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March 21, 2007
Sri Lanka have almost certainly sewed up their Super Eight berth with an emphatic victory against Bangladesh but Mahela Jayawardene has said that they would play hard against India on Friday to secure the two Super-Eight points that are up for grabs.
"We will take it [the India match] really seriously," Jayawardene told AFP. "I think we've played some really good cricket here and we deserve to carry that two points. We're 100 % focused for that game."
Sri Lanka won their second match of the World Cup by defeating Bangladesh by 198 runs in Trinidad. Sanath Jayasuriya battled injury to score 109 to boost Sri Lanka to 318 before the bowlers dismissed Bangladesh for 112. Jayawardene was delighted with the clinical performance.
"Our focus today was to concentrate on our strengths and play some smart cricket," said Jayawardene. "I'm very pleased. It's very important when you play against Bangladesh [that] you just do not lose early wickets because obviously they only have five bowlers. [If] we have wickets in hand and we can put pressure on those guys and that's what we did today.
"With a batting line-up like that we can always exploit the weaknesses. It's good to have these guys getting a knock early in the World Cup, breaking the shackles and getting into the mood. We have a big game in two days and we're looking forward to it."
Habibul Bashar, the Bangladesh captain, said that the opening partnership of 98 proved crucial to the result. "They just didn't allow us to attack them," said Bashar. "They played fantastic cricket but we didn't bowl or field well today. To beat India or Sri Lanka we need to field well and bowl well. But hopefully that will come back in the next game. We lost too many early wickets. There was nothing there for us today."
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.