Sri Lanka captain Angelo Mathews held his team's lacklustre fielding responsible for their three-wicket defeat against Pakistan on Monday which ended their ICC Champions Trophy 2017 campaign. After being put in to bat, Sri Lanka recovered from a batting collapse to set a competitive 237 run target to Pakistan. But Sri Lankan fielders dropped Sarfraz Ahmed twice off Lasith Malinga's overs as the Pakistan skipper cracked a match-winning 61 to take his team to the semi-finals.
Sri Lanka captain Angelo Mathews couldn't believe they blew it.
"I thought we were pathetic once again. If we had held those catches, it would have been a different story, especially at very crucial times - first over, and towards the end, where we let go of Sarfraz was very crucial," Mathews said.
"It was a bit of a funny wicket. We hadn't got the runs on the board but we knew we could defend this. And the bowlers did their job, but we didn't hold on to our catches," he said.
Mathews, however, credited the resolve of the Pakistan players for the win. "A see-saw kind of a game. Credit should go to Pakistan. They held their nerves and are deserved winners."
The Sri Lankan captain, however, backed his inexperienced team for trying to defend the modest total.
"Proud of the boys. Even though we only had 236 to defend, they gave it their all. Unfortunately, we missed a few chances. In a big tournament like this, they fought hard an inexperienced team. I'm proud of them," he said.
Pakistan will play England in the first semi-final on Wednesday at Sophia Gardens in Cardiff. Meanwhile, defending champions India will face Bangladesh in the other semi-final on Thursday at Edgbaston. The final is on Sunday.