Very Disappointing And Very Disheartening, Says Angelo Mathews After Zimbabwe Loss
Sri Lanka’s substandard came back to haunt them once again as they suffered a humiliating defeat against Zimbabwe for the first time in their own backyard. Just a couple of weeks ago, the island nation had to exit the Champions Trophy at the group stage after dropping three straight forward catches to let Pakistan off the hook. Their fielding performance was so dismal that they were slammed by their sports minister but the Sri Lankan players seemed to have learnt little from their past mistake.
What will hurt them even more is that the lost after posting a formidable target of 315. Although these kind of targets are not considered safe anymore but given the condition, Sri Lanka should have had a cakewalk. But instead, it was the visiting team which had a fairly easy ride as it chased down the total with over two overs to spare.
Sri Lanka skipper Angelo Mathews once again rued the dismal fielding from his teammates and admitted that he was lost words. The home side dropped as many as three catches as Zimbabwe took a 1-0 lead in the series with a thumping six-wicket win.
Solomon Mire, who bagged the Man of the Match award for his 112-run knock, was dropped twice when he was batting on 17 and 94. Capitalising fully on the reprieves, he added a record 161 runs for the third wicket with Sean Williams who was dropped on 13.
“After getting 315 on the board, I thought we had enough on the board. It was turning a bit. We had the bowlers to defend it, but we didn’t bowl well. Poor performance by the bowlers and fielding once again let us down. We dropped crucial catches at crucial moments. I am lost for words,” Mathews conceded.
“Very disappointing and very disheartening the way we went about things. We were below par. We had enough resources to restrict them, but couldn’t. We all know that catches win matches. Dropping crucial catches was the turning point today,” he added.
Credits to Zimbabwe batsmen:
While Mathews rued the poor performance from his fielders, he did not take away anything from the Zimbabwe batsmen who kept the Sri Lankan spinner at bay on a pitch which was turning a bit.
“It’s very disappointing. We should give credit to their batsmen who kept sweeping and reverse sweeping against our spinners. They took the spinners off the line. Even though we bowled and fielded badly, they deserve credit for the way they batted,” said the skipper.
Need to turnaround quickly:
Sri Lanka have little time to turn things around as the second ODI is on Sunday at the same venue but Mathews said a different mindset can help them to correct the mistakes.
“Today we were very poor. We have to address it quickly as we have only one day and then we have to come back and win on Sunday. One day of skill work won’t help you. We need to have a shift in mindset to stop runs and take those catches,” said Mathews.
He also said that the bowlers were not up to the mark and even admitted that he would talk to selectors to get the better combination.
“Bowlers weren’t up to the mark. On this wicket 316 was a good score. The bowlers didn’t do well and I am hoping for a better game on Sunday. I have to talk to the selectors about the next game and think of a combination,” concluded Mathews.
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