Mathews: First innings cost us the game

Sri Lanka captain Angelo Mathews was rueful about his side's poor batting effort in the first innings against New Zealand, which he felt ruled them out of the game early on already.

The Black Caps won by eight wickets on day four, chasing the 105 required with ease. They had bowled Sri Lanka out for 138 in the first dig, before the visitors rallied after being told to follow on, and made 407 in their second knock.

Mathews said after the game: "The way all the batters showed their character in the second innings is the positive. Even the last pair put on a fifty-run partnership and it was crucial.

"Our first-innings batting was very poor. I thought we kicked ourselves out of the game by batting poorly. It was too much to ask from the batsmen in the second innings, but the way we fought was good.

"In the second innings, I also thought our bowlers did really well. They did it quite accurately and consistently. In the first innings, I thought we were a little bit wayward in the first fifty overs."

One highlight for Sri Lanka was the 152 made by opener Dimuth Karunaratne in the second innings, which showed that the deck could be batted on. The skipper was pleased with the youngster's effort, especially after some middling scores.

He said: "For Dimuth to get his first century against a really good bowling attack is sensational. He stuck there, and was trying to build partnerships with the guys at the other end. I'm sure he must have got a lot of confidence by scoring that big 150.

"We were disappointed as well with him getting 30s and 40s. We knew the talent that he had and he's a really good player when he gets going. He's a brilliant batsman to watch and hopefully he goes from strength to strength and scores a big one in Wellington as well."

The knock of the match though came from Kiwi skipper Brendon McCullum, who scored 195 off 134 balls, his ton coming off just 74 deliveries. Mathews said it was one of the best innings he'd seen, from anyone.

Mathews said: "It was one of the best I've seen. He was playing like a Twenty20. It was just going all over the park and whoever came his way went for a lot of runs.

"That's one of those innings where he just had a lot of fun, you'd have thought."