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Sri Lanka v New Zealand
Grenada, 12 April 2007

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Sri Lanka celebrate their victory
I think 250 to 260 would have been a difficult total to chase

Sri Lanka captain Mahela Jayawardene
Sri Lanka captain Mahela Jayawardene praised his side's all-round display after they beat New Zealand by six wickets in Grenada.

"It's always a challenge to play New Zealand and we've played each other a few times, but Chaminda Vaas started us off really well," Jayawardene said.

"The spinners kept it going in the middle overs, but we bowled well to keep them down to 220.

"Then, we batted sensibly by not losing too many early wickets."

Jayawardene said the result underlined the strength of Sri Lanka's squad, with strike bowler Lasith Malinga missing the game after suffering an ankle problem during practice.

"We are not a one-man team. The last 12 months we have had our injury problems but we've played as a team and that's why we've won matches.

"Lasith was probably OK for today but didn't want to take the risk. He bowled a little bit in the morning, but the way things are going, we just want to make sure he's 100% before we let him loose.

"If he's not 100%, there's a danger he could do his ligaments more and it could be a serious thing," he explained.

"With Lasith not being in the team, it gave us a different combination. He's the leading wciket-taker in the tournament - that's something we lost, but Vaasy put his hand up and performed, Murali did the same, and the other bowlers backed them up."

Vaas dismissed Stephen Fleming and Ross Taylor for nought at the start of New Zealand's innings and his final figures of 3-33 earned him the Man of the Match award.

"I stick to basics, bowling wicket to wicket, and in good areas," he commented.

Sri Lanka are now firmly on course for a semi-final place but next face defebnding champions Australia, the only side left in the competition with a 100% record.

Jayawardene said beating New Zealand was the ideal preparation, adding: "You don't want to play the best side in the world with a losing mentality. We're looking forward to it."


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