Michael Clarke praises Sri Lanka's fighting spirit

Australian captain Michael Clarke admitted that the Sri Lankans might find the pitch at Adelaide, the venue of the second final, more suitable to their style of play Getty Images

Brisbane: Mar 4, 2012

Australian skipper Michael Clarke could not stop himself from praising the Sri Lankan side which gave them a scare before the hosts won the high-scoring first final of the tri-series by 15 runs on Sunday.

Australia just about managed to defend 321 for six as Lankan batsman put up a strong fight while chasing a big target. It was Australia’s first victory over Sri Lanka in this series.

“They continue not to quit unfortunately, they are very well-skilled. But (David) Warner and (Matthew) Wade were outstanding at the top,” Clarke said after the match.

“I’m pleased we won the game, but we’ve got some work to do tomorrow,” added Clarke.

David Warner cracked a scintillating 163 and Matthew Wade scored 64 to lay a solid platform for Australia.

Clarke also admitted that the Lankans might find the pitch at Adelaide, the venue of the second final, more suitable to their style of play.

“We got to the Adelaide Oval, which will probably suit the Sri Lankans more than the Gabba,” he said.

Stating that Shane Watson (3 for 33) once again came to the rescue of the team, Clarke said, “Watson saved us once again, we are glad to have him back in the team, this effort shows his class.”

Meanwhile, Sri Lanka skipper Mahela Jayawardene said he was happy with his players’ attitude.

“We’ve been playing some really good cricket, we fought till the end. It’s a good attitude to have. It was an incredible partnership.

“Kula (Nuwan Kulasekara) did very well, lots of positives for us to take from this. When Upul (Tharanga) got out, that probably put us back a bit. If there was a batsman left till the end, who knows?”

Jayawardene said their top order needs to improve.

“They (Aussies) took the momentum up front, that’s something we need to improve on. The guys are fighting for everything,” he insisted.

Man-of-the-match David Warner said Aussies needed runs up the order as they already had some targets in mind.

“I needed some runs on the board, we set ourselves some targets there. Dave Huss (1) missed out but he picked up four wickets,” said Warner.

Warner said that he was a little worried about his cramps during the match.

“I was just a little worried about the cramps at the other end, I was getting some treatment. I couldn’t move sideways so we’re going to do a fitness test on the day of the game. It’s good to get across the line, we are now 1-0 up,” said Warner. (PTI)