Vaughan says Murali tormented England
Michael Vaughan on Sunday said facing Sri Lankan spinner Muttiah Muralitharan during their three-Test series had proved to be a tough task.india Updated: Dec 21, 2003 20:10 IST
England captain Michael Vaughan on Sunday said facing Sri Lankan spinner Muttiah Muralitharan during their three-Test series had proved to be a tough task.
"Whenever he (Muralitharan) came on to bowl, he put us under pressure," Vaughan said after his team went down by a massive innings and 215 runs in the final Test.
Off-spinner Muralitharan claimed seven wickets in the match to finish with 26 in the series and was declared man-of-the-series.
The prolific spinner now has 485 wickets in 85 Test matches.
"Murali's away-going delivery was a major problem even for our experienced batsmen. He was the pick of their bowlers but I thought their other spinners and seamers too did well," Vaughan said.
England fell to their biggest ever loss to Sri Lanka at the Sinhalese Sports Club (SSC) ground as Muralitharan came up with another superb display.
"We didn't get enough runs on the board and the Sri Lankans put us under pressure. It was a good wicket but we did not make the most of the opportunity to bat first," he said.
England put up a dismal batting display in the match, scoring just 265 in the first innings and a meagre 148 in the second.
Vaughan's side had saved the first match at Galle with Sri Lanka needing just one wicket for a win. England salvaged a slightly more comfortable draw at Kandy, where they had three wickets remaining.
"We were on the ropes in all three games but got the final knockout today," said Vaughan after Sri Lanka won their first Test series against England. "We could not withstand the pressure.
"We have no excuses for our loss. We dropped some catches but I wouldn't blame anyone for that. (Marcus) Trescothick let off a couple in the slips but he has been fielding in that position for years."
Vaughan said his team had to take the positives from the series.
"We've gained in experience and hopefully some years down the line we will be able to play much better in such conditions."
Vaughan's Sri Lankan counterpart Hashan Tillakaratne said he was surprised at the abject surrender by England in the second innings.
"We did not expect the match to end today. It's a great feeling as we were unlucky not to win the first two Tests," said Tillakaratne. "It was a good team effort. Our good batting was backed by brilliant bowling."