Eoin Morgan lamented “a day to forget” after England fell to a heavy 157-run defeat in the second Royal London one-day international against Sri Lanka.
Having reduced the tourists to a seemingly manageable 256 for eight, in which Tillakaratne Dilshan hit 88, the hosts were dismissed for just 99 as Nuwan Kulasekara claimed three wickets and Sachithra Senanayake four.
Morgan, skippering in place of the injured Alastair Cook, pulled no punches afterwards, branding England’s batting as “terrible”.
He told ecb.co.uk: “Our bowlers did a pretty good job of reducing them to a score that, if anything, was only a little above par.
“The guys showed enough control to contain Sri Lanka in the first 10 or 15 overs and the game never really got away from us.
“The batting performance was terrible. It is inexcusable and unexplainable to be bowled out for less than a hundred on a wicket like that.
“It was always going to be hard to come back from 29 for four and we were always chasing that partnership.
“These are conditions that we are used to. And we have the skill level to contend with those guys in conditions like that. So it’s a day to forget.”
It was Kulasekara’s spell, which helped reduce England to 29 for four, that really undermined their efforts.
Morgan added: “He hit his length really well and asked a lot of questions but I think we are good enough to negotiate that.
“We have played against him a lot in the past and had success. I remember even when he was the world’s number-one ranked bowler we did well.”
England’s performance was in stark contrast to that put forth in the opener, when they were dominant in all departments en route to an 81-run win.
“It’s a huge contrast,” admitted Morgan. “Sri Lanka have come back with a high skill level and a bit of fight so it should be a good game in Manchester.”