Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Middle-order batting is exceptional - Sangakkara

Angelo Mathews played a decisive innings to carry his side to World Cup Final
Kumar Sangakkara, the Sri Lanka's skipper, extolled his middle-order batting for propelling his side to the final of the World Cup after they defeated New Zealand by five wickets in Colombo on Tuesday. Chasing New Zealand set a modest score of 217, Sri Lanka were thrashing on their way of victory at 160 for 1 when a sudden top-order crumpled and Sri Lanka lost their four vital wickets for just 25 runs after Samaraweera and Mathews located their side for the final.
Sangakkara said, "The middle-order won the match and it is no need of worrying about. I always think if you give them the chance they would prove themselves and today, they got it in crucial circumstances. We are pleased what they have done". Samaraweera and Mathews added 35 decisive runs for the sixth wicket to hold Sri Lanka to their second successive World Cup final. It was the second time in consecutive knockout matches that Sri Lanka had chased and won under lights. Sangakkara said, "We won two matches chasing because we lost the toss. If we had won the toss we would prefer batting first. Chasing and winning carries a lot of confidence than batting first and defending because you got the bowling attack to defend".
Accomplishment a World Cup final route was the zenith of a long journey and careful planning. Sangakkara said, "We planned for it for over two years. We missed a great prospect in 2007. Ours was to remake those opportunities in 2011 and to be there is very special for us. From that winning side of 1996 World Cup, only one member is with us and that is Murali. If you take his bowling and his character he has played a big part in our cricket".

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