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Lankans won't lower guard against India
March 22, 2007 04:30 IST
They already have one foot in the Super Eight stage but Sri Lanka captain Mahela Jayawardene and star batsman Sanath Jayasuriya vowed they would not lower the guard against India in their final Group B cricket World Cup encounter in Port of Spain on Friday.
With two wins under their belt, Sri Lanka is close to a berth in Super Eight, while India would be hoping first to beat the Lankans and then pip Bangladesh with a better net run rate to the next stage.
"We are obviously enjoying the cricket we are playing right now but we have a big game in two days and we are looking forward to it," Jayawardene said after his side thumped Bangladesh by 198 runs in Wednesday's match.
India, if they can beat Sri Lanka and make it to the next stage ahead of Bangladesh, would also carry two points to the next level but Jayawardene hinted his side was in no mood to oblige Rahul Dravid's [Images] team.
"We are taking the match seriously because whoever wins will carry two points. I think we have played good cricket and we deserve to carry those two points. We will have 100 per cent focus on the game against India," he said.
Jayasuriya, adjudged man of the match for his blistering 87-ball knock off 109 balls, spoke in more or less the same line and in a veiled warning, referred to his brilliant record against India.
"We are taking it match by match and now the focus shifts to the match against India. We will give our 100 per cent in the match.
"Whenever I have played against them in India or any other places, I have done well. We want to play some good cricket against India," he said.
Jayawardene was happy with the clinical win over Bangladesh and was all praise for senior pro Jayasuriya.
"Our focus was to concentrate on our strength and play smart cricket. Sanath and Upul (Tharanga), especially Sanath, gave us the perfect start. The wicket was doing a bit in the morning and you needed to respect the pitch and the bowler early in the innings.
"With a line-up like ours, we can always exploit the weaknesses and when Sanath was going well, we just needed someone to bat around him," he said.
Kumar Sangakkara, who hit a sparkling half-century in the match, also hailed Jayasuriya as a 'gem' of a cricketer.
"He always has something to give to the side and he has been doing it over the years. He's a real gem for cricket in Sri Lanka and the world," he said.
Chamara Silva's unbeaten half century also drew praise from his captain.
"We all know his talent and he plays spin pretty well. He is a touch player and has his fancy shots. It's good to have him getting a knock early in the World Cup and getting into the mood," Jayawardene said.
His Bangladesh counterpart Habibul Bashar, meanwhile, admitted his side had failed in all departments of the game.
"They just did not allow us to attack. To beat teams like India or Sri Lanka we need to field well and bat well. But nothing went our way today, we did not bowl to the plan," lamented Bashar who's side had pulled off an upset win against India in the previous match.
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