CARDIFF: Sri Lanka’s run ended in the last-four of the Champions Trophy, marking another occasion when the team has come so close to a title but failed to go on.
The team lost in the final of the 2007 World Cup before going down to Pakistan at the 2009 World Twenty20. Their poor run in finals continued as they were beaten by India in the 2011 World Cup final and then lost to the West Indies at the World Twenty20 last year.
This time, Sri Lanka fell in the semi-final and in a rather one-sided fashion.
Restricted to 181 for eight, Sri Lanka found the India batting line-up too hot to handle as they saw the opposition coast towards the victory target and finish the job in 35 overs.
Captain Angelo Mathews, who made 51, said the toss had been vital.
“It was a bad day at the office, the toss was vital I thought,” he said. “It was swinging and seaming so the batters were finding it hard. It was a bit two-paced and there was a bit of lateral movement.
“The pitch got a bit easier but I thought 182 was just below-par. With the Indian batting line-up, at least 250 would have been a good score.
“We are disappointed and the whole nation is disappointed, but I’m also sure the whole nation and the team is also quite happy that we reached the semi-finals, because it’s the best eight teams and we competed against the best.
“Unfortunately once again we choked in the semi-finals against India.”
Asked to pick a winner, Mathews said the final was too close to call.
“That’s a tough one. Both teams are quite even and on that day whoever makes fewer mistakes will win.”
Dilshan ruled out of West Indies tri-series
Tillakaratne Dilshan, who injured his right calf during the semi-final and retired not out before returning to bar, has been ruled out of the tri-series in the West Indies starting June 28, according to ESPNcricinfo. The replacement is likely to be picked from the Sri Lanka ‘A’ team, currently touring the Caribbean.
Published in The Express Tribune, June 22nd, 2013.