Mahela Jayawardene, who stepped down as Sri Lanka's Twenty 20 captain after losing the World Twenty20 final against the West Indies, said his team failed to handle the "pressure situations" in the title clash.
"I think we tried very hard, but this match changed in three or four overs in the middle. In the pressure situations we couldn't control the match," Jayawardene said in the post-match conference after their 36-run defeat last night.
"Marlon Samuels batted really well and he took it away from us a little bit. But when we were put under pressure, we didn't react well to that. When those small mistakes add up, that's where you lose a match like a final, and that's what happened to us," he added.
Samuels bludgeoned his way to a match-winning 78 off 56 balls and smashed Lasith Malinga for five towering sixes.
Jayawardene said all the four finals they have played in the last five years have been different.
"We played well right until the final. Every defeat has been different. How we approached a couple of the finals, we did not start well and we kept chasing the game and it was tough for us to get back into it.
"I thought today we started well. Marlon took a gamble after the 12th over and it paid off for him. Those were individual performances that you have to give credit to. Under pressure he put his hand up and performed and that crucial moment he controlled."
Though he stepped down from Twenty20 captaincy, Jayawardene said he will continue to lead the side in Tests and ODIs until at least the series against Australia in December.
"I think we need a young leader. It's a great opportunity for somebody to start (captaining) in the T20 format. I haven't stepped down from the other formats (Test matches and ODIs), obviously I took over till December...I will assess what I want to do after that."
He led Sri Lanka in 19 Twenty20s, winning 12 and losing 6 with one tied match.