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

Mathews puts the blame on bowlers


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

  • Dummy4 on March 30, 2013, 4:25 GMT

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

  • Dummy4 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.

  • asik on March 29, 2013, 18:34 GMT

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

  • Dummy4 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

  • Nilanka 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.

  • Dummy4 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.

  • Saeed Salehin 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...

  • Dummy4 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!

  • Dummy4 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!!!

  • Dummy4 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 ?

  • No featured comments at the moment.