Captain rues missed chances
Beaten Sri Lanka captain Mahela Jayawardene believes his team were undone by key errors in their thrilling four-wicket defeat to Pakistan on Tuesday.
Jayawardene hit 31 in his team’s total of 253 all out, but only opener Sanath Jayasuriya managed to get beyond the 30s with his knock of 48.
And the skipper was left to rue his team’s inability to convert solid starts into more.
He said: “We have been getting starts in the last 10-12 games. We didn’t do that today. So the momentum wasn’t there, maybe we were 20-30 runs short.”
Pakistan, playing without pace duo Shoaib Akhtar and Mohammad Asif, who were sent home for failing a drugs test, made the most of the chances presented to them following some slapdash fielding on a playing surface that dewed up later on.
Jayawardene himself dropped a straightforward catch off Imran Farhat in the slips and later Tillakaratne Dilshan spilled Abdul Razzaq at backward point.
They would prove to be fatal to the chances of Sri Lanka extending their 10-match unbeaten streak.
“Still, I am proud of the boys," Jayawardene added. "They played hard. We gave everything we had.
“It’s not over for us. There are a few games left so we’ll see what we can do.”
Pakistan were in trouble at 161 for five in the 35th over, but Shoaib Malik and Kamran Akmal edged them closer to their target before Razzaq sealed his man-of-the-match award.
Having earlier taken 4-50, he made an unbeaten 38 off 24 balls to see Pakistan to 256 for six, with 11 balls remaining.
Razzaq was suitably modest afterwards of his achievements with bat and ball.
“The pitch was very slow," he said. "It wasn’t swinging on this track, so I just kept the ball on the stumps. I was successful.
“The situation was tense when we needed seven runs an over. Thanks to God I was able to do it.”