Angelo Mathews blames poor bowling, fielding for New Zealand loss
Christchurch, Feb 14 - Sri Lanka captain Angelo Mathews blamed his bowlers and poor fielding for their 98-run loss in the World Cup opener against New Zealand at the Hagley Oval here on Saturday.
"The bowlers started off very poorly, in the middle part they bowled pretty well, but again in the end we did not bowl well and were backed up by poor fielding," Mathews said at the post-match presentation ceremony.
He added that restricting the co-hosts for less than 300 would have been the ideal score to chase down and that they lost their way in the middle of their innings despite a good start.
"After the start they got, we did well to pull them back but still they got 30, 40 runs too many. We got off to a good start, but then lost our way in the middle. When you are chasing in excess of 300 one of your top-4 batsman has to get a biggie supported by the batsmen around him. We have five more games to go, so we won't panic," Mathews said.
New Zealand piled on 331/6 in their 50 overs and in reply bowled out Sri Lanka for 233 in 46.1 overs.
The skipper, who scored 46 runs and bowled six overs, saw a bright spot in the return of pace spearhead Lasith Malinga. "Malinga will get better and better and we all know what kind of bowler he is, so he will come back strong," concluded Mathews.