Sri Lankan skipper, Mahela Jayawardene has said that the boys showed a lot of character in the do-or-die encounter against Australia on Friday.
Sri Lanka beat Australia by nine runs in the 12th game of the series to quality into the best-of-three finals. The islanders were in make or break situation, as a defeat in the game will allow India to go through to the finals.
Despite losing wickets constantly, the Aussie remained in command, thanks to David Hussey’s belligerent batting. The aggressive right-hander scored a blistering 74-run-knock after Shane Watson steered his team to comfort zone by adding crucial 65 runs. In
the final over, the Kangaroos required 10 runs to knock the tourist down.
However, the luck stayed on Sri Lanka’s end, as Hussey was caught at long off. The two teams will meet in three finals, with the first final set to be played on Sunday.
Jayawardene was delighted to see his guys living up to the expectations and showing a real character in the field.
"The boys showed character (to bounce back after the defeat against India). (Before today’s match) we discussed in the dressing room ‘what has happened (against India) has happened. When chips were down you need to lift your game and that’s what the team
has done," a jubilant Jayawardene said after the victory.
The classy right-hander added, "Fantastic support, it’s like playing in Sri Lanka. I’m sure the crowd will follow us now, the lift that we got (from them), it pushed us in the last few overs."
Courtesy of Kumar Sangakkara and Dinesh Chandimal’s superb half-centuries, the Lankans managed to post a score of 238 on the board. In reply, the hosts took a bad start, as both openers went back to pavilion without crossing double figures.
After an early embarrassment, Watson and Hussey took responsibility and consolidated the innings. Nobody else could put up a fine effort with the bat. As a result, the Australian were bowled out for 229 runs in 49.1 overs. Lasith Malinga, who was hammered
by the Indians only a few days ago, performed well this time, taking four wickets for only 49 runs.