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Our bowlers were off-colour: Mithali

- ‘We failed to put up a good fight’
Mithali Raj, after her dismissal, in Mumbai, on Tuesday

Mumbai: When the 2011 World Cup was co-hosted by India, the Mahendra Singh Dhonis made most of home conditions to emerge champions. But Mithali Raj and Co. failed to emulate the Men in Blue.

The situation in Group A was very competitive and the Indians had to put up their best in order to advance to the Super Six stage.

A win was not an absolute necessity, but then India lost the match against Sri Lanka by a massive 138-run margin. That ended all hopes as England, West Indies and Sri Lanka progressed to the next round.

India will now lock horns with Pakistan, on Thursday, to avoid a last-place finish.

At the post-match presentation ceremony, India captain Mithali admitted that she didn’t expect the Lankans to put up a 280-plus total on the board and that her bowlers were completely off-colour.

The following are excerpts

Mithali Raj: It is very, very disappointing to be out of the tournament, more so as we are the host team. We just couldn’t win today’s match, which obviously was very important for us.

But I give the credit to the Sri Lankans who played very well and they have outplayed us in both departments — in batting and bowling.

The England game was very crucial for us… We did put up a good fight in that game, but we failed to do that in today’s game, against Sri Lanka. This was an opportunity for us to win the trophy in front of the home crowd, but all I can say is that I am very disappointed.

Honestly, I didn’t expect Sri Lanka to score 280-plus... We had a very good start, and tightened it up in the middle overs. I thought the score would go up to 240-250… They scored a bit more.

The Sri Lankan batsmen scored most of their runs at square of the wicket. All our bowlers were off-colour today. We can expect one or two bowlers to be off colour a given day, but not all of them.

I don’t think it was complacency, I had lot of faith in my bowlers. The kind of attack we had, I definitely felt 280 was a little more today.

When you are chasing 280-plus, you expect a better start, which we didn’t have… And then, when Kamini and I started to build a partnership, unfortunately I lost my wicket. After that I think the top order just collapsed.

I feel a lot of young cricketers, like Thirush Kamini, Poonam Raut and Harmanpreet Kaur have come out very well in the two-three games. That’s the positive from the tournament for us.

Sashikala Siriwardene: I am proud of my girls… Things went as planned and so I am very happy. Batting first was an advantage and then putting up 282 on the board worked for us.

Though we lost (Chamari) Apapattu in the beginning, people down the order contributed and I am happy with the overall performance.

Thanks to the coach and the management. Our confidence is sky high as we go into the Super Six stage.