ICC Cricket World Cup 2011 / News

India v Sri Lanka, Final, World Cup 2011

Sri Lanka over 2007 loss - Jayawardene

ESPNcricinfo staff

March 31, 2011

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Sri Lanka have reached their second successive World Cup final, and though they were blown away by Adam Gilchrist's whirlwind century in the previous one, in 2007, their vice-captain Mahela Jayawardene said they had done really well since that setback. "Gilly did play that brilliant knock and we never had the opportunity to get into the game. It was an unfortunate episode. We have put it behind us and moved on.

"We are really motivated to be consistent and, to be right here in the final, speaks volumes about our character."

Going in to the final, Jayawardene said Sri Lanka were confident, especially after they overcame a late batting stutter to win against New Zealand in the semi-final. "The guys are really excited. We batted brilliantly and were positive in our approach (in the semi-final), but we had wobbled in a couple of overs where they put some pressure on us," Jayawardene said. "The guys came out very well, but you need those kinds of games under your belt going into the best part of the tournament."

Sri Lanka lost only to Pakistan in the group stage, and then beat England and New Zealand in the knockout rounds en route to the final. Jayawardene said they were quite satisfied with how they had progressed so far. "We have handled situations very well. The bowlers, batsmen and everyone has risen to the occasion.

Mahela Jayawardene inspects the pitch during practice, Colombo, March 24, 2011
Mahela Jayawardene says Sri Lanka are satisfied by their progress so far in the World Cup © AFP

"We had a very good chat about how we are going to approach the final. For a lot of players it was a dream to play for Sri Lanka and now they are on the verge of winning the World Cup."

Muttiah Muralitharan might be retiring from international cricket after the World Cup final, but Jayawardene said that Sri Lanka want to win the tournament not for any individual, but for the country. "We started the World Cup thinking we would win it for Sri Lanka," Jayawardene said. "I don't think we want to change that."

Elements in the Indian media have been exhorting the Indian team to win the trophy for Sachin Tendulkar in what could be his last World Cup, but Jayawardene said that Muralitharan - who is battling to get himself fit for the final - himself wanted to win it for Sri Lanka.


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