Mathews rues letting Kiwis off the hook


Sri Lanka captain Angelo Mathews was disappointed with his side's efforts in the field in Wellington, lamenting all the times they let Kane Williamson off the hook in his record stand with BJ Watling.

The partnership of 365 not out became the highest sixth wicket stand in Test history, and Williamson made 242 runs to put the game out of reach for Sri Lanka after they'd been in a good position themselves.

Williamson was dropped on 30, 60, 104 and 233, and this allowed the Kiwis to recover after Kumar Sangakkara had scored a double century earlier in the game. The Black Caps ended up winning by 193 runs.

Mathews said: "It was a shocking turnaround, I thought. We were able to put New Zealand under pressure by the third day, but we dropped a couple of sitters and good players make it count.

"Williamson did exactly that with Watling. They reversed pressure on us, and we couldn't hold on. Kane batted brilliantly, but we have to grab those chances.

"Given the opportunity, we were under no real pressure at the time and we got a couple of sitters that we dropped and we paid the price."

The skipper, who had a rare poor Test himself, wasn't all doom and gloom though, saying that the younger batsmen, like Kaushal Silva and Dimuth Karunaratne, were starting to find their feet in the side, which was a good sign given Sanga's imminent retirement.

He added: "We have a lot of positives: the way Dimuth Karunaratne, Lahiru Thirimanne and Dinesh Chandimal batted. It was very pleasing to see them score some runs.

"It's going to be a big ask to fill Mahela Jayawardene and Kumar Sangakkara's shoes, when he retires, but I think slowly but surely the youngsters will learn."