Sri Lanka's coach, Nic Pothas © AFP
Sri Lanka’s coach, Nic Pothas © AFP

Sri Lanka go to Lahore after losing the three-match T20I series against Pakistan with a game to spare. After their success in Test series, visitors have now lost 7 games on trot in the limited overs (5 ODIs and 2 T20Is) in the seroes. Clearly, there are out of form in coloured clothings, and will fight for pride in the final match (virtually a dead rubber) in Gaddaffi Stadium, Lahore. Head coach Nic Pothas still drew positives from the narrow defeat before terming the loss as a ‘bitter pill to swallow’.

Pothas told Cricbuzz, “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 a bitter pill to swallow. You got to take wickets if you have to win with 124 on the board. I don’t think run rate would have come into the equation out there. The guys did well and they put their batsman under lot of pressure. In additon, Pothas was highly impressed by the standard of fielding displayed by both sides. “One thing I got to say is you got to take your hats-off to both fielding coaches. You will not see better fielding display from two subcontinent teams”, he affirmed.

Effort counts

Pothas mentioned that if he sees effort from his team, he is more than happy. “Collapses happen when you have got a pretty inexperienced side. Yes, we got a start and probably we could have done a little better. But the team has learnt very quickly and they have done that from that one game and from this one they will learn again. When you put an effort I think I can take it.”

Ashraf becomes 1st Pakistani to take hat-trick in T20Is

Speaking on his splendid bowling, hat-trick man Fahim Ashraf stated, “Getting a hat-trick is great and thanks to God and for all those prays from my family and friends. After the two wickets Shadab and everyone else said I can get that hat-trick which gave me a lot of confidence. Azhar Mahmood our bowling coach gave us a lot of confidence. He keeps saying you have come here because of your ability. So back your abilities and keep enjoying your bowling.”

Ashraf, with figures of 3 for 16, also seemed excited for Pakistan’s home game. “Playing at the Gadaffi Stadium we are aware how much our crowd backs us there. I was telling my friends the crowd that we get home you can’t get it anywhere,” he concluded.