McCullum shocked by pitch behaviour

New Zealand

New Zealand captain Brendon McCullum was disappointed by the way his side crumbled against Sri Lanka on Monday, finding themselves all out for 60 thanks to Rangana Herath's mastery of a suddenly-turning deck.

New Zealand captain Brendon McCullum was disappointed by the way his side crumbled against Sri Lanka on Monday, finding themselves all out for 60 thanks to Rangana Herath's mastery of a suddenly-turning deck.

The match in Chittagong saw Herath take five wickets for just three runs as the Black Caps were blind-sided by a track they assumed would be skidding on, like it had all tournament. Instead, the dryer ground assisted the spinner.

The result saw the Black Caps knocked out of the tournament and Sri Lanka advancing to the semi-finals, despite the Kiwis doing a great job with the ball themselves, restricting Sri Lanka to 119 all out.

McCullum said: "The wicket was completely different. We anticipated it to skid on as it has done right throughout every game that has been played here and every team that has won the toss has wanted to chase at night.

"We expected that to happen but it was really dry, almost a little bit underprepared, the way it played towards the end, and we didn't adapt our games quick enough.

"There were some soft dismissals, poor options, myself included and we couldn't find the balance between being aggressive enough to get us a start chasing a small total, and conserving wickets and trying to stem the flow of their momentum.

"In the end the team that won and qualified for the semi-finals is a far better team than us."

He also said the anti-dew spray that was used before the game was new, and he hadn't been told about it: "We found out midway through the game that the outfield was sprayed for anti-dew, which obviously hasn't been done throughout the rest of the tournament, so that was a bit of a surprise as well.

"I think as long as the conditions are consistent throughout, so the teams can get a strategy and an understanding – it's disappointing to see them change so much in one game but we should have been better than that as well.

"Certainly no sour grapes from our point of view, we certainly should have chased down 120 and only getting halfway is nowhere near good enough."

Despite being one of the pre-tournament favourites, based on recent form, the Black Caps were not convincing even in games they did win, and McCullum blamed the lack of success on poor 'cricket intelligence'.

He said: "I said right at the outset that we were going to have to play well, right from the start of the tournament. We're not good enough to only play at 80%. There's been some things that irked me throughout the tournament and I'll be addressing those later.

"But I thought our cricket smarts weren't there, when you're playing on these surfaces that are foreign to what we're used to and the nature of T20, you've got to be very smart and decisive with your decision-making as well.

"You can't afford to be lacking in cricket intelligence. That's what I think we lacked in this tournament and hence we coughed up some opportunities to win games that we should have.

"Something is going to have to change at some stage, otherwise we'll keep turning up a tournaments, winning a couple, losing a couple and never claiming any silver. That's not what we play for and something's going to have to change if New Zealand's going to start winning major tournaments."

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