Sri Lanka were genuinely in command of the second test against New Zealand until a third day collapse ruined their hopes. Battling hard on a lush green wicket, the Sri Lankans played out of their skins to get a lead of 55 in the first innings. The visitors could have genuinely made a match out of that, but rather, a collapse on the third day saw them losing control over the game.
From 71-0 in the second innings, the Sri Lankans were dismissed for 133. Skipper Angelo Mathews pointed out the third day as the turning point of the game. “We just had to bat well and dig deep, but we made a real mockery out of our second innings batting and we just couldn’t give enough runs for the bowlers to get them out,” Mathews said. “It is actually very disappointing the way the game unfolded towards the end. We had our chance, especially after getting them all out for 240-odd in the first innings. We had a healthy lead,” said a dejected Mathews.
Sri Lanka’s skipper however, added that this test series was a good learning curve for an inexperienced side. “When it comes to the Test team, we are very inexperienced and I’m sort of happy in the way we competed,” he said. “It’s just a matter of time. We’ve got guys in the team who haven’t played more than five Tests- a whole lot of them batsmen. We’ve got the quality. We’ve got the skills it’s just a matter of time.”
“The more they play, the sooner they will learn. We take a lot of confidence in the way we fought well in the first innings. I felt we kept them under constant pressure. They dug deep and they are the deserved winners,” said Mathews.
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