Pakistan registered a 135-run victory over Sri Lanka in the third ODI of the five-match series at Premadasa Stadium in Colombo on Sunday. Skipper Angelo Mathews said that the pitch reacted differently in the second innings and started turning as well, leading to his team's defeat at the hands of the visitors.
Pakistan posted a huge total of 316 runs, exploiting Sri Lanka's out-of-form bowling attack to the hilt. No team has lost a match after scoring 300+ runs in the first innings in the Lankan island.
"In the second innings the ball started turning and it was pretty hard to score. We never really got going with our batting. I think the bowlers couldn't have done anything different.
"They were cruising through, and they were on course for about 350, but we stopped them for 316. The bowlers couldn't have done anything different. It was playing really well for the batters in the first half and then it started turning in the second half, so we really never got going with our batting," Mathews said in an interview to Espn Cricinfo after the match.
Unlike Pakistan, Sri Lanka lost both their openers in the powerplay overs. They kept on losing wickets at regular intervals and eventually were bundled for 181 runs. Lahiru Thirimanne top scored with 56 runs. No other batsmen could stay put at the crease for long.
"From what I saw it was a very hard wicket, and we didn't expect it to turn. But it started turning and it was quite difficult to go after the spinners. The rate kept going up and the boys had to go for it rather than just blocking and take singles. When you're going after 316 you just have to take that calculate risk. Nothing really paid off," said Mathews.
Surprisingly, Mathews did not blame it on the bowlers who conceded more than 300 runs.
Lasith Malinga, their pace spearhead, has clearly been out of form and has turned out to be one of the most expensive bowlers in the Lankan lineup. The Sri Lankan captain did criticise the performance of all-rounder Thisara Perera, who has also failed to impress in the ongoing ODI series against Pakistan.
"I actually expect a lot more from [Thisara]," said Mathews.
"He hasn't been consistent enough for us. We just keep believing in him, because we all know that he wins you games as well. But after all consistency also matters. We had chats with him. I thought he bowled pretty well today, but we need him to contribute with his batting as well. Hopefully he can contribute with bat and ball in the next match."