Need to play A game to win; no need to panic: Mathews

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Sri Lanka skipper Angelo Mathews noted their inability to convert starts into big scores needs to be addressed ahead of their forthcoming games in the tri-nation series. They started their campaign on a poor note, losing by 12 runs to Zimbabwein their opening game at Mirpur on Wednesday (January 17).

“We just needed someone to score a big hundred,” Mathews told. “Or say two fifties would have been sufficient for us to sneak through and I am confident we will make that happen in the coming days.”

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Mathews defended his batters in post-match press conference when he was asked if their inability to convert starts is shaping into a major concern. “Everybody can’t score in the same game. Perera gave us a brilliant start. If one of us got a 60 or 70, we could have easily won the game. We got starts but couldn’t capitalize – myself and Chandimal. Hopefully in the next game,” the skipper said.

Sri Lanka lost by 12 runs but were however always in the chase, until they eventually ran out of steam in their pursuit of 291.

“We are quite disappointed. We were a bit scrappy from the very outset. We started off poorly with the ball. In the first 10 overs, we gave them a really good start,” Mathews observed.

“We pulled it back a little bit in the middle overs. They had wickets to capitalise in the last few overs. We gave away too many runs at that stage as well. I thought Thisara and Asela [Gunaratne] bowled pretty well. We could have done better on the field.”

Sri Lanka are now desperately looking for a turnaround in their fortune as this was their fourth loss to Zimbabwe in the last six matches, while in the last year they had a miserable run winning only five from the 29 ODIs they played.

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“We have to play our A-game to win against these teams. It is just that, we were a bit scrappy and rusty today. We have lots of positives with three more games to go and there’s no need to panic.

“They [Bangladesh] have beaten all the top teams at home in the last two years. It will be tough and challenging. We can’t play like today. We were not up to the standards today.”

Sri Lanka next take on the hosts in their second game at the same venue on Friday (January 19).