Sri Lankan captain Angelo Mathews felt his side's fielding performance against Pakistan was ‘pathetic’ and was among the key reasons for them getting knocked out of the ICC Champions Trophy 2017. Sri Lanka dropped three catches off the bowling of Lasith Malinga as Pakistan won by three wickets.
A disappointed Sri Lankan skipper Angelo Mathews said, "Looking at today's performance, I thought we were pathetic once again. If we had held those catches, it would have been a different story today, especially at very crucial times."
However, Mathews added that it wasn’t for lack of effort. "The boys have worked extremely hard. Today, yes, we dropped three catches, but there has been a genuine effort from the boys and from the support staff. We've expressed a lot about our fielding and we put a lot of energy on our fielding. So, yes, there has been a genuine effort,” he added.
Injury to Kusal Perera and the suspension of Upul Tharanga for a slow over rate meant Lanka were forced to pick Dhananjaya de Silva just 48 hours after arriving in the country. "We had to play the extra batsman on this. We had to play the seventh batter because we knew there was some grass on the wicket. When you lose a game, you can always say it was poor batting, it was poor fielding, and it was poor bowling, but I thought it was kind of a funny wicket today. Yes, we were 30, 40 runs short obviously, but I'm really proud of the guys, the way they came out and tried to defend that. Unfortunately, the fielding let us down."
Mathews was all praise for Lasith Malinga, who bowled his heart out without much support. "He's been a great servant for Sri Lanka cricket. He's been fantastic. We saw the effort that he put in today as well. It was unfortunate that we dropped his catches. He would have been a different bowler but still he came out and gave his heart. He is a champion,” Mathews concluded.
--By A Cricket Correspondent