Bangladesh v Sri Lanka, 2nd ODI, Mirpur February 20, 2014

'Sangakkara showed his class again' - Mathews

Sri Lanka captain Angelo Mathews praised Kumar Sangakkara for his century on Thursday, which helped the side beat Bangladesh by 61 runs and claim the series 2-0. Sangakkara made 128 at No 3, his 17th ODI century, at a time when the team was in some trouble.

"It was very important," Mathews said. "If we wanted to take the series, this was the game. He [Kumar Sangakkara] always comes to the party when the big occasions arise and he showed his class once again.

"We were in a spot of bother early on losing three early wickets but the veteran scored a brilliant hundred. With [Ashan] Priyanjan, they set up the platform for us to launch at the end. It was a brilliant performance from both."

Sangakkara added 114 runs for the fourth wicket with Priyanjan, who made his second half-century in ODIs. The newcomer struggled for a while, but Sangakkara made sure the scoring did not slow down. Once Priyanjan was set, both batsmen attacked the Bangladesh bowlers.

Bangladesh's shot-happy batting ensured Mathews had little trouble defending 289 runs. He still thought the bowlers would have to fight, but Lasith Malinga, Sachithra Senanayake, Ajantha Mendis and Thisara Perera stuck to their plans, and picked up wickets after bowling a few good overs.

"It was quite comfortable. If you look at the last two T20s and the first one-day it was very tough," Mathew said. "But you can't take anything away from Bangladesh as this was a hard-fought win and they played some good cricket. They kept losing wickets, that was their main downfall, but they batted very well and put us under pressure. We had to fight really hard and our bowlers once again did it which was amazing."

Bangladesh also dropped four catches, but Mathews shrugged it off saying his team won because of their commitment and efforts.

"I actually don't believe in luck," he said. "It is the commitment and the effort you put in and you actually win those battles. Bangladesh dropping catches was not our fault. We played good cricket and certainly we deserve to be the winners."

Mohammad Isam is ESPNcricinfo's Bangladesh correspondent. He tweets here