We made real mockery of our second innings - Angelo Mathews
Riding on fifties from Mathews and Milinda Siriwardana, Sri Lanka scored 292 in the first innings and managed to bowl out New Zealand for 237 in reply thereby taking a 55-run lead.
However, Sri Lanka squandered this advantage when they were bowled out for just 133 runs in their second innings giving New Zealand a target of 189 runs to win.
Kane Williamson hit an unbeaten hundred to take New Zealand to victory despite a brave effort from Dushmantha Chameera, who took nine wickets in the match.
Admitting that their effort in the first innings provided a big chance to win the game, Mathews expressed his disappointment at the batting collapse which cost them the match.
“We just had to bat well and dig deep, but we made a real mockery out of our second innings batting and we just couldn’t give enough runs for the bowlers to get them out,” Mathews told reporters at Seddon Park.
“It is actually very disappointing the way the game unfolded towards the end.
“We had our chance, especially after getting them all out for 240-odd in the first innings.
“We had a healthy lead.”
Sri Lanka faced a barrage of short deliveries from New Zealand in the second innings and were unable to negotiate them well.
Even New Zealand top order were undone by the short deliveries from Chameera but Williamson displayed good technique to negotiate that strategy.
Mathews revealed that Sri Lanka tried to be positive against the short ball but rued that fact that they were unable to handle it well.
“After the first couple of wickets they used the tactic of bumping us.
“We thought the best way to handle it was to try and be positive and to score some runs off it, not recklessly.
“They tried to negotiate it but they couldn’t really.
“Both teams struggled to face the short ball.
“Both teams were applying that same tactic and the batters from the both teams just couldn’t handle it, apart from Kane Williamson.”
Chameera put a lone fight for Sri Lanka by taking a five-wicket haul in the first innings and followed it up with a four-wicket haul in the second.
Lauding the 23-year-old for his excellent performance, Mathews wants Chameera to keep bowling fast and trouble the batsmen.
“Chameera was absolutely brilliant.
“He is just finding his way in Test cricket.
“He’s played just a few games and he was able to shake the New Zealanders.
“He managed to upset their rhythm... and if he can keep his pace up there to constantly trouble the batsmen -- that’s all I want.
“I just want him to bowl as quick as he can.”
The action in Sri Lanka’s tour of New Zealand will now shift to the One-Day Internationals which begin on 26th December in Christchurch.
© Cricket World 2015