Mathews: Batting collapse cost us the game


Sri Lanka captain Angelo Mathews blamed his team's second innings batting collapse as the main reason why they fell to a five-wicket defeat against New Zealand in the second Test in Hamilton on Monday.

With a 55-run lead on the first innings, the Asian side were 71 without loss in their second stint at the crease and were favourites at that stage to win and level the two-match series at one-all.

They however lost all ten wickets for just 62 runs in one of the worst batting collapses ever seen in Test cricket to be all out for 133, leaving the Kiwis a target of 189 which they knocked off on the fourth morning.

The Black Caps bowlers employed the short ball effectively as most of the tourists' batsmen were out to the hook shot, caught on the boundary looking to be positive.

Mathews said after the game: "We just had to bat well and dig deep, but we made a real mockery out of our second innings batting and we just couldn't give enough runs for the bowlers to get them out.  

"It is actually very disappointing the way the game unfolded towards the end. We had our chance, especially after getting them all out for 240-odd in the first innings. We had a healthy lead.

"Especially after the first couple of wickets they used the tactic of bumping us. Opener Dimuth [Karunaratne} and Udara [Jayasundera] were bumped out.

"They tried to negotiate it but they couldn't really. Sometimes the ball took off and sometimes it kept low. The bounce was not really consistent on that wicket.

"We thought the best way to handle it was to try and be positive and to score some runs off it – not recklessly."

The two sides now square off in five ODIs, starting on Boxing Day in Christchurch.