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BCCI Staff in Mumbai 01 March 2014 - 11:41am IST

Doing little things right helped us: Mathews

SL captain also credits centurion Sangakkara for victory in close encounter

Former Sri Lanka captain Kumar Sangakkara carved out a victory for his team after India set them a 265-run target. It was a close contest as India did their best to defend the modest score. After clinching the two-wicket win with four balls to spare, SL captain Angelo Mathews said, "We have been winning those close games. Once again, it was a nervous game but we do those little things right. We have got to play better cricket to win against stronger teams. Today, it could have been a bit easier than what it was. The middle order collapsed and made it hard for the lower order to finish."

Sangakkara played a crucial role in salvaging the game for Sri Lanka. His timely century helped his team stay in the game and counter India's young attack. Speaking about the stylish left-hander's 18th ODI ton, Mathews said, "He is a true champion. He has done it so many times for us in the past. It's a treat to watch him bat. It's one of the best innings that I've seen in the recent past."

Meanwhile, the Sri Lankan skipper also feels that dew is a factor while playing in Bangladesh. Discussing the inclusion of off-spinner Ajantha Mendis, he explained, "We were geared up for both. We wanted to chase anyway because of the dew factor. We felt that the wicket was very slow and so thought of Mendis instead of Suranga Lakmal."

Speaking about his decision to field first, Mathews said, "India would have bowled first as well. I can't say it was tricky. It (the wicket) turned quite a bit when (Ravindra) Jadeja and (Ravichandran) Ashwin were bowling in the second half, so our batters had to work hard. We had the batting depth to be up for the challenge. We still have two more games to play good cricket. We saw how Afghanistan played against Pakistan. We cannot take them lightly. We still need to play some really good cricket before the final."

When asked if MS Dhoni's absence hurt India, the Sri Lanka captain replied, "We don't have (Tillakaratne) Dilshan and (Nuwan) Kulasekara. Indians did miss Dhoni, but one individual can't make a massive difference. It's about collective effort in a team game."

And when asked whom they would like to face in the final, Mathews said, "It does not really matter as long as we play good cricket. All teams are equally balanced. We just want to take one game at a time."

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