2017 ICC Champions Trophy: Over Rate Was Pathetic, No Excuse At All – Angelo Mathews
Sri Lanka’s captain Angelo Mathews has rated his teams over-rate against South Africa in the opening fixture at the KIA Oval, London as ‘pathetic.’
Upul Tharanga the stand-in skipper seemed unaware of the over rate guidelines and took four hours and seven minutes to complete the 50 overs during the South African innings as opposed to the stipulated three and half hour time. Mathews was out of the match due to a calf strain.
“That was pathetic. No excuse at all,” Mathews told Cricbuzz. “The whole team is responsible. Whoever the captain is, we have to back him and try and support him. The captain has to do so many other stuff. All the 11 guys must back him and support him,” Mathews added.
The aftermath of the insensible captaincy has led to a two-match ban for Tharanga. Sri Lanka will be without its most experienced opener for the rest of the group stage.
“We have addressed the issue of finishing off the overs on time in the past as well, but it cropped up again. It’s so unfortunate to see Upul going out as he is a crucial player in our set-up. He batted well against South Africa and it’s so unfortunate. This can’t happen again,” Mathews further said.
Left-arm wrist spinner Lakshan Sandakan was one of the most talked about players in the Lankan unit before the start of the Champions Trophy campaign. However, the selection has happened for him. It was widely anticipated that the spinner would make it to the XI against South Africa. But, he was surprisingly kept out of the opening game.
“It was a tough call on Lakshan. We expected his X-factor to work. Fortunately for us and unfortunately for him, he had four games lead up to the South Africa game where he didn’t bowl well apart from that second warm-up game against Scotland. He leaked a lot of runs, which he can do, but the problem was he wasn’t consistent with his line and length. You never know, he can bounce back and bounce back very strongly,” Mathews explained.
Sri Lanka is in a must-win situation after the defeat at the hands of South Africa. The current scenario now requires them to win all their remaining two games against India and Pakistan. The task is going to be tough and Mathews acknowledges it completely.
“The expectations were low anyway, but we nearly pulled off the game against South Africa. Our batting let us down badly. One partnership in the middle period and we could have pulled it off. No point of giving excuses and we have to go out there and play good cricket. The game against India is must win the game and they are a very good team,” he said.
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