Mathews baffled by abrupt turnaround

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Sri Lanka captain Angelo Mathews was baffled by his side's performance in the third ODI against England in Manchester, at a loss to explain why his line-up was all out for 67 and then lost by 10 wickets.

Sri Lanka captain Angelo Mathews was baffled by his side's performance in the third ODI against England in Manchester, at a loss to explain why his line-up was all out for 67 and then lost by 10 wickets.

The second ODI saw England all out for 99, thus losing by 157 runs, and just a few days later Sri Lanka were on the receiving end of a drubbing, making the series a failure in terms of batting prowess.

Sri Lanka, all out for 67, then watched as Ian Bell and Alastair Cook scored the runs required in less than 13 overs, showing it wasn't so much the conditions as the application, as Kumar Sangakkara's 13 was the top score.

A stunned Mathews lamented afterwards: "We're in the same situation as England after Durham. Poor shot selection was the main reason why we got so few runs.

"It was never a 67 wicket. There were no demons in the wicket. It swung a little bit in the first seven to ten overs, but after that it wasn't doing much.

"We expected the short ball. We didn't really deal with it properly. It's hard to explain why we were all out for 67. We knew England were going to come back hard at us, and we just couldn't cope up with it.

"There was no intention of hanging in there and toughing it out. In overcast conditions James (Anderson) bowls really well on any wicket. He bowled some really good deliveries together with Harry Gurney and Jordan.

"You can't really moan about the weather or the wicket. It's just us to blame. If we want to stay alive in the series, we've got to win against them in the next game."

The questions then moved to the opening batsmen, where Lahiru Thirimanne has been opening with Tillakaratne Dilshan but the former has made few runs. This prompted Mathews to ponder the idea of bringing Kusal Perera in at Lord's.

He said: "I thought even though he didn't get enough runs in the Durham game, Lahiru played the part of getting through those vital six overs of Anderson. We've got to get through that spell to try and build up to have batters at the end.

"I thought he played his part but today, unfortunately, he played a poor shot. The first ten overs at Lord's and Birmingham are going to be vital. With this weather around, we're really going to need solid openers. Thiri is one of them. Unfortunately he hasn't got enough runs yet."

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