GROS ISLET: Sri Lanka captain Kumar Sangakkara said the team had no-one else to blame but themselves after a seven-wicket World Twenty20 semifinal loss to England here on Thursday.
Last year's losing finalist was all but out of the game after being restricted to 128 for six, having lost its first three wickets inside five overs after Sangakkara won the toss at the Beausejour Stadium.
England then completed a comprehensive victory with four overs to spare as Kevin Pietersen, showing no sign of jet lag after flying back from London following the birth of his son, finished on 42 not out.
Only Angelo Mathews, with 58, made more than 16 and the collective failure of its top order cost Sri Lanka dear.
“In the first six overs if we'd got 40 runs with wickets in hand we could have accelerated through the middle but we lost three wickets early,” Sangakkara, who himself only made 16, said.
“Angelo Mathews played very well but we didn't bat smartly.
Sri Lanka was particularly perplexed by the England seamers' use of the slow, looping bouncer.
“Everyone has those sorts of deliveries these days but it is how you use them that counts and I thought England did that very well,” Sangakkara said.
Veteran opener Sanath Jayasuriya made just one on Thursday to complete a poor tournament for the left-hander, who finished the World Twenty20 with just 15 runs from six innings.
But Sangakkara refused to say whether the 40-year-old, the oldest player at this event, had represented Sri Lanka for the last time.
“Unfortunately he didn't have a great run but to his credit he stuck with the team through a difficult period and the team stuck with him,” Sangakkara said. “He showed a lot of support and we made sure he felt wanted, unfortunately he didn't deliver but we still had more than enough quality to do better than we did today (Thursday).
Sri Lanka, the 1996 World Cup winner, has punched above its weight in international competition.
It reached the 2007 World Cup final in Barbados, losing to Australia and in last year's World Twenty20 in England was unbeaten until coming up against eventual champion Pakistan at Lord's.
“In the last World Twenty20 we had one bad game. It's a question of not getting too far ahead of yourself and sticking to your basics,” Sangakkara said.
“We bat very well and we defend very well but to defend we need better scores.” — AFP