Looking forward to another tough match in semifinal: Mahela

Last Updated: Tuesday, June 18, 2013 - 09:17

London: Veteran Sri Lankan batsman Mahela Jayawardene was already looking forward to the semifinal against India after guiding his team to a 20-run win over Australia and a place in the last-four stage of the ICC Champions Trophy on Monday.
"We are looking forward to another tough match in the semi-final," Jayawardene, who was adjudged the Ma of the Match for his unbeaten 84, said.

A disciplined Sri Lanka set up a semifinal date with India as they knocked out holders Australia, with Jayawardene and Nuwan Kulasekara playing key roles.

During the course of his innings, the elegant Jayawardene crossed 11,000 runs in this form of the game.

"It felt really good (to complete 11000), but winning this was the icing on the cake. We are playing hard and passionate cricket, but we need to enjoy the cricket.

"That has been the mantra of our success in the past and hope it continues in the future. Seniors have a responsibility and it is our job to help Angi (skipper Angelo Mathews) out, that makes us a happy camp," Jayawardene said.

After setting a target of 254, Mathews said he knew it was going to be tough as Australia managed 233 before being bowled out.

"We knew it was going to be tough, defending 253," said Mathews.

"Thirimanne and Jayawardene batted well to get us to that score. I have never seen a crowd like this in the Oval before, and it was good to have the support. Our first target was the semis. Will enjoy tonight and see how it goes after that," he added.

Australia`s stand-in skipper George Bailey felt his side never got going.

"It would have been nice to get over the line in the end. Our goal was to do it in the 29 overs, but we never got going. There was no value in the result as such, semis was our main aim," Bailey said.

Talking about regular captain Michael Clarke, Bailey said he "is still improving and there is still a big series ahead. There are plenty of positives around and it was good to see the last two (Clint McKay and Xavier Doherty) fight it out."

PTI



First Published: Tuesday, June 18, 2013 - 09:17

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