SL vs Eng: Coach Flower pleased with hosts’ efforts despite ‘giving them 3 wickets’

Galle [Sri Lanka], January 23 (ANI): Sri Lanka batting coach Grant Flower doesn’t want to be too critical of his team despite losing three wickets early on day one of the second Test against England.
Sri Lanka again got off to a bad start but coach Flower is pleased with the efforts of all-rounder Angelo Mathews who steadied the ship for the hosts after the early blows.
“At stages we were a bit slow. We lost some wickets at crucial stages. But also given how we’d played in the first innings of the first Test, the guys probably thought we needed to dig in a bit more and put a larger price on their wickets,” ESPNcricinfo quoted Flower as saying.
“You can’t be too critical. And you’ve got to give credit to the English bowlers, especially Anderson,” he added.
Lahiru Thirimanne’s 43, skipper Dinesh Chadimal’s half-century, and Mathews gutsy unbeaten ton revived Sri Lanka after the hosts had lost two wickets in the first five overs.
“Angelo Mathews showed his experience again and got another really good hundred. He’s showed what a good player he was. Hopefully we can put on another 100-150 and put England under pressure,” said Flower.
“We still gave them three wickets. I thought Thirimanne could have left his ball. That said, I thought he played very well,” he added.
At stumps, Sri Lanka’s score read 229/4 in 87 overs. Mathews was unbeaten on 107 runs while Niroshan Dickwella was giving him company on 19.
The Sri Lanka coach was pleased with the hosts’ performances on day one of the second Test and credited England pacer James Anderson for the three wickets.
“A much better day than last time, and that’s down to the batsmen just applying themselves much more. It was a flat wicket. It didn’t turn much. There was a bit of bounce for the seamers,” Flower said.
“So the guys just had to bat, apply themselves, and wait for the loose ball. Jimmy Anderson bowled really well as he always does, but the spinners didn’t get a lot of help from the wicket,” he added. (ANI)

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