ICC Cricket World Cup 2011 / News
India v Sri Lanka, final, World Cup 2011, Mumbai
'We're going to miss Murali terribly' - Sangakkara
April 2, 2011
Kumar Sangakkara rued not being able to give Muttiah Muralitharan the perfect send-off in what was his final international appearance for Sri Lanka and admitted the team would "miss him terribly." Sri Lanka were beaten by six wickets in the World Cup final by India in Mumbai and Murali, on one of his rare off days, went wicketless in eight overs and conceded 39 runs.
"It's one of those rare days when he hasn't really done the job for us, but it happens maybe once in a 100 games," Sangakkara said. "We're going to miss him terribly. Unfortunately we couldn't give him a great send-off but that's the way it goes. We were outplayed and we have to accept that."
Sri Lanka had done well after winning the toss, posting 274 thanks to a superlative century from Mahela Jayawardene. They were in command when Lasith Malinga dismissed India's openers, Virender Sehwag and Sachin Tendulkar, early in the chase. But the Indian middle order stepped up with Gautam Gambhir and MS Dhoni reviving the innings with match-winning half-centuries.
Murali was dealt with easily by Gambhir and Dhoni, who hit him repeatedly to the extra-cover boundary. Murali had come into this game with a groin injury, and while it was considered a risk to play him, the game was just too big to leave him out. Sangakkara, however, said fitness didn't affect Murali's performance.
"He's our best bowler, even if half-fit," Sangakkara said. "But he was fine, he was almost at full fitness when he played today. I don't think it was an issue."
Murali had ended his Test career on a high, picking up a wicket with his final delivery to win Sri Lanka a game against India last year. And while that perfect ending eluded him this World Cup, Sangakkara summed up what he meant for Sri lanka. "Murali is the icon of Sri Lanka," he said. "As a champion on the field and off the field. As a human being and a cricketer, I don't think there is anyone to match him."
© ESPN EMEA Ltd.
Almost two-thirds of Dhoni's 9000 ODI runs have come as captain and all of them with the extra responsibility of keeping
Virat Kohli and MS Dhoni dominate the stats highlights from the Mohali ODI
India's limited-overs captain has wanted to bat up 'for a long time'; when he got the chance in Mohali, he played the big shots unhindered by the pressures of finishing a chase
A thoughtless remark nearly derailed the South African batsman's career before it began. And then he got five ducks
Recent middle-order mainstays make it to Pakistan's all-time XI selected on the occasion of the country's 400th Test
Australia's clash of Twenty20 and Test fixtures, with players forced to choose between them, will come to be seen as a tipping point for the international game
Higher frame rates for cameras and a safeguard to prevent operator error were the key improvements in technology that led to the BCCI agreeing to trial the system
Talking points from Mitchell Johnson's new autobiography
Taking 20 wickets against England was a significant step forward for Bangladesh - but work is required, particularly on pace bowling, to maintain their progress