Sri Lankan captain Mahela Jayawardene said his team failed to handle pressure in the 36-run defeat to the West Indies in the final of the World Twenty20 Championship in Colombo.
Jayawardene, 35, resigned as the T20 captain after the loss Sunday night and credited West Indian all-rounder Marlon Samuels for his match-winning knock of 78 off 56 balls.
“I think we tried very hard, but this match changed in three or four overs in the middle. In the pressure situations, we couldn’t control the match,” Jayawardene said.
“Marlon Samuels batted really well and he took it away from us a little bit. But when we were put under pressure, we didn’t react well to that. When those small mistakes add up, that’s where you lose a match like a final, and that’s what happened to us,” he added.
Sri Lanka has contested two of four World T20 finals and Jayawardene rued his team’s failure to convert finals appearances into wins. They lost to Pakistan in the final of the 2009 edition in England.
“We played well right until the final. Every defeat has been different. How we approached a couple of the finals, we did not start well and we kept chasing the game and it was tough for us to get back into it,” he observed.
“I thought we started well. Marlon took a gamble after the 12th over and it paid off for him. Those were individual performances that you have to give credit to. Under pressure he put his hand up and performed and that crucial moment he controlled.”
The Sri Lankan skipper, who top-scored for the hosts with 33, would continue to play for the country in this format of cricket. He has played 44 T20 Internationals so far scoring 1,224 runs with a highest score of 100. His T20 career strike rate is 133.77 and has an average of 32.21.
“I think we need a young leader. It’s a great opportunity for somebody to start (captaining) in the T20 format. I haven’t stepped down from the other formats (Test matches and ODIs). Obviously I took over till December and will assess what I want to do after that.”