Skipper Angelo Mathews confident of team's ability
Sri Lanka captain Angelo Mathews yesterday vowed that his "fighting team" were prepared to put recent history behind them when they face India in the semi-finals of the Champions Trophy.
Today’s match in Cardiff is a repeat of the 2011 World Cup final, which India won by six wickets in Mumbai despite a superb century from Sri Lanka’s Mahela Jayawardene.
Since then the Asian rivals have met in 10 one-day internationals with India winning seven, Sri Lanka two and one tie. At the Champions Trophy, India were the only side who reached the semi-finals on the back of a perfect group record of three wins.
By contrast, Sri Lanka have had to battle their way through following a loss to New Zealand in a low-scoring opener in Cardiff. But they recovered to beat hosts England and then defeated title-holders Australia at The Oval on Monday to seal their last four place.
“Especially after the New Zealand game, we had to do it the hard way,” Mathews told reporters in Cardiff. “All three games went down to the wire, and we had to fight really hard to win. We know that we are a fighting team, and we fight to the last moment.”
Asked if today’s match represented “payback time” for Sri Lanka after their World Cup final heartbreak, Mathews replied: “There’s no room for revenge in sport.
“But yes, if we can beat the Indians, I think it’ll be a great achievement. On our day we can beat any team. I’m sure the boys are up for it.”