Sri Lanka v Australia, 2nd ODI, Dambulla

'It's only a game after all,' says Atapattu

Wisden Cricinfo staff

February 22, 2004

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What the key players said after the match:

Marvan Atapattu Sri Lanka's captain
We thought 240 was a good score, but the way we finished was not too good getting just 45 runs in the last 10 overs. We did not plan enough at the end, and if we had concentrated on getting ones and twos we would have got around 270-odd.

The [Symonds lbw] decision was made and the umpires decided to call him back and they asked me whether I had a problem with that. Our guys knew it was a wrong decision and we didn't know what to do but when they asked him I was happy to call him back. It's only a game, after all, and we have to play the game in the right spirit. I said no because we all make mistakes and it was clearly a mistake. I don't see anything wrong in that.

Ricky Ponting Australia's captain
It was close and a great game of cricket. I was pretty happy with the way we went about things today. We were behind the eight-ball early in the game after a very good opening partnership, but we fought back really well with the ball. The batting was pretty good - just two runs shy. The guys will take a lot of confidence out of knowing that we can perform as well as we did today on a very worn Sri Lankan wicket.

You are always disappointed when you lose a close game, but we are not going to point the finger at any individuals. If you look back over the game you could probably pick up half-a-dozen incidents [that cost us the game].

We needed one of us to go on a finish it off, as it was not easy getting a start out there. But I played a poor shot and Matty [Hayden] got caught on the boundary and we did not finish the job. He played really well but we have come to expect that from him as he churns out runs in both forms of the game for us.

The venue was good but I was a little disappointed that we used the same wicket today. With there not being a lot of cricket here I would have thought there would have been time for the curator to prepare two wickets.

Chaminda Vaas Man of the Match and bowler of the fateful final over
Marvan asked me to bowl the final over and I used my experience and tried to bowl six yorkers, and it went nicely. I have played 220-odd matches but I think this was the best one that I have played. I have been playing for Sri Lanka for ten years and I know exactly what to do on these wickets.

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

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