Mathews rues bowlers' complacency

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Skipper Angelo Mathews admitted disappointment, after Sri Lanka's bowlers allowed New Zealand a four-wicket win in Tuesday's tight second ODI at the Mahinda Rajapaksa International Cricket Stadium in Sooriyawewa, Hambantota.

Skipper Angelo Mathews admitted disappointment, after Sri Lanka's bowlers allowed New Zealand a four-wicket win in Tuesday's tight second ODI at the Mahinda Rajapaksa International Cricket Stadium in Sooriyawewa, Hambantota.

Rain reduced the fixture to a mere 23 overs a side, as brisk half-centuries from opener Tillakaratne Dilshan and the veteran Kumar Sangakkara propelled the hosts to a competitive total of 138 for one.

The Duckworth-Lewis system later saw the Black Caps' target adjusted to 198, the bulk of which was covered by opener Tom Latham's 86 and former Australia ODI cricketer Luke Ronchi's 49.

While seamer Nuwan Kulasekara proved reasonably cheap and snared four wickets, the rest of the home team's attack was found wanting. Fast bowler Lasith Malinga delivered two wides during a crucial juncture, and spinner Rangana Herath was struck for three sixes and a four in the final over.

"The batters actually did everything right. We did well to get the score we did, but then we got complacent after that. Most times batting second it would work for us. But 198 runs to get in 23 overs a night game, our bowling should have done the job, but we got complacent and the bowlers were making errors after the 10th over," said Mathews.

"I went for the best bowler, Rangana, for the final over and would have chosen that anyway. The seniors came to the party once again, especially after losing the first wicket. Unfortunately the bowlers could not pull through for us."

Latham was named Man of the Match on the back of an authoritative vigil that featured a dozen boundaries and a solitary six – and spanned a mere 68 deliveries. The third and final ODI will get underway at the Rangiri Dambulla International Stadium on Saturday.

"It is obviously very pleasing to get the win and go to Dambulla one-nil nil up. We came here with a young group. It's nice to win the second one, so I am really happy about that. The new rules certainly help when it comes to chasing those big scores. Big guys can clear the ropes when they want," added Latham.

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