Mathews praised the batting of Niroshan Dickwella and the bowling of Akila Dananjaya but was disappointed with the effort of his team who trail the Proteas 2-0 after a brace of losses in Dambulla.
Speaking after the match Mathews said: “We gave away too many wickets up front. And then we lost wickets at crucial times too, so we never got going.”
Mathews equated Sri Lanka’s fielding with that of schoolboys after a number of dropped catches offered South Africa’s top-order reprieves.
He said: “We didn’t hold on to catches as well, and while defending low scores, you need to hold on to every chance.
“We had a terrible day on the field. Neither did the bowlers bowl well. We were a bunch of schoolkids when it came to today’s fielding.”
Mathews hopes to have Dickwella who hit 69 available for the third ODI after he suffered a knock while keeping.
He said: “Dickwella’s gone for a scan, but he should be okay. Akila is bowling brilliantly, so we do have some positives there. We are still alive in this series.”
Mathews was pleased with his 79 not out but would have preferred a win.
“My hands were tied in my knock, because we were losing wickets all the time, but pretty pleased on a personal note.” (Courtesy Sport 24)