Sri Lanka v Bangladesh, 3rd ODI, Pallekele March 28, 2013

Mathews puts the blame on bowlers

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Angelo Mathews refused to put Sri Lanka's first-ever loss to Bangladesh on home soil down to conditions, and blamed his side's bowling instead. Bangladesh got off to a rapid start in their response to Sri Lanka's 302, before rain forced an almost three-hour delay in play.

Sri Lanka contended with a wet ball for the remainder of the curtailed match, but Mathews said his side's bowling had been a concern throughout the series, and they should have walked away with a series win. Only Sachithra Senanayake and Lasith Malinga maintained an economy rate of less than six runs an over, as Bangladesh chased 183 in 26 overs to win by three wickets under the Duckworth-Lewis method.

"I don't think we can blame the conditions. We didn't bowl well and that's why we lost. It was very disappointing. I feel we had the runs on the board, but we just didn't bowl well. Our bowling was the turning point. We didn't execute our plans and we were wayward from the start.

"Duckworth Lewis is always complicated. We had our chances still, because they had to get 102 off 13 overs and the bowling attack that we've got is brilliant. Unfortunately, we just couldn't pull it off."


Sri Lanka had begun the match promisingly, with Kusal Perera and Tillakaratne Dilshan providing their second brisk 100-run partnership in the series. Dilshan hit 125 from 128 balls, and had support from Kumar Sangakkara as well, who made a busy 48. Sri Lanka lost their way from 203 for 1 in the 36th over, when the middle order collapsed, but Mathews said the batting had not worried him.

"Tillakaratne Dilshan and Kusal Janith gave us the ideal start. The midde-order batsmen we were a little too hasty. But still, I think 302 in a 50-over game is a lot of runs. The batting was good, but we again showed a weakness with the ball. Our batting has been good throughout this tour. I think both in the first ODI and in the third ODI, we have not bowled well at all." 


Bangladesh had the advantage of playing out all ten of their mandatory Powerplay overs despite the shortened chase, but Mathews said a curtailed match did not necessarily swing the game in Bangladesh's favour.

"It would have been different if they were chasing 303 and we were playing a 50-over game, but the credit should also go to the Bangladeshis for the way they played. They batted extremely well. It could have gone both ways. Maybe with the pressure of a 50-over match, it could have gone our way, but we could still have won the 27-over match. We didn't play well and we accept that."

Bangladesh required more than seven runs an over for much of their chase, and they kept in touch with the asking rate with regular boundaries, before closing in on the target quickly with a final flourish. Sri Lanka fielded well, despite the wet ball and slippery surface, but it was the bowling where they were not poised, Mathews said. 


"It was a nervous game because it went down to the wire and the pressure was on. They were feeling it and we were also feeling it. We were a little a little bit rattled with the ball. Those 13 overs were played under high pressure, and Bangladesh outplayed us there, when we were troubled a little bit. 


"Ultimately they held it to pull it off and get across the line. They've played some really good cricket and we were outplayed today."

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

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • POSTED BY on | March 30, 2013, 4:25 GMT

    Except Dilsan & Sangakra, this lanka team is like a claw-less lion

  • POSTED BY on | March 30, 2013, 3:40 GMT

    Bangladesh needs to win against big teams. Sri Lanka is an a average team. No need to be so happy with this result.

  • POSTED BY asikbadhon on | March 29, 2013, 18:34 GMT

    Jeewan Mendis?who is he,never heard him before....new warne!!!

  • POSTED BY on | March 29, 2013, 17:43 GMT

    bangladesh is very underrated team. they been wining left and right and still dont get its due. last two years, i think BD has more success than any top rated team. they bear west indies 2-1, NZ 4-0, draw with SL, against england 2-1, against ireland 4-0, against saf 2-1. what more u can expect

  • POSTED BY nilb on | March 29, 2013, 16:26 GMT

    In my view all the bowling talent/resources were available to Mathews and simply he didn't use them right. What is a Jeewan Mendis, a specialist legspiner with a decent googley and a good record doing in the team? If he's not a alrounder is he a only a batsmen? If I remember correctly didn;t he perform well against Pakistan with two wickets in one over? While watching this match and all other matched before in Australia I cannot believe why he doesn't get to bowl at least one over. Specially in this match when pacers are going over 7 in a over and the other spinners rate is around 4.5. In my view at least one bowling change to the spinner at least Dilshan coud've won the match to SL. This is pure inexperience shown by Mathews.

  • POSTED BY on | March 29, 2013, 16:06 GMT

    There was time, Bangladesh used to be lose this type of game, but last couple of years they learnt how to win tight match. Matches against India, Srilanka in Asia Cup they won and that is the experiences they used to win today's match.

  • POSTED BY BanCricFan on | March 29, 2013, 14:33 GMT

    I like SL fans for being humble as always. No doubt Sri Lanka is a great team. That's why we are happy after showing good cricket against them. But honestly I think Sri Lanka has no other way but to be patient with Mathews as he grows maturity as a captain. Good luck Lions...

  • POSTED BY on | March 29, 2013, 13:28 GMT

    OMG! why you all Srilankan started to blame Mathews already? he is just starting and lets feel proud he made some brave decision but unfortunately it didnt work on the day he needs sometime to catch up the things and Bangladesh played well too! Congratulations Bangladesh!

  • POSTED BY on | March 29, 2013, 13:08 GMT

    Ever since Mathews have taken up the Captaincy roll his individual contribution is terrible!!! He did not perform even against an under avg team like BD. I doubt if his captaincy would last long @ this rate!!!

  • POSTED BY on | March 29, 2013, 12:59 GMT

    Has Ducworth Luwis been changed ? Why isn't the target changing even after wickets fell ? Can someone tell me ?

  • POSTED BY on | March 30, 2013, 4:25 GMT

    Except Dilsan & Sangakra, this lanka team is like a claw-less lion

  • POSTED BY on | March 30, 2013, 3:40 GMT

    Bangladesh needs to win against big teams. Sri Lanka is an a average team. No need to be so happy with this result.

  • POSTED BY asikbadhon on | March 29, 2013, 18:34 GMT

    Jeewan Mendis?who is he,never heard him before....new warne!!!

  • POSTED BY on | March 29, 2013, 17:43 GMT

    bangladesh is very underrated team. they been wining left and right and still dont get its due. last two years, i think BD has more success than any top rated team. they bear west indies 2-1, NZ 4-0, draw with SL, against england 2-1, against ireland 4-0, against saf 2-1. what more u can expect

  • POSTED BY nilb on | March 29, 2013, 16:26 GMT

    In my view all the bowling talent/resources were available to Mathews and simply he didn't use them right. What is a Jeewan Mendis, a specialist legspiner with a decent googley and a good record doing in the team? If he's not a alrounder is he a only a batsmen? If I remember correctly didn;t he perform well against Pakistan with two wickets in one over? While watching this match and all other matched before in Australia I cannot believe why he doesn't get to bowl at least one over. Specially in this match when pacers are going over 7 in a over and the other spinners rate is around 4.5. In my view at least one bowling change to the spinner at least Dilshan coud've won the match to SL. This is pure inexperience shown by Mathews.

  • POSTED BY on | March 29, 2013, 16:06 GMT

    There was time, Bangladesh used to be lose this type of game, but last couple of years they learnt how to win tight match. Matches against India, Srilanka in Asia Cup they won and that is the experiences they used to win today's match.

  • POSTED BY BanCricFan on | March 29, 2013, 14:33 GMT

    I like SL fans for being humble as always. No doubt Sri Lanka is a great team. That's why we are happy after showing good cricket against them. But honestly I think Sri Lanka has no other way but to be patient with Mathews as he grows maturity as a captain. Good luck Lions...

  • POSTED BY on | March 29, 2013, 13:28 GMT

    OMG! why you all Srilankan started to blame Mathews already? he is just starting and lets feel proud he made some brave decision but unfortunately it didnt work on the day he needs sometime to catch up the things and Bangladesh played well too! Congratulations Bangladesh!

  • POSTED BY on | March 29, 2013, 13:08 GMT

    Ever since Mathews have taken up the Captaincy roll his individual contribution is terrible!!! He did not perform even against an under avg team like BD. I doubt if his captaincy would last long @ this rate!!!

  • POSTED BY on | March 29, 2013, 12:59 GMT

    Has Ducworth Luwis been changed ? Why isn't the target changing even after wickets fell ? Can someone tell me ?

  • POSTED BY Baseball-Sucks on | March 29, 2013, 9:36 GMT

    @ lukecannon ; I really hope that you'll be wrong regarding rankings. Yeah.. It clearly showed the inadequacy of Mathews' captaincy yesterday. For instance He kept offside wide open when Thisara was firing down the outside of offstump. Only wise decision he took, was to bring Malinga in 11th over. And yeah..we are really starting to feel the importance of Mahela's presence here. I hope Mathews will quickly soak it up from Mahela. Otherwise, no matter how much talent we possess, our skipper will let all of us down.

  • POSTED BY pull_shot on | March 29, 2013, 9:34 GMT

    have to feel for bowlers these days only 4 fielders outside the circle and 183 in 27 overs is not big task considering wet ball,field restriction,t20 evolution. such things happen just move on no need to blame bowlers

  • POSTED BY Sanga2014 on | March 29, 2013, 9:22 GMT

    Now BD is a very good team, but SL is always better than them, we have very inexperienced captain. Like Jayawardena says You have to learn from misstakes. Mathews should think 1) why did he use only one spinner in a spinning track when he has 3 spinners in the team and 2) why did he use Thisara at death when he know he go for runs so oftenly and 3) why he didnt give ball early to Thisara when he know he is a wicket taking bowler. Mathews you have to learn a lot from your masterclass former captain.

  • POSTED BY fariha_loves-afridi on | March 29, 2013, 9:07 GMT

    I am a bangladeshi but i think SL bowlers put up a brave fight. .however it was the flying opening partnership of BD that got us an achievable target (D/L) and finally a match winning knock from Nasir Hossain that took us to victory. but well played SL.

  • POSTED BY Baseball-Sucks on | March 29, 2013, 8:29 GMT

    @ lukecannon ; I really that you'll be wrong regarding rankings. Yeah.. It clearly showed the inadequacy of Mathews' captaincy yesterday. For instance He kept offside wide open when Thisara was firing down the outside of offstump. Only wise decision he took, was to bring Malinga in 11th over. And yeah..we are really starting to feel the importance of Mahela's presence here. I hope Mathews will quickly soak it up from Mahela. Otherwise, no matter how much talent we possess, our skipper will let all of us down.

  • POSTED BY Ruban_Varathan on | March 29, 2013, 8:26 GMT

    Actuallly Mathews captaincy need to be questioned!! 1.)why is he bowling when he is leaking runs. 2.) Didnt even used spinners(J Mendis & Dilshan) 3.)He doesnt kno which bowler to be used to the situation. 4.)Lack of aggresive attitude 5.) Not having great time with the Bat....These are all the reasons for SL loss against BAN Minnows......If he would have used J mendis surely SL would have won the match!! If J mendis is not going to bowl then why is he in the team??? SL need to address all this issues soon otherwise i can imagine the future happenings!!!

  • POSTED BY on | March 29, 2013, 7:53 GMT

    Actually yeah! He should have given Jeevan Mendis a chance! He is a very good bowler and I reckon he should play as a balling all rounder instead of a batting all rounder! Cuz SL have a very deep and deep batting side with 10 can even slog very well rather than wild swinging!

  • POSTED BY lukecannon on | March 29, 2013, 7:43 GMT

    Sri Lanka on track to become the next WI. Angelo = Darren Sammy . We need a captain with brains. A captain who'd let Spinners bowl when Pacers are getting nowhere. I saw him fail as a captain in Test series. But i dismissed it thinking he took BAN too lightly like we all did. But yesterday was unexcusable. We'll have some star players like WI but will be a failure as a country when wearing the SL jersey. Prove me wrong Mathews. Good luck SL. God Bless you all.

  • POSTED BY lukecannon on | March 29, 2013, 7:36 GMT

    @Dhutugemunu- Here's my prediction for SL's rankings after another year. That is from now to about June/July of 2014. We'll slip to 8th in Tests and 7/8th in ODI and about 5th in T20. This is all happening without Mahela's captaincy. Can you even imagine what it's going to be like when Dilshan and Sangakkara retires? We might become the next WI. Hit or miss country. I m horrified even thinking about it.

  • POSTED BY Manowara on | March 29, 2013, 7:15 GMT

    Mathew should have used his bowlers effectively instead of using Thisara Perera at pressure. he should have easily drag it to the last over. Why not Mathew used his options well, without waiting till the end to blame bowlers.

  • POSTED BY Manowara on | March 29, 2013, 7:08 GMT

    Yes Mathew had the courage to comment on the real weakness and put Bangladesh on desired place in the 3 rd match. True our bowlers put us in trouble. The last over produced enough easy balls to them. 4x4 + w would be the holy sign of Thisara Perera.

  • POSTED BY RK204 on | March 29, 2013, 7:02 GMT

    This is a C grade bangladesh team(without skahib.tamim.mash etc etc..) plus playing in SL(away).. And look at the sl side...Only mahela is missing and a new captain ...But still no one(except bd people) is actually noticed that!!!! that shows how strong our c graded players are....feel sorry for SL :( :P i wonder what could have happened to them if it was in bd's home.... ;(

  • POSTED BY British_North_America on | March 29, 2013, 7:00 GMT

    SL fans, your Captain is saying that.He is not a general spectator like you and me.Now, what you have to say? You understand cricket better than your national team's captain? Then you can be the coach of national team.

  • POSTED BY Baseball-Sucks on | March 29, 2013, 6:24 GMT

    I don't think what Mathews said was 100% correct. It was that BD batsmen were just swinging at everything like crazies. Mathews just couldn't set the field according to the bowler. Its obvious that Thisara always fires fullers or yorkers outside off stump. But he didn't deploy fielders in the deep cover or deep point. Instead he went on to protect the leg side. And, having seen Sachithra did well, he could have given one or two overs to Dilshan and Jeevan. Its not fair to put the blame entirely on bowlers. After all they diid pick up 6 wickets during those 13 overs, didn't they ?

  • POSTED BY Edansad on | March 29, 2013, 6:17 GMT

    Everyone talking about nasir & bangladesh batting but i think abdur razzak brillant 5 wicket haul prevent srilanka score over 350 runs so it's a team perfomance that help bangladesh secure a win over better srilankan side

  • POSTED BY Lord.emsworth on | March 29, 2013, 6:12 GMT

    Mathews must first take a long hard look at himself before he starts blaming his bowlers. His constant failings with the bat still affect the teams performance. Still the solitary century in 93 ODI's, 33 tests, and 38 T20's. That's a staggering 156 times at the crease (minus the not outs or DNB.)

  • POSTED BY on | March 29, 2013, 6:11 GMT

    Congrads to BD very good game of cricket. Very well played.

    SL bowling really suffered with Kula having the worst tour I have seen in a long time. 5 overs from Malinga at the start and 1 during the re-start showed just how depended SL are on Malinga alone. Many SL fans say he is a money hungry guy who bowls well only during the IPL, true or not last night showed just how much we miss him when the equation can swing both ways. The other guys cannot keep the pressure on the batsman. Sachithra bowled decently but had no support. Jeevan should have bowled a couple of overs.

    Mathews should have bowled spin early like BD did. If Mathews is not going to bowl Jeevan Mendis then why play him?

  • POSTED BY mcsdl on | March 29, 2013, 6:06 GMT

    Angelo Mathews will be the best captain ever..! He will win atleast 3 worldcups and take Sri Lankans to no1 Test rankings. Take my word. Watch & learn peeps. He has the potential to do better than Ranatunga, Imran, Ponting, Lloyd, Jardine, Waugh, Dhoni, Border, Jayawardena as a captain...!

  • POSTED BY on | March 29, 2013, 5:44 GMT

    This Nasir Hossain seems to magnificent find for BD. Well Played tigers! hoping for a good T20 play off..Hope Chandi Can bring home the cup!!!

  • POSTED BY on | March 29, 2013, 5:39 GMT

    Liked the gentleman attitude of Lanka's player. above all it is a gentleman's game. Hip hip hurrah for tigers :)

  • POSTED BY 21tu on | March 29, 2013, 5:30 GMT

    Mathews you should know how to rotate the bowlers,beeing a bowler your self you cant judge yur teams strengh.Shamee...Why you have to blame on the bowlers???? what about the batting line up..true we made 300+ but if Dili & Sange didnt score whats would have been the score?? You have to be more aggrasive..concerntarate on your batting and Bowling than pointing the fingers on othes.Try to keep the Captancy than loosing it.

  • POSTED BY Dhutugemunu on | March 29, 2013, 5:27 GMT

    @ lukecannon ; Agree mate. But unfortunately SL doesn't have any other choice for the captaincy at the moment. Hope he will learn and improve. Samaraweera was the one for Test captaincy. He is retired. Considering the seniority for ODI it should be Malinga (still not a good choice) or Kulasekara. Let's see what Chandimal does in T20Is. Hope for the best.

  • POSTED BY BOND_OO7 on | March 29, 2013, 5:16 GMT

    Just love sl team and their fans. Truely you people got great sportsmanship. Thanks guys

  • POSTED BY Dambulla on | March 29, 2013, 5:16 GMT

    Mathews has lot to learns. He docent know how to select his bowlers in to match (from the available squad) and during the match. He every time use fast bowlers and dosent trust spinnesr likeDilshan/ Jeewan. Both matches, Jeewan didn't bowl single over. He has to alert all conditions. Even yesterday, under cloudy condition, he gave 5 off straight overs to Malinga & didn't reserve him to use at critical condition. He has to think innovation and allow to open bowling with Dilshan or Jeewan.

  • POSTED BY BOND_OO7 on | March 29, 2013, 5:12 GMT

    Hats off to you buddy ,Angelo. Thats what i call professionalism. I really love SL people except very few arrogant fans. Btw ,Love for you all. A bd fan

  • POSTED BY gyusuf6 on | March 29, 2013, 5:10 GMT

    Sri Lankan team is full of great cricketers in true sense. Thank You.

  • POSTED BY on | March 29, 2013, 4:52 GMT

    A honest & logical statement & reaction by the Mathews! Thanks to him! He is a very nice guy! Some fans & haters should read this and admit the achievement of BD!

  • POSTED BY on | March 29, 2013, 4:50 GMT

    I am a Sri Lankan but I congratulate the Bangladesh team for a brilliant performance with the bat. I can see you have improved a lot and it is a very god thing for cricket! Keep it up Tigers!

  • POSTED BY on | March 29, 2013, 4:17 GMT

    The last easiest thing is to blame others. As a captain you should be able to take the responsibility when it comes to win or loose. Congrats to Bangladesh for their effort in winning the match and squaring the series with DL in place.

    Dilshan & Jeevan unused ? As the fast bowling get hammered including Mathews except for Malinga, he keep on continuing. One or two overs with Dilshan/Jeevan would have better offed, as they proved in the past. Even a defeat could have been justified. You should get the basics right first !

  • POSTED BY golions on | March 29, 2013, 4:16 GMT

    well done mathews in screwing up and i expected this to happen. i am not clear what role does jeewan playing? he sure should be bowling more because everyone saw how the pitch reacted when bd spinners operated. And given the situation of the match i believe if jeewan had bowled we could have easily won since bd was on the attack and a leggie in pallekalle which has big boundary would have done the trick. but what i see is lack of basic skill in caqptaincy pathetic display.

  • POSTED BY randikaayya on | March 29, 2013, 3:52 GMT

    It was more to do with poor captaincy in terms of selecting which bowler bowls which over. Sananayake and Mendis should have operated in tandom and closed the game down after seeign the obvious difficulty in handling spin by the visitors. Instead Mathews chose to bowl his best friend Thisara and ended up gifting the match to the visitors. Fair play to BD, congrats on the win!

  • POSTED BY on | March 29, 2013, 3:39 GMT

    Hats off to the Bangladeshi Tigers

  • POSTED BY on | March 29, 2013, 3:39 GMT

    Sri Lanka is a team of gentlemen players. They have always been very gracious with Bangladesh, even in defeat. Mathews could have blamed it on the DL rule, but he didn't. He and the rest have always been most complimenting about the Tigers and this is why they are my fav team after the Tigers.

  • POSTED BY on | March 29, 2013, 3:24 GMT

    Yes - It was really disappointing how Thisara bowled so pathetically after Malinga (the biggest Villain in Sri Lanka at the moment) brought the team right back to the game after a double wicket over. At the same time it's funny how Jeewan Mendis a true allrounder is used solely as a "fielding-allrounder" these days.

    The first mistake SL did was however to send in Thisara ahead of the regular batters, this is where SL lost momentum and limited them to 302. When Sangakkara and Dilshan were batting 320 seemed possible.

  • POSTED BY lukecannon on | March 29, 2013, 3:23 GMT

    Bad idea Mathews .. Now you are going to lose the confidence of your own bowlers. This guy's too young. This is going to be worse than when Dilshan took over captaincy.

  • POSTED BY goldeneraaus on | March 29, 2013, 3:19 GMT

    very very impressed by Matthews reaction to this loss.. BD definetly had the better of the conditions but he acknowledged SL played poorly, refreshing to see

  • POSTED BY on | March 29, 2013, 3:14 GMT

    Respect to you too, mathews.

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  • POSTED BY on | March 29, 2013, 3:14 GMT

    Respect to you too, mathews.

  • POSTED BY goldeneraaus on | March 29, 2013, 3:19 GMT

    very very impressed by Matthews reaction to this loss.. BD definetly had the better of the conditions but he acknowledged SL played poorly, refreshing to see

  • POSTED BY lukecannon on | March 29, 2013, 3:23 GMT

    Bad idea Mathews .. Now you are going to lose the confidence of your own bowlers. This guy's too young. This is going to be worse than when Dilshan took over captaincy.

  • POSTED BY on | March 29, 2013, 3:24 GMT

    Yes - It was really disappointing how Thisara bowled so pathetically after Malinga (the biggest Villain in Sri Lanka at the moment) brought the team right back to the game after a double wicket over. At the same time it's funny how Jeewan Mendis a true allrounder is used solely as a "fielding-allrounder" these days.

    The first mistake SL did was however to send in Thisara ahead of the regular batters, this is where SL lost momentum and limited them to 302. When Sangakkara and Dilshan were batting 320 seemed possible.

  • POSTED BY on | March 29, 2013, 3:39 GMT

    Sri Lanka is a team of gentlemen players. They have always been very gracious with Bangladesh, even in defeat. Mathews could have blamed it on the DL rule, but he didn't. He and the rest have always been most complimenting about the Tigers and this is why they are my fav team after the Tigers.

  • POSTED BY on | March 29, 2013, 3:39 GMT

    Hats off to the Bangladeshi Tigers

  • POSTED BY randikaayya on | March 29, 2013, 3:52 GMT

    It was more to do with poor captaincy in terms of selecting which bowler bowls which over. Sananayake and Mendis should have operated in tandom and closed the game down after seeign the obvious difficulty in handling spin by the visitors. Instead Mathews chose to bowl his best friend Thisara and ended up gifting the match to the visitors. Fair play to BD, congrats on the win!

  • POSTED BY golions on | March 29, 2013, 4:16 GMT

    well done mathews in screwing up and i expected this to happen. i am not clear what role does jeewan playing? he sure should be bowling more because everyone saw how the pitch reacted when bd spinners operated. And given the situation of the match i believe if jeewan had bowled we could have easily won since bd was on the attack and a leggie in pallekalle which has big boundary would have done the trick. but what i see is lack of basic skill in caqptaincy pathetic display.

  • POSTED BY on | March 29, 2013, 4:17 GMT

    The last easiest thing is to blame others. As a captain you should be able to take the responsibility when it comes to win or loose. Congrats to Bangladesh for their effort in winning the match and squaring the series with DL in place.

    Dilshan & Jeevan unused ? As the fast bowling get hammered including Mathews except for Malinga, he keep on continuing. One or two overs with Dilshan/Jeevan would have better offed, as they proved in the past. Even a defeat could have been justified. You should get the basics right first !

  • POSTED BY on | March 29, 2013, 4:50 GMT

    I am a Sri Lankan but I congratulate the Bangladesh team for a brilliant performance with the bat. I can see you have improved a lot and it is a very god thing for cricket! Keep it up Tigers!