Herath rejects suggestion of complacency

Test cricket

Stand in Sri Lanka skipper Rangana Herath has rejected the notion that complacency was behind his team’s four wicket defeat to Bangladesh in Colombo.

The captain feels that errors in the field and with bat in hand were behind the defeat to Bangladesh with many Sri Lankan fans slamming the team on social media.

The defeat to Bangladesh was the first ever loss in Test cricket to their Asian rivals and has left fans fuming at management and the players.

Herath said after the loss that he felt the target they set Bangladesh was defendable: “I really thought that we could defend it, because we have played games with India and Pakistan and defended low scores.

“We also had three spinners. When we got two early wickets, I felt the same way, but after lunch they were in an attacking mood and scored some quick runs. That’s where the match slipped from us in the fourth innings.”

The man standing in for injured skipper Angelo Mathews felt that dropping Shakib-al-Hasan on the second afternoon was a turning point in the match with the allrounder going on to strike a century.

Herath said: “I thought we made too many mistakes while fielding and batting.

“We dropped a couple of crucial catches and that was the main reason for us to lose the match. Shakib’s catch was especially bad because he went on to a century. With a team this competitive, we can’t let the little mistakes like that that come into our game.”

Sri Lanka had looked set to pile on the runs in their second innings on a surface that was still playing well but would suffer a catastrophic collapse.

Herath went on: “If you take the second innings we were batting well. After Upul Tharanga got out, Dimuth Karunaratne and Kusal Mendis were going great.

“Then Kusal got out and suddenly we lost four more wickets for 40-odd runs. That was the key and that’s what we should have prevented. That was the start of our downfall.”

Herath feels that there is little shame in this loss to a Bangaldesh team who have improved a lot in the last few years and were determined to do well in what was their hundredth Test match.

The skipper concluded:  “Before the series started I said that this was a challenging series as both teams were equally matched. We had a good chance in Galle as we got close to 500 runs, and we capitalised. Here we couldn’t do the same.

“Bangladesh have certainly improved a lot. Earlier when they got partnerships going, we would put pressure on them, and they wouldn’t be able to handle that. This team tries to stay in the game a lot more, and now they counter our plans. They have been very clever.”