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Sri Lanka deserves to be in final: Angelo Mathews

Saturday, 5 April 2014 - 8:20am IST | Place: DHAKA | Agency: DNA

Though they were in a comfortable position before rain put a full stop to the first semifinal on Thursday, Sri Lanka would be thankful they did not have to encounter any late surprise from West Indies.

Sri Lanka now have a chance to go for the ICC World Twenty20 title once again as this is their third final after failing twice runners-up in 2009 and 2012.

On Thursday, it poured heavily in the middle of West Indies chase that resulted in a 27-run win for Sri Lanka via Duckworth/Lewis method at the Sher-e-Bangla Stadium, Mirpur. Had it not been a cameo quickfire knock from young Angelo Mathews, the Lankans would have found it difficult to put up a challenging total of 160 for six in 20 overs.

Mathew's late surge – a 23-ball 44 with two sixes and three fours – got them a decent target. That also earned him the man of the match trophy.

An elated Mathews was all smiles in the post match press conference and said his team deserved to be in the finals.

"It would have been great if we had played the 20 overs, and it would have been a good, close game as well. Thanks to the weather, we are in the final and we deserve to be there, because we have played some good cricket," Mathews said.

About the match, Mathews said the Sri Lankans were aware about possibility of rain.

"After the first half, we got to know that there might be bit of rain. But we didn't play for the rain, because you can't really predict it. We just had to keep them tight and get wickets because they have some really big hitters, and if they get going we can't stop them.

"We had to take wickets to push them back. Lasith (Malinga) came to bowl in the first six overs, which he doesn't do normally, but he had to come in then because we needed our best bowler to come and strike for us and he did that."

It was Mathews' late charge that made the difference, and he explained his thought process at that time. "I never got a signal (from the dressing-room on when to cut loose). We just had to calculate, be wise in choosing our options and bowlers to attack," said Mathews.

West Indian captain Darren Sammy was dejected but he managed to retain his smile. "Disappointing to come out of the tournament like this, but credit to Sri Lanka. We have had a good run in the tournament, and it's sad we got knocked out because of D/L," he said.

"That's life, but we got to move on and plan for the next tournament. Gayle and Smith have a clear idea on how they want to play. We started very well, but their off-spinner (Sachithra Senanayake) bowled very well to Gayle and Smith. From there on, we were behind the eight ball," he said.

"I was looking forward to raise the trophy, but I am now just going to sit and watch and hope that it's not one-sided. Best of luck to other teams," he added.


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