Every Sri Lanka batter to blame for ‘terrible’ display against England, says coach Grant Flower

Will Macpherson
·1-min read
 (Sri Lanka Cricket)
(Sri Lanka Cricket)

Sri Lanka batting coach Grant Flower admitted he was “at a loss for words” when attempting to explain his team’s “terrible” performance in being bowled out for 135 on the opening day of their series against England.

Thanks to an unbeaten partnership of 110 from Jonny Bairstow and Joe Root, England reached stumps just eight runs behind with eight first innings wickets in hand.

Sri Lanka’s first innings was characterised by injudicious strokeplay, with Kusal Perera and Kusal Mendis – who made his fourth straight duck – particularly at fault.

Flower said the batsman had no one but themselves to blame.

"You ask me who should take the blame?” said Flower, the former Zimbabwe batsman. “Every single batter should take the blame, they’ve only got themselves to blame.

"One of our guys was unlucky, [Dasun] Shanaka caught off Jonny Bairstow's ankle, but the rest got themselves out.

"It was good bowling but the pitch isn’t a minefield - it will get worse. [There are] no excuses.

"I'm at a loss for words, I've never seen us bat that badly. They know these conditions well and it should have been a big advantage. England's batsmen showed us there's nothing wrong with the pitch, we batted terribly”.

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