Mathews negates panic

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Captain Angelo Mathews has remained calm in the face of a series deficit ahead of Sri Lanka's second ODI against South Africa at the Pallekele International Cricket Stadium.

Captain Angelo Mathews has remained calm in the face of a series deficit ahead of Sri Lanka's second ODI against South Africa at the Pallekele International Cricket Stadium.

The hosts were thoroughly outplayed in the series opener at the R Premadasa Stadium, where centurion Hashim Amla and half-centurion AB de Villiers fired the Proteas to a convincing 75-run win.

"We don't need to panic. It's just one game and we played poorly. We can turn things around if we play better cricket than this. We don't need to panic or make major changes. Making changes shows the opposition that we are panicking. We just need to pull our socks up and try and perform better," said Mathews.

Opening batsman Kusal Perera and Tillakaratne Dilshan are likely to be retained as the opening batsmen, with the veteran Mahela Jayawardene kept in the middle order alongside the left-handed Kumar Sangakkara and inexperienced Ashan Priyanjan.

"I don't think we are that desperate to open with Mahela because his experience in the middle order counts a lot. We need someone like Mahela to try and control the middle order. Kusal has been doing pretty well up there, and he played a good knock on Sunday. Unfortunately he couldn't carry on," added Mathews.

"Mahela will play at number four but in an emergency, he might play as an opener or at number three. We've got a set batting order and we're not going to meddle with that. Ashan plays very freely, no matter what the situation is."

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