We batted with controlled aggression: Mahela Jayawardene

Mahela Jayawardene said he was extremely disappointed with his team’s effort in the field Getty Images

By Ashish Shukla

Adelaide: Mar 6, 2012

After registering a comprehensive win over Australia in the second final of the tri-series, Sri Lankan captain Mahela Jayawardene said that the key to his team’s success against a tough opponent is to “compete well at all times”.

Sri Lanka’s eight-wicket win at Adelaide is their sixth win in the last eight games in Australia, including four in the present series.

“The way to do is to compete with them at all times. You must be able to handle a few situations better than them,” said Jayawardene after the day’s play.

Chasing Australia’s 271 for six, the Lankans overhauled the target with 34 balls to spare in what turned out to be a lop-sided contest and took it to the deciding third and last final of the tri-series, to be played here on Thursday.

Australia bemoaned islanders dominance in the powerplay and death overs but Jayawardene said they purposely didn’t targeted the home bowlers in those phases of the match.

“We have batted with controlled aggression, though we took the extra risk. We look to break down the target and play according to the situation,” said Jayawardene.

Extremely disappointed with his team’s effort in the field earlier in the day, Jayawardene said it was his one of the team’s worst performances of the tour.

“We were dropping everything. With just four bowlers (in the ranks), we had to pick wickets. It’s our one of the worst performances of the tour. We can laugh about it now but it would have cost us (the finals),” he said.

Jayawardene, who picked up an issue with umpire Bruce Oxenford after he had delayed in terming a delivery no-ball bowled by Farveez Maharoof, admitted that he became hyper.

“I am culprit for carrying it on a bit long and have been fined (10 per cent) for it. It’s good though once in a while to do so but I was hyper (than required).

“My issue was not the no-ball but how late the call was made. Umpire (Oxenford) said there was a lack of communication with the square leg umpire (Asad Rauf).”

The particular moment sort of galvanised the Lankans, who didn’t allow Australians to run away with a large total in the final overs.

“The only thing I told them was to make sure they can’t have free runs, let them have a tough run. The guys did it well,” said Jayawardene.

Regarding the Sri Lankans showing remarkable flexibility, like using off-spinner Tillakaratne Dilshan with the ball first up in the Australian innings, Jayawardene explained: “We had an option to go with an off-spinner or an extra batsman.

Since we knew we would be chasing today, we opted for an extra batsman.

“He (Dilshan) bowled very well, besides his batting of course.”

Jayawardene now has a strong case to be a regular opener in ODI but the skipper said he would have a word with selectors and see how it pans out. His promotion though has pushed the regular opener Upul Tharanga lower down the order.

“He’s been told we would be flexible with the batting order. Everyone’s getting the reasoning (for shift in batting order) and it’s done tactically,” explained Jayawardene.(PTI)