Sri Lanka bowlers hunt in pack
Man-of-the-match Farveez Maharoof gave credit to his fellow Sri Lanka bowlers after claiming the best ever ICC Champions Trophy figures to help see off the West Indies by nine wickets.
Maharoof took six for 14 as the West Indies were bowled out for 80, helped by Chaminda Vaas and Lasith Malinga, who took two wickets apiece.
He said: “I think just overall we bowled well. Vaas started off well, Malinga got the breakthrough and I just had a good day.”
Despite the eye-catching figures, Maharoof claimed the pitch did not offer a lot to the bowlers.
He said: “It wasn’t like a pitch that had much life. It was just holding up a bit. It was reverse swinging and I just used my leg cutters well.
“I am very happy with my performance. This is the reward for the hard work put in in the last few days.
“It wasn’t a pitch where you could drive on the up. It was definitely holding up a bit. I thought we all bowled well.”
Captain Mahela Jayawardene also had praise for his bowling attack.
He said: “Vaas is a class bowler, he gives us a start all the time. He was backed up by some really good fast bowling from Lasith and Maharoof did the rest.”
The win means Sri Lanka avoid going into Group A alongside Australia, India and England, but Jayawardene played down the importance of that.
He said: “It doesn’t matter which group we are in. If we have to win a tournament like this we have to play good cricket against the best sides in the world.
“I am very happy with the way we played. It is good that we have continued our winning habit. This win has naturally put the confidence up of our entire unit.
“The other important thing is that we have been able to maintain our overall standards in batting, bowling and fielding.
“The main reason for this has been our hard work. And that effort has paid off well.
“We do know the potential of our entire squad of 14. We are very sure that when given the opportunity each one of them will rise to the occasion and perform well.”