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Bad day in office for us, says Mathews

Cardiff, PTI | Updated : 21 June 2013, 03:32 PM

Skipper Angelo Mathews said losing the toss and Tillakaratne Dilshan`s injury were the key factors in Sri Lanka`s eight-wicket defeat against India in the ICC Champions Trophy semifinal here on Thursday.

In a post-match chat with reporters, the Lankan captain said his team was not shamed "because reaching the semifinal was the first target for the players".

Mathews said 181 was an inadequate score against a strong Indian batting line-up.

"We needed at least 250 for a fight, but nothing went in our favour today. The toss proved to be very crucial," the 26-year-old captain said.

Mathews refused to criticise Lasith Malinga for failing to produce anything special on a big day.

"His biggest strength is reverse swing but the English weather didn`t work to his advantage. In the sub-continent, he gets the ball to reverse very well, but the cold weather was a deterrent. But we are not making excuses," Mathews said.

Losing wickets at regular intervals hurt Sri Lanka, said Mathews.

"First of all, Dilshan`s injury early in the innings (fourth over) really hit us. He was batting well in seaming conditions. Then we lost wickets and could not rebuild our innings. There was no momentum. India`s bowlers did a good job," he said.

Mathews said Sri Lanka were not shamed in losing another semifinal match.

"Our target was to make the semis which we did. We did it the hard way after losing the first match. It was a good comeback against England and Australia and full credit to the players," he said.

Mathews said his team had prepared well against India.

"We had our chat and we knew they were very strong. We had to play very good cricket and we couldn`t do that against India. I really can`t figure out why (we play badly against India)," Mathews said.

Mathews said Sri Lanka were not ashamed of losing another semifinal match.

"...definitely disappointed and the whole nation is disappointed. But I'm pretty sure the whole nation and the team is also quite happy that we reached the semi-finals, because it is the best eight teams and we competed against the best. So we got to the final four, but unfortunately, once again, we choked in the semi-finals against India. So, bad luck to the boys," he said.

"Our target was to make the semis which we did. We did it the hard way after losing the first match. It was a good comeback against England and Australia and full credit to the players," he added.

Mathews said his team had prepared well against India.

"We had our chat and we knew they were very strong. We had to play very good cricket and we couldn't do that against India. I really can't figure out why (we play badly against
India)," Mathews said.

"I would say there was a bit of help for the bowler, so the credit should go to the Indian bowlers. They bowled extremely well, and they hit the good areas, and it was difficult for us, for the batters to move on," he added.

Asked to pick his favourite for the final between India and England, Mathews said, "Well, that's a bit of a tough. Both teams are quite even. But on that day, whoever does less mistakes will win the game."

First Published: Friday, June 21, 2013 03:31 PM
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