Mathews blames middle-order

Mathews blames middle-order

Mathews blames middle-order

It has been a struggle for Sri Lankan batting ever since the retirement of Mahela Jayawardena and Kumar Sangakkara. The next generation has flattered to deceive, their inconsistent performances resulting in one series defeat after another.

On a warm Sunday evening against a disciplined West Indies bowling attack that used the two-paced Chinnaswamy track to their advantage, the Sri Lankans floundered yet again, capitulating to 122/9, leading to another defeat.

“I thought the middle order let us down today,” reckoned skipper Angelo Mathews at the post-match press conference. “We batted quite well in the last game (against Afghanistan), we were being positive, but today we didn't assess the wicket as such. It wasn't the ideal wicket for batting -- it wasn't coming on really well -- and we had to fight it out there.

“But we just kept losing wickets. We reassessed (the wicket) but by that time it was a bit too late. Thisara (Perera) batted brilliantly. I think 150 would have been a challenging score on that wicket because it was stopping and turning quite a lot.”

In a transitional phase, the Lankans have depended hugely on Mathews to bail them out on a number of occasions. When asked if he would promote himself up the order considering his team’s frailties, the all-rounder said it would all depend on the match situation.

“It depends on the team's needs and the situation. I was in early today, at the start of the sixth over. Unfortunately I couldn't get going. I was struggling a little bit. Got to the launching stage and lost my wicket, unfortunately. But Thisara batted really well, it was a big positive for us. But we all need to take the responsibility because we got the players to do that. Unfortunately it’s just not clicking.”

One positive for the Sri Lankans was the performance of leg-spinner Jeffrey Vandersay. Vandersay, called up in place of injured pacer Lasith Malinga, sparkled less than a day after landing. Making the ball do all teh talking, the 26-year-old troubled the Windies.

“He flew in yesterday and he was terrific. He bowled the best of the lot, actually from both teams. He was getting the ball to grip and turn as well. He is always useful in the team and we'll definitely look forward to having him in the team.”