Angelo Mathews

Angelo Mathews picked up four wickets in Sri Lanka’s 39-run victory over the West Indies © AFP

Port of Spain: Jul 9, 2013

Sri Lankan skipper Angelo Mathews praised his side for showing a lot of character in their 39-run victory over the West Indies in the fifth One-Day International (ODI) of the tri-series in the Caribbean.

“Very pleased with the boys. They showed a lot of character. Especially on the first day. I thought Sangakkara batted brilliantly, he held the innings together,” Mathews said.

Mathews, who scalped four wickets to help his team restrict West Indies to 190 for nine in 41 overs, was glad that his team could put enough runs on the board on the rain-affected match.

“We had a team talk, and we needed to get runs. Especially with Duckworth-Lewis, batting first is a disadvantage. It is tough to play around rain delays batting first. We had to get the runs, and I am glad that we got the runs,” he added.

Former skipper Kumar Sangakkara, who was adjudged Man-of-the-Match for his 95-ball 90, said he just had to hang in there as he knew runs will come in the end if they had wickets at hand.

“I think the wicket was quite spongy. There was a slow high bounce. It needed patience at the start and slogging at the end. If you hang in there, with the new rules, and the wicket getting better, you can get the runs,” he said.

“The real decision is, when the going is tough, are you going to absorb the pressure or are you going to attack? Batting first, you can absorb the pressure and then catch up in the end. If you have wickets in hand, the advantage is with you. On tough wickets like this, being there in the end helps.”

Sri Lanka will next take on India in the last league match on Tuesday. West Indies stand-in skipper Kieron Pollard has blamed both his bowlers and batsmen alike for the loss.