The Sri Lankans misery on the cricket pitch don’t seem to be ending anytime soon. After the 5-0 ODI series whitewash, the T20I series has also slipped out of their hands. Pakistan took an unassailable 2-0 lead and Sri Lanka are left to play for pride in the last T20 in Lahore on Sunday. Though they lost the second T20I in a thriller by two wickets and with a ball to spare, the fact remains that it was their seventh straight loss to Pakistan.
Coach Nic Pothas hailed his relatively young side, who took the field in the absence of several key players refusing to travel to Pakistan for the third T20, for showing tremendous fighting quality. “Yes, you can say this is the best match we have played. It is funny because we arrived here and played two good Test matches. Very happy with those but probably we let ourselves down in the five ODIs. Then this game was super and so the loss is a bitter pill to swallow,” said Pothas, asserting that he wouldn’t put the T20 performance in the same lines as the ODIs.
Regardless of Pothas’ assessment, the team’s success is representative of their quality. The Lankans are clearly lacking in many departments and looks to be on a never ending downward spiral.
With this latest defeat, the Sri Lankans now own the unwanted record of the most defeats in a single year. The good news is that the year is not over yet and there is time to buck up. The bad news is, the year isn’t over yet and the Lankans are reeling. One could make a case for their defence by saying that they lost several senior players. However, it isn’t really a valid excuse for their performance this year.