"Everyone got out while trying to play shots" - Irfan Pathan criticizes Sri Lanka's batting in 2024 T20 World Cup loss to South Africa

Sri Lanka v South Africa - ICC Men
Most Sri Lankan batters virtually threw away their wickets.

Irfan Pathan has slammed Sri Lanka's batting approach during their 2024 T20 World Cup loss to South Africa. He noted that Wanindu Hasaranga and company lost their wickets to extravagant shots while potentially targeting an above-par score.

Sri Lanka were bundled out for 77 after opting to bat first in New York on Monday, June 3. South Africa chased the target down with six wickets and 22 deliveries to spare to start their campaign with a win.

Reviewing the game on Star Sports, Pathan questioned the Sri Lankan batters' shot selection and application.

"When the ball was moving so much at the start and was not coming onto the bat, if you see all the dismissals, they were bad shots and bad application. No batter got out caught behind while playing a normal drive or because of the ball moving a lot after pitching," he said.
"That didn't happen. Everyone got out while trying to play shots. If the application had been better, they might have scored 120. If they had scored 120, Sri Lanka might have won the match. You didn't have to score 140-160 here. The craftsmanship and batsmanship were not seen from any batter," the former India all-rounder added.

Only three Sri Lankan batters reached double digits, with Kusal Mendis top-scoring (30-ball 19). Angelo Mathews (16 off 16) was the only player to score at run-a-ball.

"Sri Lanka shouldn't have batted after winning the toss" - Irfan Pathan

Sri Lanka's decision to bat first backfired.
Sri Lanka's decision to bat first backfired.

Irfan Pathan opined that Sri Lanka also made a mistake in opting to bat first upon winning the toss.

"I also feel Sri Lanka shouldn't have batted after winning the toss. I was saying that even before the match had started. If you don't know the pitch conditions, batting first doesn't make sense. You didn't get the breather because you batted first after winning the toss and you got out for the lowest score in your T20 history. So they lacked application and didn't read the pitch properly. The decision was wrong there," he reasoned.

The cricketer-turned-commentator also questioned the Lankan Lions' decision to play Maheesh Theekshana ahead of Dilshan Madushanka.

"I feel combining both of these things, Sri Lanka were left far behind. One more thing, they needed to play Madushanka on this pitch. If you brought Theekshana in the 16th over, it means you felt the spinners were of no use. So you could have included Madushanka. He could have bowled with the new ball instead of Mathews," Pathan observed.

Theekshana bowled a solitary over when South Africa needed six runs off 30 deliveries. Angelo Mathews opened the attack with Nuwan Thushara, with Matheesha Pathirana being given the ball only in the 10th over.

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Edited by Parag Jain
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