We were just one hit away: Mathews

Australian skipper Michael Clarke was happy to get away with a narrow five-run win over Sri Lanka at the WACA on Friday.

“It was nice and tight today. Sri Lanka and India have some very good players in their ranks, and you can’t take the foot away from pedal against them. We were probably 30 runs short, but I am happy that we have scored our second win of the tournament,” Clarke told reporters.

The New South Welshman was all praise for his bowlers. “It was a brilliant effort from our bowlers after we fell short of something like 30 runs. I am happy for Mitchell Starc who held his nerve in the last couple of overs. I am sure that he will become a better bowler at death after this experience.

“Doherty too was very impressive this night. He bowled a tight spell and got a couple of wickets. He was spinning the ball, and also bowled really well in the Power Plays. Hopefully, he can build on this,” Clarke said.

Sri Lankan vice-captain Angelo Mathews hid his disappointment well, and said the team was still feeling positive. “I thought it was just one hit away. Unfortunately, I couldn’t pull that off. I was expecting a yorker from Starc, who bowled a bumper and it really surprised me. Yes, we are disappointed but we can take a lot of positives from this game to the next six games,” Mathews said.

He said the Lankans would have to keep their spirits up. “We were hampered by regular loss of wickets. We are disappointed that we couldn’t pull it off at the end, but we need to keep our spirits up and concentrate on the next six games,” he said.

Mathews also defended seniors like skipper Mahela Jayawardene and Kumar Sangakkara who haven’t fired in the last two matches.

“They are world class players, and I am confident that they will be back among runs sooner than later,” Mathews said.

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