Sri Lanka skipper refuses to make excuses after tough tour

Star man Jos Buttler, left, congratulates Liam Dawson. Picture: Dave Vokes/LMI Photography
Star man Jos Buttler, left, congratulates Liam Dawson. Picture: Dave Vokes/LMI Photography
Have your say

Angelo Mathews refused to make excuses as Sri Lanka’s miserable tour of England concluded with an eight-wicket defeat in the sole T20 International.

The tourists were bowled out for a below-par 140 in just 17.3 overs at the Ageas Bowl yesterday.

They rarely threatened in the field, either, as England eased home with 15 balls to spare.

Jos Buttler led the way for the hosts – with 73 not out from 49 balls.

Sri Lanka wicketkeeper Dinesh Chandimal was convinced he had caught the England star off the bowling of Mathews when he had made just five runs.

But despite technology supporting the appeal, Mathews was not prepared to rue his side’s bad luck.

Instead, he was keen to focus on the few positives of a tour which has seen his side lose 2-0 in the Test series, 3-0 in the one-dayers and the solitary twenty20 fixture.

Mathews said: ‘It has been the case for us right throughout the summer.

‘We didn’t get enough runs on the board.

‘A total of 140 was a very average score on that wicket.

‘It was stopping and turning a little bit but 140 was pretty average.

‘We were not at all surprised by England this summer.

‘We knew we were up against a massive team – a side who have been playing fantastic cricket over the past one-and-a-half years.

‘We knew it was going to be a tough challenge for us.

‘We just had to compete and try to give ourselves the best possible chance to win but either batting, bowling or fielding has let us down in every single game.

‘Jos has been getting runs against us every single time.

‘It has become quite a worrying factor and once again he batted beautifully here.

‘No matter where he bats, he is a very good player – especially in the shorter format.

‘He is one of those players who has shots 360 degrees around the wicket.

‘It is very hard to bowl at him, especially when he opens the batting and you only have two fielders outside the circle.

‘He is a nightmare for the bowlers.

‘Chandimal was pretty convinced he nicked it early on.

‘But there you go, unfortunately it was one of those days.

‘It happens. We don’t have the referral system.

‘T20 is a fast game and you want it to be fast.

‘Yesterday was one of those days when you think you might need that one but it was human error and we can’t do anything about it.’

Mathews highlighted the efforts of Kusal Mendis and Danushka Gunathilaka as worthy of praise.

Mendis was a consistent performer with the bat, while Gunathilaka impressed with bat and ball in the limited overs contests.

‘It is disappointing but there are a few positives here and there,’ added Mathews.

‘We can still take them and move forward.’