Sri Lanka v Australia, 2nd ODI, Dambulla February 24, 2004

'Vaasy showed his class' - John Dyson

John Dyson feels that Chaminda Vaas bowled a 'textbook over' right at the end
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John Dyson, Sri Lanka's coach, has praised his team for pulling off a nailbiting one run victory against Australia, a result which he believes will be a major confidence-booster for the rest of the series.

He said, "All along I've said that if we play as well as we can, we can beat the Australians. To come out on top on Sunday, when the Australians had at one stage looked like finishing off the match, is just a great confidence booster."

Dyson was all praise for Chaminda Vaas, who kept his cool in the dying moments. "The bowlers stuck to their task beautifully and were well supported on the field. Vaasy's last over in particular will go down as a textbook over. He showed us how to finish off a final over under pressure.

"The main thing in one-day cricket is not to lose heart, but to keep the fielding performances as high as you can possibly can. I thought that if you get a wicket and it happens quite often that when one wicket falls not long afterwards another goes and all of a sudden you are back in the game. That's what happened yesterday [on Sunday]. We got a couple of important wickets Damien Martyn, Matt Hayden and all of a sudden we were right back into the game. The boys stuck at the job. They didn't throw it away and go through the motions. They kept fielding and bowling well and kept looking for opportunities."

About the Australians, Dyson had this to say: "I don't think Australia lost focus of where they were going. We just played well enough to stop them achieving it. They worked out their batting plans very well. At various times in the past, someone like Bevan has been there towards the end to get the runs for them. He was there again and in the second last over he hit a six off Murali. There aren't many who could do that. And all of a sudden they were back in the game. It came down to a tight last over and Vaasy showed his class with his experience bowling the perfect over."

Dyson was all praise for the Sri Lanka's effort and said, "I thought the boys played extremely well. There was this terrific opening stand between Sanath [Jayasurya] and Marvan [Atapattu]. Then Mahela [Jayawardene] and Sanga [Kumar Sangakkara] did a good job. There was a little bit of disappointment in the rest of the batting. It is because they haven't played many one-day matches in the past six months or so. We'll have to talk it out."

He spoke about two turning points in the match which caused it to swing towards Sri Lanka - the dismissals of Ricky Ponting and Matthew Hayden. "All dismissals were important because they slow the run-rate straight away and puts extra pressure on the next guy coming in. To me Ponting and Hayden's dismissals were very important or we could have been in trouble."

Dyson also praised the pitch on which the two matches were played on. "The wicket was very good on both days. Brett Lee got a ball through Sanga and hit him on the helmet. The ball carried all day and it didn't spin viciously."

He said that it was a gamble to go with only one fast bowler but added, "but on this occasion it paid off. It does not mean that in every game we are going to do that. We took the decision to suit the wicket."