ICC World T20: Couldn't take risk of losing Jayawardene, says Kumar Sangakkara

Kumar Sangakkara (above) led the team against England on Monday night in place Mahela Jayawardene as the latter has been warned for slow over rate Getty Images

Pallekele: Oct 2, 2012

Kumar Sangakkara on Monday night clarified that he led Sri Lanka in place of Mahela Jayawardene against England as the side did not want to risk lose the skipper on the count of slow over rate ahead of semi-finals.

Jayawardene has already been fined for slow over rate against the West Indies and one more offence would mean that he will be handed a one-match ban.

“Well I was the official captain. Both Mahela and (Angelo) Mathews were on warning and that is valid for six months. So we did not want to take the risk,” Sangakkara said after Sri Lanka defeated England by 19 runs to reach the semifinals along with the West Indies from Group 1.

Malinga played a key role in Sri Lanka’s win as he took five wickets, including three in a single over and Sangakkara was all praise for the paceman.

“The guys played really well. Lasith is unbelievable, specially the Super Over againat New Zealand with the new ball and also with the old ball. Hope he keeps doing that for us.”

Sri Lanka are the hot favourites to win the trophy but Sangakkara said they do not want to think much about it.

“It would be fantastic if we can win it but the focus is to keep our feet on the ground.”

England skipper Stuart Broad blamed the top-order failure for the defeat.

“We’ve learnt a huge amount from this, we need to keep wickets in hand at the top, we fell short at the top of the order and are death bowling too. Samit also showed what he could do,” he said.

Lasitha Malinga, Man-of-the-Match for his five wickets said he was happy with his performance. (PTI)

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