Mahela Jayawardene heaps praise on bowlers after maiden win in CB Series

Sri Lanka players celebrate the fall of a wicket during their CB Series match at the SCG on Friday Getty Images

Sydney: Feb 17, 2012

Having won their tri-series match against Australia comfortably on Friday, Sri Lanka captain Mahela Jayawardene was all praise for his bowlers, who, he claimed, are capable of adapting well to different conditions.

After bowling out Australia for 158 in 40.5 overs in a rain-curtailed 41-over-a-side match, Sri Lanka chased down a revised target of 152 in just 24.1 overs, winning the game by eight wickets under the Duckworth-Lewis method.

“Our bowlers can bowl in different conditions. They are capable of adapting well to various conditions,” said Jayawardene after the match.

The Lankan skipper said his team also did well to overcome the early jitters to come back strongly and bowl out the Aussies.

“When those two catches went down, I wondered if this was again one of those days, but we pulled it back really well,” he said.

Jayawardene (61 not out), who anchored the run chase with a solid 67-ball unbeaten knock here at the SCG, said he promoted himself as an opener because Sri Lanka needed a good start.

“We needed a start, I have done opening before. It was a good call and thankfully it worked today. We knew we had to win today. Also, we try and play different combinations, depending on conditions and oppositions,” he insisted.

Stating that all the players did a good job on the field today, the 34-year-old Jayawardene said, “Our fielding was good today. Batsmen also showed a lot of intent and youngsters lifted themselves up well. Getting the bonus point was the icing on the cake.”

Man-of-the-Match Thisara Perera, who bagged two for 29 besides being involved in the crucial run out of Matthew Wade, said he was overwhelmed with his efforts.

“I am really happy to play in Sydney, this is my second match here. I am really happy. My wife is also here,” he said.

Australia’s stand-in-skipper Ricky Ponting, meanwhile, said that the wicket did not behave the way his team anticipated it to.

“The pitch didn’t have the sort of pace we thought it had. It certainly did not have any pace and their bowlers capitalised,” said Ponting.

He also admitted that Wade’s run out proved to be expensive for his side.

“Wade’s run out was pretty costly.”

Ponting, however, praised the Sri Lanka team, saying that they were good in all departments of the game.

“Full credit to Sri Lanka, they bowled and fielded really well, and played their shots in the chase. We thought we could use the seam of the ball and capitalise, but that wasn’t the case,” he admitted.

Hoping to have a better day at office on Sunday when they play India, Ponting said, “Hopefully, Sunday is better than tonight! We will be up against a very good Indian team and we hope to do better.” (PTI)