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Dream come true: Zoysa
February 29, 2004 20:10 IST
Sri Lanka fast bowler Nuwan Zoysa described his match-winning performance against Australia in the fifth and final one-day international on Sunday as a "dream come true".
Zoysa shone with bat and ball, taking three for 34 in the morning as Australia were restricted to 198 for seven, and then powered Sri Lanka to a dramatic three-wicket win with a career-best 47 from 42 balls.
He rescued Sri Lanka after the hosts had slumped to 136 for seven, adding 66 for the eighth wicket with Russel Arnold, who finished on 23 not out.
"It was a dream come true for me today," Zoysa told reporters after completing his first series for 18 months.
"When I walked on to the park this morning, I knew I could do well here.
"I bowled one of the best spells so far in my career and that helped me bat well later in the day -- it is all about confidence."
Adam Gilchrist, Australia captain in place of the rested Ricky Ponting, paid tribute to Zoysa.
"He just struck the ball beautifully -- not many guys at number nine or 10 can pull Brett Lee for six," he said.
"He gave us one chance that was difficult with the ball in the sun but, other than that, he hardly put a foot wrong.
"It was his day -- fair play to him."
Gilchrist also praised the performance of all-rounder Andrew Symonds, named man of the series for his 211 runs and seven wickets from five matches.
"I thought he was outstanding. He has been improving and improving and produced great performances during the last 12 months."
Gilchrist was delighted that Australia had clinched the one-day series 3-2.
"To come and win another series on the subcontinent is so pleasing," he said. "We get told time and again that these are conditions that we don't play well in.
"Hopefully the confidence of winning here will flow on."