Mathews: Galle collapse cost us the series

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Sri Lanka captain Angelo Mathews was disappointed with his side's series defeat to South Africa this month, drawing the second Test in Colombo to lose the series one-nil, and blamed their Galle batting collapse.

Sri Lanka captain Angelo Mathews was disappointed with his side's series defeat to South Africa this month, drawing the second Test in Colombo to lose the series one-nil, and blamed their Galle batting collapse.

The Proteas won the Galle Test by 153 runs after being in a good position chasing 370 to win. Going into day five, they only had one wicket down, but collapsed to 216 all out, which they couldn't mentally recover from.

South Africa needed to see out day five in Colombo to save the Test, having been behind the eight ball all game, and Sri Lanka were disappointed to fall two wickets shy of the win and a level series.

Mathews said: "As I always said, when you're playing the No.2 ranked team in the world, you have to be on top of your game. Especially in Galle we couldn't get close to their score, and that actually cost us the game.

"That one game cost us the series. We've always played really well against the opponents in Galle, and we couldn't do that really well this time.

"Right from the start I said we need to be sharpen our games to win against them. Simply because we play at home and we know the conditions, they are not going to lose a game of cricket for us.

"We need to put a lot of effort and do a lot of hard work to beat them. Unfortunately they played the better cricket in Galle."

Mathews also commented on his side's inability to take 20 wickets, with the Proteas thwarting the experienced spinners on day five, while England's tail enders also enjoyed big stands last month.

He said: "We found it really hard to get the tailenders out, both in England and here against South Africa. They all can bat and hang around. With these conditions, their tailenders batted pretty well.

"We need to make sure that our bowlers are getting batting practice as much as they can, and get involved in scoring runs and hanging in there. If we can improve that part as well, we can improve a lot more."

He did look on the bright side after Colombo though, saying the century from Mahela Jayawardene, as well as debutant wicketkeeper Niroshan Dickwella's half ton, impressed him, and he help out hope for future fixtures.

He said: "I'm happy with the way we fought back in this match. From winning the toss to building a decent first innings score – that was one of the best knocks I have seen from Mahela. He was positive right from the word go.

"Niroshan Dickwella looked very calm and composed. He is a great find and the credit should go to the selectors for the risk they took. The way Kumar Sangakara batted was another positive. It was a great effort."

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