Sri Lanka v India, Group F, World Twenty20 2010, St Lucia May 11, 2010

Sangakkara credits Kapugedera and Mathews

Cricinfo staff

Kumar Sangakkara must be a relieved man. Despite their high net run-rate going into the game, Sri Lanka had some running to do to ensure their semi-final spot. And unlike West Indies and Australia, they had to contend with the Indian batting line-up on a wicket that favoured their style of play.

As if on cue, India's top order led by Suresh Raina forgot their travails against the short ball on the slow and low St Lucia pitch, to get off to a great start. Sri Lanka then clawed their way back into the game, with Thissara Perera, Thilan Thushara and Lasith Malinga bowling fine spells to restrict India to 163. Sangakkara acknowledged the efforts of his seamers who excelled with their yorkers in the end overs.

"I was thinking they would make a big score," Sangakkara said. "But we showed a lot of character to come back and not just cut down the runs, but take wickets too."

Sangakkara admitted that his side's first target was to reach 144, 20 short of the victory target but enough to stay ahead of India on net run-rate. "We were keeping an eye on 144. We said 'If we feel we can win this then we go on to chase this, but if we can't, we make sure we get 144'," Sangakkara said.

At one stage, even that target seemed stiff, after the in-form Mahela Jayawardene and the experienced Sanath Jayasuriya fell in the first two overs. Tillakaratne Dilshan shook off his indifferent form and brought Sri Lanka back into business with an attacking 33. Sangakkara then combined with Angelo Mathews to take Sri Lanka close to their first objective, which was met with seven balls remaining.

Buoyed by having knocked India out of the tournament, Chamara Kapugedera and Mathews sealed the morale-boosting win with a flurry of sixes, including one off the last ball of the match. Sangakkara was full of praise for the youngsters, who showed tremendous character to switch gears and turn the tables on India.

"You never want to lose guys early, especially Mahela, who is in top form," Sangakkara said. "But Dilshan got the momentum back for us and we talk about how capable our younger players are and they have shown how they can handle the pressure. Mathews and Kapugedera are going to be around for a long time.

"Everyone in the squad has to keep working hard and no one can sit back and relax as we have these young guys pushing everyone really hard," he said.

Sri Lanka's victory meant West Indies had to beat Australia by a substantial margin to get into the semi-finals ahead of them. As it transpired, Australia won that game comfortably to confirm Sri Lanka's rightful place in the knock-out round. There they will face a red-hot England side, but given his youngsters' ability to raise their game in the crucial moments, Sangakkara will be upbeat about his team's prospects.

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  • Dummy4 on May 16, 2010, 3:12 GMT

    Im so proud of our lankan team!!! This was a team effort!! An amazing win!!! Although i do wish our team was abit more consistent. That way they would be guarenteed in the final. The semi's were dissappointing. But this match was awesome! loved it!!!!!! And what's even more great is that dilshan did much better than what he has been doing. THis will be great for any future tournaments. It is sad that we didn't have him fully in form.....otherwise we would have been a killer team....! :) I hate to say this...but as much as i love sanath....i think his time is over. He didn't perform well at all. :(

  • Anthony on May 13, 2010, 9:32 GMT

    Well done SL for an efficiently executed final 10 overs in bowling and batting. For the semi final and final, we should open with Mahela and Sanga if we bat first as the two class and experienced batsman should be able to handle better the expected short pitched new ball pace bowling by the opposition in the opening overs. If batting second Sanga should drop down to No 4 to allow him recover from his wicket keeping duties, with Dilshan opening. Malinga should be used in short bursts as and when a wicket is badly needed and Perera promoted if quick runs are required. Thushara came back strongly in his last two overs and should be retained. The MP should announce his retirement in advance but remain in the squad to cover injuries and be replaced by Kulasekera or Mendis (placed in a safe fielding position where the ball does not follow him).Sri Lankans should deplore the Lake House Sportscope writer for wrongly suggesting that Sanath is being humiliated creating dissension in the team.

  • Dummy4 on May 13, 2010, 7:25 GMT

    What a wonderful match it was for the Cricket fans! and what a happy movement for a Srilankan fan! I completely agree with NiroshanDep I never enjoyed anyone's batting as i enjoyed when Sanath on fire but Its may be the time for him to rest! but after all I want him to be at his best when he retire from Cricket! I would be happy if they give a chance in the playing 11 to him he might be useful,with the ball when they play with England!

    I look forward for a great match tonight Hope Srilanak can beat England easily if Srilanka had to bat second Sangakara might try with kapugethera Mathews little higher when a senior batsmen to follow so they can play more confidently while there are players to follow!

    Its nice to see Malinga found the rhythm after missed for a while!

    Go Srilanak!

  • Ferrukh on May 13, 2010, 4:48 GMT

    Sanath is no doubt a great player. True sports man but now his time is over like Misbah in pakistan. I think fresh blood can make a difference in srilankan opening! I saw many kids playing cricket in srilanka like pakistan. Passion for cricket is alive in both south asian countries. Well played srilanka...totally out class India! best of luck PAK & SL. Hope srilanka will visit pakistan again!

  • Dummy4 on May 13, 2010, 3:45 GMT

    I do not know why Sana is still playing and taking the place of a young guy. He has done a lot to Sri Lankan cricket but the time has come for him to hang up his cricket shoes and take a shawl and sit in parliment with all the other good for nothing politicos of Sri Lanka

  • sara on May 12, 2010, 19:30 GMT

    Being an Indian, and obviously wanted India to win :) I was appalled by the fighting spirit shown by SL team even after crossing 147, they fought and aimed to win the match. I'm not sure whether Indian team would've tried winning or settled for just surviving into the semis if they were put in that position. I couldn't help myself clapping after Kapugedara hit the last ball six. AMAZING GAME by SL and they completely outplayed Indian Team not only in batting/bowling but also in playing spirit. I really want SL to win England and try winning the T20 World Cup. With this team, I'm sure they have great chance. They could give rest to Jayasuriya (Great player.. He has done his part and i'm sorry to see his current state and form .. he should gracefully retire). BEST OF LUCK SL!

  • Dummy4 on May 12, 2010, 17:56 GMT

    Great game by the Sri Lankans, i agree with NiroshanDeb, there is no sporting reason to keep Jayasuria in the team for the semi-finals. Even moving him down the order to no 4/5 and using him as a specialist bowler makes no sense, especially since we have bowlers far better than him waiting in the sidelines! If this game showed anything, its how the youngsters in the team can handle the pressure and responsibility, time to give them a chance and drop Jayasuria.

  • mukesh on May 12, 2010, 16:53 GMT

    Congrates lanka.. most variety attack. Excellent death over bowling and sensible batting supported by captaince innings from Sanga. Definetly would have loved india in semis. But that was a dream with our routine unimaginative Indian Team. May the best team win. SL has great chance in semis with England.Esp in st lucia where conditions are ideal for Asian Teams both in batting and bowling. Inform England and OZ can trash SL and Pak. But the conditions are best suited for Pak and SL and hopefully both make best use of it. Over top in must win games. England i am still not sure when i last saw them in these situations even in trination tourneys. OZ definetly has the edge with form but conditions might prompt them to use more of clarke , David as bowlers also there best bowler again might be smith. Which is definetly what Pak needs. SL r clear cut favourates esp with there attack silencing spin bashers indian team. SL - Pak rematch of last year finals on cards!!!!!! GL asian gaints

  • Dummy4 on May 12, 2010, 16:34 GMT

    Please ....Please.... if you want to win the semis,Give hon jayasuriya a luxuray break in St Lucia.Make him happy by some othe means.He is just wasting a slot and becoming a waste of a space.The politicians backing his position by either hook or crook must realize that for the sake of national ineterests this man should leave circket in sanity.Hon MR please give him a cabinet minister post.We don't mind one extra for the sake of the country and for the cricket.

  • Dummy4 on May 12, 2010, 16:16 GMT

    Now mostly everyone in Sri lankan team are back to the form they were in before IPL. They now have a better chance to go all the way. Only concern is Jayasuria - whether he should or not play is disputable. But my choice is he should not after looking at how he bat on last few games. SL ALL THE WAY !!!!!!!

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