July 11, 2002

Tendulkar relaxed as Jayasuriya reflects on defeat

Sachin Tendulkar's 113 took India to their highest score in the NatWest Series so far. It was his 33rd one-day century which helped India to a 63-run win over Sri Lanka at Bristol. He reckons that the fact India had already qualified for the final helped him to relax and play as he did.

"Since we have qualified for the final I just wanted to go out there and enjoy myself," he said. "It was a fantastic batting wicket too."

Meanwhile, the Sri Lankans will be pleased their tour is at an end after a run of disappointing results. Their captain Sanath Jayasuriya admitted things have not always gone as he would have liked over the past three months. He would certainly liked to have had his main bowler, off-spinner Muttiah Muralitharan, available throughout.

"If Murali had been there this would have been a different game," he said. "In this one-day series we would have won one or two games more at least."

Looking back on tonight's defeat, Jayasuriya felt Sri Lanka could have done much better after Kumar Sangakkara had given them a good start with his rapid innings of 66. But the turning point proved to be the departure of Mahela Jayawardene.

"We started very well, and Sangakkara played very well. But to win chasing 300 you need someone to go on to a hundred," Jayasuriya said. "A few got started, but nobody went on very far past 50. You cannot afford to do that if you are going to have a chance of a successful chase when the opposition has got such a big total."