It is definitely not all over for us - Angelo Mathews | Daily News

It is definitely not all over for us - Angelo Mathews

One of the few positives to come out of the West Indies defeat was the bowling of Jeffrey Vandersay who celebrates the wicket of Johnson Charles for 10.


BANGALORE: There is a limit to what a captain can do and Angelo Mathews is having a torrid time trying to get his rather inexperienced lot of troopers (with the exception of a handful) playing together as match-winning unit.

Time is certainly running out for Sri Lanka as they try to sort out their own shortcomings in the ongoing ICC World T20 tournament where they are the defending champions.

So far Sri Lanka has won one and lost one out of the four matches they are scheduled to play in their group - Group 1. They beat Afghanistan pretty convincingly but against West Indies on Sunday, the old bad habits returned to haunt them and they succumbed to a seven-wicket defeat.

To hear Mathews complain of the middle order letting them down and about the sloppy fielding have now become all too familiar an excuse to accept because whatever happens on the field the end result is what mattered. In Sri Lanka's case it has been more losses than wins.

When a team keeps losing consistently it is very hard to motivate the players and keep their spirits up.

"We were being positive, but today we didn't assess the wicket as such. It wasn't the ideal wicket for batting - it wasn't coming on really well - we had to fight it out there. We just kept losing wickets," said Mathews after the West Indies match.

"We reassessed (but) by the time we reassessed it was a bit too late. Thisara [Perera] batted brilliantly. 150 would have been a challenging score on that wicket because it was stopping and turning quite a lot.

"It's just that we are doing mistakes here and there which actually cost us the whole outcome of the game. Today, the middle order collapse was (the cause for) the downfall. If we had another 20-25 runs on that wicket it would have been a different story. Unfortunately we didn't but we'll just shove it under the carpet."

Sri Lanka have a six-day break before they take on England on March 26 and South Africa on March 28 - both matches being played at the Ferozshah Kotla grounds in Delhi.

"We have a very good break going into the next games. So we'll work hard on our fielding, because we were so sloppy on the field again. We'll work hard on all the departments and try and win the next two games," Mathews said hopefully.

"We've been training so hard on our fielding, our batting and bowling. We've given ourselves the best chance in training; we've worked really worked hard with our fielding, with the fielding coaches on the techniques, everything. It's just that the pressure situations. We've seen even the best fielders dropping catches. Unfortunately for us, we've been dropping a few in the last couple of games, which we can't afford to do. If you drop a good player and if he's going to score runs we'll obviously end up losing," he said.

With only two tough games in hand, Mathews was optimistic about his team's chances of reaching the knockout stage of the competition.

"It is definitely not all over for us. We just lost only one game and we have two more games to go. If we win those two we will still be in (the hunt) for the semi-finals. We're just looking to win those two games, not looking too far ahead," Mathews said.

"We all need to take the responsibility because we got the players to do it. Unfortunately it's just not clicking.

One of the few positives to come out of the West Indies defeat was the bowling of young right-arm leg-spinner Jeffrey Vandersay who tied down the free-scoring West Indies batsmen with a fine spell of bowling that fetched him figures of 4-1-11-1 on his maiden appearance in a World Cup tournament.

"He flew in yesterday and he was terrific today. He bowled the best out of the lot, actually from both teams. He was gripping and turning the ball as well. He is always useful in the team and we'll definitely look forward to having him in the team (for future games)," said Mathews. 


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