Angelo Mathews (above) was let down by the middle order collapse © AFP
Angelo Mathews (above) was let down by the middle order collapse © AFP


Fatullah: Feb 28, 2014


Sri Lanka might have put one step in the final of the Asia Cup 2014 with their second win in as many matches, but skipper Angelo Mathews said they would take one game at a time and look to get better.


“We have been winning those close games once again… it was a nervous games. We have been doing those little things right. We got to play better cricket to win against stronger teams. It could have been a bit easier than what it was.


The middle order collapsed and made it hard for the lower order to finish,” Mathews said after their two-wicket victory.


Experienced Kumar Sangakkara showed the way with a breathtaking 84-ball 103 as Sri Lanka recovered from a middle-order batting collapse to pull off a thrilling win.


Chasing 265 for win after opting to bowl first, the islanders rode on the 36-year-old’s masterclass to complete the task with four balls to spare.”He’s a true champion. He has done so many times for us in the past. It’s a treat to watch him bat. It’s one of the best innings that I’ve seen in the recent past.”On the move to play an extra spinner in Ajantha Mendis, he said: “We were geared up for both. We wanted to chase anyway because of the dew factor. We fell that the wicket was very slow and so thought of Mendis instead of Suranga Lakmal.”


But he denied that toss was a factor.


“India would have bowled first as well. I can’t say tricky. It turned quite a bit when Ravindra Jadeja and Ravichandran Ashwin were bowling, our batters had to work hard. We had the batting depth to be up for the challenge.


“We still have two more games to play good cricket. We saw how Afghanistan played against Pakistan. We cannot take them lightly. we still need to play some really good cricket before the final.”


Asked whom they would like to be their opponents in the final, Mathews said: “It does not really matter as long as we play good cricket. All teams are equally balanced. We are not really bothered. We just want to take one game at a time.”On whether Mahendra Singh Dhoni‘s absence hurt India, he pointed out that they too missed Tillakaratne Dilshan and Nuwan Kulasekara.


“We don’t have Dilshan, Kulasekara. Indians did miss Dhoni but one individual can’t make a massive difference. It’s about collective effort in a team game.”