Cardiff: In recent times, playing against India has become a mental block, admitted Sri Lankan skipper Angelo Mathews. After India handed Lanka an eight-wicket defeat in an ICC Champions Trophy semifinal here on Thursday, the young Lankan skipper said: "We had our chat and we knew India were very strong. We had to play very good cricket and we couldn't do that. I really can't figure out why we keep losing to India in recent times."
In a post-match chat with reporters, the Lankan captain however said his team was not shamed "because reaching the semifinal was the first target for the players."
Mathews said 181 was an inadequate score against a strong Indian batting line-up. "We needed at least 250 for a fight, but nothing went in our favour today. The toss proved to be very crucial," the 26-year-old captain said. (Match highlights)
Mathews refused to criticise Lasith Malinga for failing to produce anything special on a big day. (Men who stood up and became heroes)
"His biggest strength is reverse swing but the English weather didn't work to his advantage. In the sub-continent, he gets the ball to reverse very well, but the cold weather was a deterrent. But we are not making excuses," Mathews said.
Losing wickets at regular intervals hurt Sri Lanka, said Mathews. "First of all, Dilshan's injury early in the innings (fourth over) really hit us. He was batting well in seaming conditions. Then we lost wickets and could not rebuild our innings. There was no momentum. India's bowlers did a good job," he said. (Pics)
Mathews said Sri Lanka were not shamed in losing another semifinal match. "Our target was to make the semis which we did. We did it the hard way after losing the first match. It was a good comeback against England and Australia and full credit to the players," he said.