs bcoz 9 SL fielders were at the boundary.

Posted by Prem2248 on (January 21, 2014, 5:42 GMT)

of the World at the time, in Ajantha. It is this kind of dubious things, one may experience in the Country at the highest level, and at Youth levels it is still worse.

Posted by Nizam_Uddin on (January 21, 2014, 5:39 GMT)

I am very happy for Pakistan. But at the same time , I am very sorry for the game of cricket. The way Sri Lankans behave, I must say, they insulted the game. Had they tried, they would have won as is evident from the figure, i.e. they got five of Pakistan wickets without even trying for one. So, if they had tried, they could easily win. Well done Pakistan and excellent professionalism shown by the on-field umpires for not letting the game of cricket die because of worst attitude shown by one of the stake holders of the game. I thing, Mathews should be suspended for a series at least so that he may learn the game discipline. Excellent Team Pakistan, and well done Misbah; we want the same attitude from you people in the next year's world cup. Love you

Posted by highveldhillbilly on (January 21, 2014, 5:37 GMT)

But don't Sri Lanka always win the ICC spirit of cricket award?

Posted by   on (January 21, 2014, 5:36 GMT)

While right now, Mathews is in better batting form than Chandimal, he is far too negative and arrogant as a captain. Despite Chandimal's poor t20 record, as a captain he is a lot more positive and cool as a captain than Mathews is. For ODIs and test matches, either reinstate mahela or sanga as captain, or groom Chandimal as captain. Mathews simply isn't captaincy material...

Posted by Prem2248 on (January 21, 2014, 5:36 GMT)

It is not a case of playing negatively or lack of talent in the Country or anything of that sorts, it is something to do with, how the Game is run within the Country. The local media keeps a blind eye to each and every wrong doings of the authorities. Therefore the people responsible are always in a position to do whatever they want regardless of the consequences the Country's Cricket has to face. In the match just concluded they have played two spinners that are very average performers even at Domestic Cricket. As an intelligent Cricketer, Mathews is very well aware that his two spinners could do nothing favorable under pressure, therefore his trying to drag the match as long as he could is quite justifiable. As much as the off-spinner picked for this match the left-arm spinner, too is burden to this Side, his place should be given to the most deserving and consistent Malinda Pushpakumara. His taking 2-3 wkts (of tail-end batters) of a team full of right-handers shouldn't 2bCNTD

Posted by Mindmaker on (January 21, 2014, 5:35 GMT)

I have never really followed Pakistan's brand of cricket over the years but kudos to them for believing in themselves. You have earned yourselves more neutral fans than what a straight simple win would have ever achieved. It was great to see that hardy spirit. To Sri Lanka, and especially their captian, you got what you deserved. I see never seen such boring and attritional cricket before. How can a team with cricket greats like Kumar and Mahela be happy to score at 1 run per over for more than 10 overs? Maybe everyone will now understand why the Aussies always go for the kill in all their games. I really hope other teams go after Sri Lanka and grind them into the dust. They give Test Cricket a bad name.

Posted by   on (January 21, 2014, 5:33 GMT)

Mathews shows his poor captaincy by trying to draw the match from first day .Now SL have gained the result of it

Posted by smartrah on (January 21, 2014, 5:27 GMT)

Thats what you expect from SL. They have a history of it. Randiv bowling no ball to deny Sehwag a century. Their team making 950 runs without bothering to declare in 1st innings in reply to India's 650. Neither team could bat 2nd innings. Even their ODI cricket from 2000-2010 has been dot ball based and rather than trying to make things happen. Maybe it was ok in the past. But SL players, this is not how the modern game should be played. The world is watching all your little slights to the game.

Posted by   on (January 21, 2014, 5:25 GMT)

Congrats superb win

Posted by   on (January 21, 2014, 5:15 GMT)

Excellent article. Very well written. Sri Lanka cricket and Matthews in particular should read and learn from it.

Posted by   on (January 21, 2014, 5:15 GMT)

hmmmm.....welldone green shirts........thts a real poor game of cricket i have ever seen.......lankans should have to b +ve.....only scoring 15 runs in 15 overs...shame...........if thy score another 30/40 runs ..they have more better chance.to win a series....but unfortunatly.....all goes wrong..........

Posted by Silver_Angels on (January 21, 2014, 5:14 GMT)

Another one from SL. I remember Randiv bowling a noball to Sehway to deny him a 100.

Posted by Iceman29 on (January 21, 2014, 5:10 GMT)

Congrats Pak..well played...To chase more than 300 in second innings is not such an easy task..you have to be both cautious and at the same time play attacking cricket..Pak did exactly that...congrats from your neighbor..

Posted by   on (January 21, 2014, 5:10 GMT)

Lankan are known for their negativity in cricket.. From ranatunga days.. Its in their blood.. Pakistan tought them a lesson or two..

Posted by CricketFever11 on (January 21, 2014, 5:09 GMT)

"Sri Lanka are like a man who attempts to capture a castle by charging head first into its walls, then when he regains consciousness, determines he should have sprinted at the granite a little harder...." And "...Sri Lanka's cowardice was complete" LoL. Hope sanga and Mahela read this article.

Posted by CricketFever11 on (January 21, 2014, 5:06 GMT)

As a Sri Lankan supporter I cannot argue with any of these comments and all are more or less similar and right. Sri Lankans play school boy cricket in this match. Wonder what happened to the cricket brain of the greats like Sanga, Mahela, Marvan, Vass, Hashan who all were there. Really bitter but valuable lesson for all of them. If the batsman are agreed you cannot complain about light. Anyway appreciate the way that Mathews address the media. What did you do graham ford?

Posted by outforhatrick on (January 21, 2014, 5:04 GMT)

Never play for a Draw.. One will end up losing.. This match is a perfect example..but the thing that disappoints is the lack of quality spinners for the 4th innings final day of a test match, I am sure if murali, warne, kumble. Or saqlain were around the chase would not have been a possibility or the chasing team would not have taken chances. Herath going for 100 runs at 5 RPO on final day on Asian pitches, is a worrying trend for the art of spin bowling, we recently had SA almost chasing down 450 but on SA pitches.. Pak won becoz of their positive mindset..and also they had nothing to lose 1-0 or 2-0 would have been the same..good positive play from Pak, but this was always SL match to lose for and so it happened.

Posted by Pathiyal on (January 21, 2014, 4:59 GMT)

It was just a matter of 2 to 3 sessions in the whole match that misbah's team dominated, but congrats to them for owning the crucial sessions of the match! better luck to Sri Lanka. Definitely they could have won this but they were a bit complacent or negative in their approach....most of them, and angelo forgot to complement their opponents in the post match ceremony, unlike sanga/ mahela (no comparisons :-)!

Posted by   on (January 21, 2014, 4:57 GMT)

Only one delivery got bit of height from ruff but they still tried to use that. SL just need to bowl wicket to wicket, they threw everything on leg side even to Sarfraz who was taking guard at wide mark.

Posted by   on (January 21, 2014, 4:55 GMT)

I always supported Sri-Lanka Cricket, with Matthew as Captain, I would not do so. I believe it was not negativity, but his arrogance that took hold of him and he was dismissive of Pakistan's chances. While fielding, his captaincy, his judgement, his delaying tactics left a very bitter taste. I hope Cricket Board in Sri-Lanka would remove him as Captain. He is not Captain material.

Posted by rustyryan on (January 21, 2014, 4:55 GMT)

That was the most open minded article of any gesture.. Great work Andrew Fidel Fernando!!!.. You simply proved that not all Sri Lankan support this negative tactics. That was shame.. In the recent John'brg test, India tried to do the same thing. But the difference was, they tried short pitched deliveries and that too only for the last four overs. I still remember MS had slips and fielders around for ABD and FaF. But for me the most irritating thing was delaying the time by inviting Physio and blaming bad light. Even if they had fought and lost, they would have been highly respected and top of all, Denial. Out comes the Capn and says the batsmen should have played with even more patience. I hope, this is just one-off for SL and they learn it big time. We have already lost teams like WI and NZ who once played so dominantly. If SL continue with this attitude, they will have to give up their legacy and join the bottom tier..

Posted by   on (January 21, 2014, 4:52 GMT)

This victory for Pakistan was due to their positive commitment and attitude to win this game. On the other hand, Sri Lankan was so negative throughout the match however this could be a big win from them. Bad tactics, poor planning, defensive approach, this all takes Sri Lanka to this. I salute Misbah on taking a great decision for sending Sarfaraz ahead from him.........its a wake up call for Sri Lanka and in my views Mathews should take himself out from cricket by his own....... PAKISTAN ZINDABAD

Posted by   on (January 21, 2014, 4:50 GMT)

i think cricket has changed overall , negative tactics is a part of the game , they had won the last match and were playing for a draw, nothing is wrong in it. you will not want to attack and loose wickets and come under pressure and loose the match and draw the series. Pakistan had nothing to loosely and they went all out, they were already one down in series and had all boats burnt so they went all attacking which paid them of. Well player team pakistan i really hope that this win brings a positive change in the mind set of youngsters.

Posted by RDBX on (January 21, 2014, 4:41 GMT)

One word, PATHETIC! I think that describes SL mindset in this test, they were negative right from the start of this test, batting ever so slowly, and then bowling outside leg, wasting time in very last hour of the test hoping they could save the day but it was never meant to be. Thats what you get from being negative. They never did anything to actually save the test, they just dig their own grave and well done Pak who put them in that grave.

A TRULY COWARDLY PERFORMANCE from a team that actually won the previous test and if remained positive could have won this too, given the form their players were in. But they took the easy and negative way out and deservent losers at the end of the test.

Posted by   on (January 21, 2014, 4:38 GMT)

@ tanstell87 Dhoni didnt get defencive until the last half hour or so,and he bowled one over more than required.....definitely SL played the negitively

Posted by Hammad_11 on (January 21, 2014, 4:38 GMT)

From the first ball itself, I think all that Sri Lanka wanted out of this last test was a draw. Rain was forecasted for the fourth day and that's prompted Sri Lanka to bat out 2 days and get a draw. They could have played positively even for one or two sessions and won this test mach but they played one of the most negative Cricket in recent memory. I think this test should act as the case study every young Cricketer should go through and try to be positive as the match ain't over till the last ball is bowled.

Posted by rajuramki on (January 21, 2014, 4:36 GMT)

The last day of the test was made interesting only by the desire of Pakistan to win the match and square the series. Srilankan batting was negative right through the test and Mathews only wanted to draw the match and win the series. On the whole, Srilanka's approach was pathetic and such approaches will only turn spectators away from tests .

Posted by strokemaker11 on (January 21, 2014, 4:33 GMT)

Srilanka always plays with negative attitude. who can forget Dilshan asking Randiv to bowl a noball to deny Sehwag a century and same happened when Dilhara Fernando bowled 4 wides to deny Ganguly a century.This negative attitude is against spririt of cricket.

Posted by CricketFever11 on (January 21, 2014, 4:30 GMT)

Where is the cricketing brain of Sanga, Mahela, Vass and Marvan. First time I saw this kind of School cricket from Sri Lanka. They played neither for a win or a draw. They waited until Pakistan lose or Draw the game. Massive lesson for young Mathews. This loss is not because of lack of ability but because of lack of cricketing brain and common sense. Mathews what did you do?

Posted by   on (January 21, 2014, 4:28 GMT)

One of the hardest and most true critique by Andrew Fidel Fernando...love you,

"Sri Lanka are like a man who attempts to capture a castle by charging head first into its walls, then when he regains consciousness, determines he should have sprinted at the granite a little harder...." And "...Sri Lanka's cowardice was complete"

I hope every SL player (and even every professional cricketer) could get a chance to read this article and be sensible enough to avoid such timid line of play in future otherwise SL sportsmanship might be considered as low as the consistently lowest ranked team in ICC test ranking... you know what i mean ;)

Posted by vatsap on (January 21, 2014, 4:27 GMT)

So happy for Pakistan. They took the only chance given to them on the last day. Sri Lanka tried to kill the game by their atrociously scoring rate in both their innings and paid the right price for it. This should be a lesson for India, as they have been prone to this brand of cricket sometime.

One word for the umpires also, who decided to play on despite the bad light, rightly giving the brave ones(Pak) a chance. Reminded one of Thorpe's innings in SL.

How can we get Misbah to India ?

Posted by   on (January 21, 2014, 4:27 GMT)

as you sow so shall you reap. SL tried to kill Test cricket, cricket took a sweet revenge of its own.

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

Sri Lanka played good cricket in first four days of the match. Credit should be given to them for that as well

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

We lost the match because of Angelo Mathew's negative approach & there's no question about it. God save the future of Sri Lankan cricket team under him as he asserts that it was not a negative approach. Those who argue it was not a "negative tactic" should first distinguish the difference between positive and the negative before they comment. The brighter side is; it is a good wake up call for the selectors to evaluate where our side is heading under Angelo Mathews. AM must be living in a dream world or has no conception of positive cricket. Pakistan played positive and fighting cricket, that's the spirit, CONGRATULATIONS PAKISTAN!

Posted by   on (January 21, 2014, 4:17 GMT)

Match needs investigation. Good for Pak but this kind of score was defendable - SL just needed to play it like an ODI game with similar fields. And SL has always dominated Pak and had even won the last test by playing similarly (slowly). Maybe it was complacency? Also SL is not a minnow with a poor bowling attack. Okay and why would they bat so slowly? Yes Pak has a great attack but slow batting even after a good score?

Posted by Udendra on (January 21, 2014, 4:17 GMT)

Being a young captain I don't think Mathews took decisions on his own. But at last he has to take the blame. That's a part of being captain. But I think a lesson learnt well.

Posted by   on (January 21, 2014, 4:17 GMT)

Congratulations Pakistan! It's one our shamest defeats! Bad tactics, hope they learn the lesson.

Posted by Lion_96 on (January 21, 2014, 4:15 GMT)

Forget four World Cup Finals losses in 5 years. This has to be the most disappointing and disgusting performance from a Sri Lankan Cricket team since 1982. I am ashamed of my cricket team. Hang ur head in shame, Angelo Mathews! After reading all the post match conference, it seems unlikely that this current SL team will change its approach. SL have now squandered a lead in Test Series, four times in the last 3 years. 2010 v iND, 2012 v ENG, 2012 v NZL & 2014 v PAK. SAF get criticised for performances in ICC events, but at least they more than make up for it in Tests. We on the other hand cant seem to do either very well. Post cricinfo!

Posted by tanstell87 on (January 21, 2014, 4:12 GMT)

Indian fan here......Sri Lanka is blamed for negative tactics....had any team been in Lanka's place...they too would have done the same

Posted by   on (January 21, 2014, 4:09 GMT)

It was astonishing to see a team with veterans like Sanga, and Mahela dish out such Cricket.They had already lost the match on the last session of the 4th day. It was more to do with the mindset than anything else. Poor cricket form Sri Lanka.

Posted by ajithabey on (January 21, 2014, 4:07 GMT)

Pakistan Zindabad is all what I can say as a Sri Lankan. Pulling off a memorable win from the jaws of defeat by scoring approx.300 runs in two sessions. Congratulations for a great game of positive cricket. Afterall, test cricket is not dead right now. Sri Lanka deserved to lose by playing negative cricket and time wasting tactics in the last 2 days which is deplorable to say the least never before seen in the history of Sri Lankan Cricket. The team management and coaches should be taken to task for putting the team into this negative frame of mind and throwing away a golden opportunity to win a series overseas. Mathews been an aggressive player should have taken the initiative to play positively. The specialist off spinner dilruwan was kept in cotton wool in the second innings which is intriguing. Herath not been a great spinner in the mould of Murali or Ajmal should have bowled his normal length and line instead of trying to exploit the rough proved worthless. Great win Pakistan.

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