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Home > Cricket > World Cup 2003 > Reuters > Report

Jayasuriya was confident team would rally

March 01, 2003 13:06 IST

Sri Lanka captain Sanath Jayasuriya said he was always confident his team would bounce back from their shock loss to Kenya and beat West Indies in Friday's crunch World Cup Group B match.

Sri Lanka's hopes of making the Super Sixes were left hanging by a thread after the Kenya defeat but they recovered to edge out the West Indies by six runs and virtually assure themselves of a place in the next round.

"It is a big relief for us, especially after the disappointing result in Nairobi," Jayasuriya told a news conference. "We didn't do well in the last match so there was a lot of pressure on us.

"It was a big match, there was a lot of pressure, but we played well."

Sri Lanka briefly looked to be in trouble when they finished with a modest total of 228 for six after winning the toss, but they picked up wickets at vital stages to restrict West Indies to 222 for nine.

"When we got 228 we thought it was good total with our bowlers," Jayasuriya said. "We lost a few early wickets which stopped us getting more runs but we thought it was enough."

Sri Lanka, world champions in 1996, have already been one of the surprises of the tournament.

They came into the event after unsuccessful tours of South Africa and Australia but cruised through their first three matches against New Zealand, Bangladesh and Canada before slipping up against Canada.

Defeat by West Indies would have left Sri Lanka needing to beat South Africa in their final group game to make the next stage but they will now probably make it even if they lose to the hosts.

"That is a good situation for us now but we need to beat South Africa as well because it will help us in the Super Sixes," Jayasuriya said.

© Copyright 2003 Reuters Limited. All rights reserved. Republication or redistribution of Reuters content, including by framing or similar means, is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent of Reuters. Reuters shall not be liable for any errors or delays in the content, or for any actions taken in reliance thereon.


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