London, June 14: An "outstanding hundred" from an "outstanding cricketer" was the reason for England's loss to Sri Lanka in a Group A game of Champions Trophy at The Oval on Thursday (June 13), captain Alastair Cook has said. He was referring to Kumar Sangakkara's unbeaten 134 that guided the Islanders to a 7-wicket victory.
Speaking to reporters after the match, Cook was asked whether it was the experience of Sangakkara that got them the win. To which he replied: "I don't know, I think the difference was an outstanding hundred from an outstanding cricketer, that was the difference. Sometimes you can come up short against a guy who plays as well as that, and you don't feel quite so bad. We tried a few different things, and the 120, 130, whatever he got bowled out, we didn't get a chance, so nothing we can sit here and say we had our opportunity. That was a very fine hundred."
Sri Lanka chased down a big target of 294 in 47.1 overs. Nuwan Kulasekara was also superb with a quick half century after earning a promotion to number five in batting.
Cook looked a bit unhappy with the umpires changing the ball midway through the Sri Lankan chase. "The ball was changed because it was out of shape. That was the umpire's reasoning. Yeah, the umpires make those decisions, so yeah, you have to you have to accept them. Sometimes you don't think they're the right decisions, but there's not much you can do about it."
The skipper felt another 20 runs could have made the difference. "If you add another 20 runs on the board, it might have been a different story. Yeah, I struggled a little bit with timing, but 300 wins you a lot of games of cricket. It didn't today because that was a very fine hundred from Sangakkara," he said.