Sri Lankan captain Angelo Mathews was lost for words after his team’s shocking exit from the Asia Cup as Afghanistan thumped them by 91 runs in the Group B game in Abu Dhabi on Monday.
This was Sri Lanka’s second defeat following their 137-run big loss to Bangladesh in the first game, plummeting the five-time champions out of the tournament.
Once Afghanistan put a fighting 249-run total they were eyeing an upset which their spinners Rashid Khan, Mujeeb Ur Rahman and Mohammad Nabi completed by taking two wickets apiece.
Mathews said his team, which suffered its 30th loss in the 40 games since January 2017, had a big jolt.
“This was shocking from the whole team,” said Mathews after the match. “Even in the first game, we got all out for 150-odd. Congratulations to Afghanistan as they outplayed us,” said Mathews, whose team also lost 4-1 to South Africa at home last month.
Sri Lanka lost Kusal Mendis second ball before Upul Tharanga (36) and Dhananjaya de Silva (23) took the score to 54 before they lost their nine wickets for a mere 104 runs.
“We got a good start [0/1 but then 54/1] but again lost our way in the middle overs. The bowlers did well, the fielding had also improved from the last match. It’s just the batting unit that let us down.
“We played better cricket in the later parts of the South Africa series. Just disappointing to see the way the boys went about it. We couldn’t handle pressure. Not passing 150 on both occasions is very shocking and disappointing.”
Sri Lankan cause was not helped by two runs outs and a reckless shot by Mathews who was caught near the boundary after scoring22.