It's not batsmen's fault: Lanka coach

<img border='0' align='left' title=' ' src='' class='caption'> Sri Lanka coach Trevor Bayliss is disappointed to end up on the losing side after coming so agonisingly close to victory

Updated: December 15, 2009 14:26 IST
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Sri Lanka coach Trevor Bayliss is disappointed to end up on the losing side after coming so agonisingly close to victory but he would not blame his batsmen for their defeat in the first ODI against India here on Tuesday.

"It was disappointing to lose at the end, but it was a great effort from our batsmen," said Bayliss after Sri Lanka lost by three runs.

"We made some mistakes. With 85 runs needed and six wickets in hand nine out of 10 times it could have been accomplished. But it was not our batters' fault. They did a fantastic job," said the Lanka coach after his team was stopped at 411 for eight.

Chasing India's 414, Sri Lanka were cruising at 316 for one in the 37th over before they lost the plot, and Bayliss complimented the Indian bowlers for doing a great job.

"The Indian bowlers bowled very well in the end. They showed it's not always necessary to take wickets to stop a team from winning. It can also be done by making it difficult to hit," he said.

When the run-chase began, the Lankans were concentrating only on enjoying batting, as otherwise the huge asking rate would have tripped them, Bayliss said.

"We were not focusing on getting to the target but to go out there and enjoy batting. It was a good wicket with a small ground and a fast outfield and we knew if we did that we can do the job," he said.

Bayliss also praised Tillakaratne Dilshan's splendid knock of 160 in 124 balls and said though he did not start the way India's Virender Sehwag did, both innings were on par.

"Dilshan batted superbly and his innings was equal to that of Sehwag's. We got to 100, two overs before India did," he pointed out.

The Sri Lanka coach hoped Sehwag's ominous form would come to an end soon as they were helpless against his daredevilry.

"Sehwag is in an amazing form. We hope it does not continue and some catch goes to hand. Not a lot can be done when he is in such a form," he said.

Sehwag has been in great touch against the Lankans right from the start of the three-Test series. The Delhi dasher came close to creating a unique record of making three triple tons in the longest and most coveted form of the game in Mumbai when he made 293 in the final Test there.

Bayliss also defended opening the innings with Upul Tharanga who put on 188 for the first wicket with Dilshan to lay a fine platform for the run-chase.

"In the last three one-day innings he played, Upul has not been dismissed for less than 50," he pointed out.

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