Angelo Mathews: 'Terrible shots were Sri Lanka's downfall'

A series of poor strokes undermined Sri Lanka's reply. The visitor tumbled to 22-3 before eventually conceding a first-innings lead of 81. That allowed the Proteas to set a huge target on an improving wicket, and on Friday's final day the tourist lost its remaining five wickets in just over an hour, falling to 281 all out and a crushing 206-run defeat.

AngeloMathews - Cropped

"It's not the skill, it's the mindset, we have to be tough out there," Sri Lanka captain Angelo Mathews said about his team's batting.

Sri Lanka captain >Angelo Mathews was in no doubt that "terrible" shot selection was the reason for the tourists' downfall in the first Test against South Africa.Mathews' side looked in a good position in the early stages of the first Test in Port Elizabeth, restricting the hosts to 286 all out having lost the toss.

But a series of poor strokes undermined its reply, Sri Lanka tumbling to 22-3 before eventually conceding a first-innings lead of 81. That allowed the Proteas to set a huge target on an improving wicket, and on Friday's final day the tourist lost its remaining five wickets in just over an hour, falling to 281 all out and a crushing 206-run defeat.

"The bowlers did well to restrict them to 286, but then it was hard work for the batters in the first two days," Mathews said in his post-match presentation. "The wicket got better but it was a poor show, especially in the second innings [Sri Lanka's first], we played terrible shots and that was our downfall. We have to bat well from the beginning otherwise we have to come back strong. We have a couple of days rest [before the second Test in Cape Town] and we'll try our best to turn things around. 

"It's not the skill, it's the mindset, we have to be tough out there. We're up against a quality side and we have to put runs on the board for our bowlers to bowl at. Hopefully we can better the performance in the next game."