Mathews showers praise on his bowlers

Mathews showers praise on his bowlers

Delighted Sri Lankan skipper Angelo Mathews on Saturday hailed his bowlers, especially Rangana Herath and Tharindu Kaushal, for powering his side to an incredible come-from-behind 63-run win.

Defending a tricky 176-run target, Herath and Kaushal packed off the Indians, the senior pro grabbing seven wickets and the young offie bagging the remaining three. “To be honest it was not an easy wicket to bat on. Even us in the first innings — we played poorly. We were not positive enough. We kept losing wickets. We didn’t use our feet. When it came to the second innings we had nothing to lose to be honest. They had a 192-run lead and we had to surpass it and then aim for a good lead.

tanding. It was amazing the way he batted. He took his chances. He kept sweeping and reverse sweeping. He got us into a position single-handedly where he gave us a chance. The way Herath and Kaushal bowled it was absolutely brilliant – especially on the fourth day. Overall I thought more than India’s weaknesses, our bowlers made things happen. We bowled in good lines and lengths.”

The Sri Lankan side is on a transitional phase following the retirements of some legends. Mathews, entrusted with the task of guiding the team, said the win would prove to be huge confidence booster. “We all know that it’s a young team. We’ve got a couple of seniors in Herath and Kumar Sangakkara. Sangakkara is leaving after the next game. It is a transitional period for us, but I thought it was a great team effort. It boosts our morale to go forward in this tournament. We will definitely go for the kill in the next game.”

Mathews also said when a team has nothing to lose, it helps them exceed expectations. “I think sometimes individually and as a team, when we have nothing to lose, you go out and give it your best shot. That’s what happened here for us as well. That’s what happened in the first innings. We had to go out there and get 192 runs but not think about it too much, not think about a big lead. We just wanted a 100-150 lead to give our bowlers a chance at least. It was a collective decision. The approach was brilliant.”

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