Angelo Mathews admitted he thought Sri Lanka "had the game in the bag" after a dramatic tie in the first ODI of the Royal London series. England went into the final over eight wickets down and needing 14 to win but levelled the scores off the final ball thanks to Liam Plunkett's six.
England had early recovered from 82 for 6 through Jos Buttler and Chris Woakes but Mathews, the Sri Lanka captain, did not blame his bowlers for the result, but instead reflected that his side had been "poor" in the field and had finished 15 or 20 runs short of a par total.
"I thought we had the game in the bag for most of the overs," Mathews said. "Unfortunately Nuwan Pradeep's final ball yorker fell just off line and went for a six. For Pradeep, it happens. Unfortunately for bowlers, it happens. All the bowlers did well.
"We fell short by 15 or 20 runs. It was a brilliant wicket to bat on but we had to be satisfied with 286. We just kept losing wickets at crucial times.
"We've got lots of positives. We batted and bowled pretty well. But we were poor in the field. We can improve in all three departments but especially in the fielding."
Eoin Morgan, England's captain, admitted that his side were lucky to escape with a tie, calling it one of their worst batting performances of the last 12 months, but said that the belief in the squad was high.
"You can always win the game from any situation and today proved that a little bit," Morgan said. "We were dead and buried a couple of times in the World T20. There is a lot of belief in the changing room, particularly with the bat.
"We are very lucky to get out of this game with a tie and go to Edgbaston at 0-0 all square. The general performance was poor. Bat, ball, field, was really rusty. That was as bad as we have performed with the bat over the past year."
Morgan also praised the contribution of Man of the Match, Woakes. "A lot of Woakes' story is that he is competing with Ben Stokes and the two of them are incredible cricketers. We are lucky to have both of them"
Plunkett, who had hit six sixes in his previous five ODI innings, said that he knew he had done the job as soon as the ball came off the bat.
"You know when you have nailed the ball," he said. "It's that feeling pretty much when you're on a golf course and you nail it off the tee; it's a similar feeling. As soon as I hit it I thought 'it's six bits, thanks for coming'.
"I've practised striking the ball into the stands a lot. I bat at the death for Yorkshire as well, I feel I'm decent at doing that. I did back myself, if he missed, to hit it. I was trying to stay still. If he yorks and missed it try to go straight, if he tries to bowl a slow ball hopefully I can hit it out of the ground."