Debutants Kochi Tuskers Kerela roared back into the Indian Premier League [ Images ] with an upset victory over Mumbai Indians on Friday, and skipper Mahela Jayawardene [ Images ] urged rival teams to take them more seriously now.
The Tuskers chased down an imposing 182-2 that Mumbai Indians [ Images ] set to register their first victory in the tournament.
Jayawardene said beating the IPL 3 runners-up means a lot to the team.
"It was a good win. We were pretty close in the last two games. It is good to finish the game off and it is a big win against Mumbai Indians," the Sri Lankan told reporters after the eight-wicket victory.
"It (win) means a lot. All the guys are working really hard. We had an extra session at the nets after the loss against Pune; we showed a lot of character even in the games we had lost.
"The character that the guys have shown is brilliant. We have to keep fighting till the last. I think the rival teams will take us a little more seriously now following this victory. It gives us confidence as well," he added.
Jayawardene said it was important to see off his Sri Lankan teammate Lasith Malinga [ Images ], who is in rocking form.
"We knew we had the talent; we had an extra batsman today. The wicket was wet, they had a few dangerous bowler, we had to negotiate them. The start against Malinga was crucial.
"They are really a very good team but we were better today," he said.
Asked about his dismissal by Malinga, Jayawardene replied, "I knew what was coming. I knew how to play it but I missed it. It was a crucial moment of the match."
Asked if the negative reports about the Kochi outfit in the run-up to the IPL affect them, Jayawardene said, "I don't try to control things which I can't control; my only focus was to control the team."
On a lighter vein, when asked about the bright colours of the team's jersey, Jayawardene said the team chose the colour as it stands out.
"I like the colour, it stands out. It brings out the best in you. We didn't have many options; as most of the teams had chosen their colour, we went for the brightest. It suits Murali (Muttiah Muralitharan [ Images ]) and a lot of other guys in the team," he said.
Meanwhile, Ravindra Jadeja [ Images ], who finished off the game with a four and two sixes, said it was the confidence shown by his coach and captain that got reflected in his game.
"The captain and coach had shown confidence in me going by the performance in the previous matches. I wanted to hit straight shots and play according to the merit of the ball. I didn't want to play silly shots," the all-rounder said.
"My only thought was to play according to my strength. They have a good bowling attack, Mahela and Brendon gave a good start, we batted well," he added.
Jadeja could not play in the Indian Premier League last year following a one-year ban by the IPL governing council and the all-rounder said it was a missed opportunity but he hopes to prove his worth this year.
"Missed an opportunity, what I can do, last year; whatever has happened has happened. I hope to do well this time around," he said.
"I worked on my batting a lot, and bowling as well, when I was not playing. I tried to improve my skills."