India v Sri Lanka, Asia Cup, Fatullah February 28, 2014

'We did those little things right' - Mathews

ESPNcricinfo staff

Mathews hails match-winner Sangakkara

Sri Lanka have won their first two matches of the Asia Cup, beating their two strongest opponents, Pakistan and India. Both were close matches, and Angelo Mathews, Sri Lanka's captain, said they had won because they had grabbed the important moments.

"We've been winning those close games," Mathews said. "Once again it was a nervous game but we do those little things right. But we need to play better cricket against stronger teams. Today also I think we could have won it a bit easier than what it was in the end because the middle order collapsed."

Mathews said Kumar Sangakkara's 84-ball 103, the fastest century of his career, which came on a slow pitch that other batsmen from both sides had struggled to score quickly on, was one of the best innings he had seen.

"He's a true champion," Mathews said. "Has done it for the past so many years. Once again when the team needed, he delivered. It was a treat to watch him bat and it was one of the best innings I have seen in the recent past and most importantly he got us through. I am really happy with the way he batted."

Sri Lanka had picked three spinners for this match, and it helped the team that they won the toss and avoided bowling when the dew came into play. Asked about this, Mathews said Sri Lanka had the resources to win even if they had batted first.

"We were geared up for both batting or bowling first," he said. "But we wanted to chase as the dew comes in to play. Wicket was slow so we played [Ajantha] Mendis in place of [Suranga] Lakmal. Had we lost the toss India would have bowled first as well. Bowling second is not tricky because it turned with Jadeja and Ashwin as well. So it was tricky for our batsmen as well. We have the allrounders too with Sachithra at eight and Mendis at nine. We have the batting depth so we were up for the challenge if we had to bat first as well."

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