ICC WT20: Still Room For Improvement - Sangakkara

ICC WT20: Still Room For Improvement - Sangakkara
ICC WT20: Still Room For Improvement - Sangakkara
©Action Images / Andrew Couldridge Livepic

New Zealand went into their final Super Eight match against Sri Lanka knowing that they needed a victory to stand any chance of progressing to the semi-finals, this did not materialise however, as Sri Lanka won by 48 runs to seal their place in the last four of the competition while New Zealand are now eliminated from the tournament.

The Kiwis have been hit by injuries during this campaign but their captain Daniel Vettori insisted that they had the opportunity to progress to the semi finals, even after the set backs that they had suffered.

"It has derailed us at times but I still think that we had a relatively comfortable draw," he said. "We were able to get through that, we were able to play a couple of minnow sides to give ourselves the opportunity to make the semi-finals and we just didn't take any of the opportunities against the top teams."

Vettori's opposite number Kumar Sangakkara said that it was a great team effort from his men.

"It was a great batting performance everyone played their part Dilshan especially we lost Sanath early on then Chamara Silva but I think Chamara's quick ten runs really put the momentum in our favour and [Tillakaratne] Dilshan batted well and Mahela [Jayawardene] was absolutely brilliant."

While Sangakkara is happy with his teams performane he still believes that there is room for improvement as Sri Lanka prepare for their semi final, at The Oval, on Friday.

"We can improve in every area I think," he added. "There are always little things that you need to improve, but Ajantha Mendia is always doing his job,and with all the other guys in the team chipping in, it is a great atmosphere we just want to build from this and see where we get to."

Mendis was named man of the match for his superb figures of three for nine from his three overs, and Sangakkara paid  tribute to the young spinner.

"He was fantastic, on tracks that skid on a bit he is very difficult to read, he is very difficult to play, he knows it and he has also got a very attacking mindset so it is a great bonus to have that mindset with that much talent and ability."

South Africa are many peoples favourites to win the title this year, but Sri Lanka are also unbeaten in this competition and with such a great balance to their side even Graeme Smith's men will have their hands full in trying to prevent Sri Lanka from becoming the 2009 ICC World Twenty20 champions.

Aaron Kumar
© Cricket World 2009