Colombo: Sri Lanka skipper Kumar Sangakkara today asked his teammates to remain calm and not pay too much attention to playing to the gallery on the eve of their World Cup semi-final against New Zealand.
Sri Lanka thrashed England on their way to a crushing 10-wicket win over England in the quarter-final at the same wicket that will be used for the semi-final at the R. Premadasa Stadium.
"The guys have done that pretty well and tomorrow is not going to be any different, you can`t play too much to the crowds, or too much to show off. There`s no room for complacency at all," Sangakkara said.
Co-host and one of the favourites to lift the title, Sri Lanka would look to qualify for the final and emulate their triumph in the 1996 edition.
Sri Lanka gave a glimpse of their abilities in their win against England, when Tillakaratne Dilshan and Upul Tharanga slammed aggressive centuries to make light work of the 230-run chase.
The top four Sri Lankan batsmen have been doing the bulk of scoring in the tournament, with Tharanga and Dilshan both scoring two centuries each.
Mahela Jayawardene and Sangakkara also used their experience of playing on home surface, notching up centuries in the group phase.
"It`s a question of playing good solid cricket, concentrate on doing the best. If we keep our heads and we perform as well as we can, we can turn it into a solid performance," Sangakkara said.
While their fielding was poor at times, with Eoin Morgan being dropped thrice, Sri Lanka made for those blips on the field with their stunning batting.
"It is a new day. What`s happened before is gone, we have done well enough to get here but tomorrow is the day that counts," Sangakkara said of the semi-final.
Sri Lanka had enough breaks in between their group matches before playing the quarterfinal and semifinal within four days, and Sangakkara has no issue with the scheduling.
"All the cricketers would like a big break especially from matches in the heat. But that`s not something that we can control."
The skipper said toss will not be an important factor as the relaid pitches at the R. Premadasa Stadium have virtually negated the importance of winning the toss.
"These wickets have now evened up very well, I don`t think it (toss) will make a huge difference," Sangakkara said.
Sangakkara was aware of New Zealand`s long batting lineup with captain Daniel Vettori coming in as low as No. 9, and their fielding prowess.
"They bat very deep. They`ve got quality bowling and they are excellent fielding side. They are not an opposition anyone will take lightly, for us it`s the same, we are going to expect stiffest competition tomorrow and we are trying to be as clinical and as good as we can be in tomorrow`s game."