'Sangakkara injury provides useful break' - Jayawardene
Sri Lanka captain Mahela Jayawardene said that although Kumar Sangakkara's injury was unfortunate, it was good in a way as it allowed Sangakkara an overdue break from cricket ahead of the World Twenty20 tournament in September. "He hasn't had a break for nearly two years so if you look at it that way, it's unfortunate but he gets a deserving break. Hopefully he will get fit for the World Cup [World Twenty20]," Jayawardene said.
"Kumar behind the wickets is always the added factor for me as a captain because he sees things and he can analyse them and let me know certain things. It's a big opportunity for him [Dinesh Chandimal, who is] keeping wickets after a long time."
Kumar Sangakkara felt some pain after being hit by Ashok Dinda but decided to bat on, Mahela Jayawardene said. Sangakkara was on 23 off 29 deliveries when he was struck on the glove by a short ball and went on to make 73 off 95 before falling to Dinda. A scan showed later that Sangakkara had fractured a finger on his right hand, putting him out of action for at least four weeks.
"Sanga said that he had pain but he could bat through," Jayawardene said. "He knew there was pain but it wasn't really bad when you are in that situation. When [he is] batting in the middle he will bat through, but he did feel it so that's probably why he didn't go for big shots. I just told him to just bat through [the innings]."
Jayawardene backed his decision to bat first, despite recent results showing that the relaid Premadasa pitch favours teams batting second. Eight of eleven games at the ground since 2011 have been won by the chasing side.
"When we put runs on the board it is always easier for a side to put pressure [on the opposition]. Even after being 20 for 3, we ended up with 286. I thought if we had a good start we probably could have scored more runs. I thought we came back into the game when they were 180 for 4 after the [batting] Powerplay. I think the way we bowled in the last ten overs and obviously the lost opportunities [while fielding] probably cost us the game. We had them [under pressure] in certain situations, but just couldn't finish it off."
With India needing 65 off 44, Sachithra Senanayake, substituting for Sangakkara, dropped Suresh Raina on 19. Raina went on to make a match-winning unbeaten 65. Jayawardene, however, said Sri Lanka's fielding was largely good. "The ground fielding was excellent except for the couple of fumbles but we will definitely look into it because that's an area which we take a lot of pride in ourselves - our fielding."
Abhishek Purohit is an editorial assistant at ESPNcricinfo