Colombo, March 30 (IANS) Sri Lankan skipper Kumar Sangakarra said Tuesday they need to quickly put behind their celebrations of reaching the World Cup final and “come back fresh and hungry” for the title clash in Mumbai April 2.
Sri Lanka, who were the champions in 1996, Tuesday made it to their second successive final after beating New Zealand by five wickets.
They now play the winner of the India-Pakistan semifinal at Mohali Wednesday.
Sangakarra said he is not too bothered about who the opponent in the final will be.
“What matters is that we are in the final. It is a great feeling but we need to absorb all of this pretty quickly and come back fresh and hungry for the final. The team should realise they haven’t won anything yet, we have just reached the final,” he said.
Sangakarra said they wanted to give a fitting farewell to spin king Muttiah Muralitharan, who played his last ODI at home. Muralitharan, who took a lap of honour after the victory, will retire after the World Cup.
“The last game for Murali in Sri Lanka, we really wanted to give him a good send-off. Murali is the icon of Sri Lanka, on the field, off the field, a fantastic human being and a great team man.”
Chasing a 218-run target, Sri Lanka were cruising comfortably at 160 for one when they lost four quick wickets to slump to 185 for five. Sangakarra admitted that the mini-collapse did give them a few anxious moments.
“The pressure was building in the dressing room. We were crusing at one stage. We should not have exposed our lower middle-order like this and this we need to guard against in the final. But we are happy to close the game,” he said.
Sangakarra, however, lavished praised on his bowlers for bowling out the Black Caps for 217.
“Our bowling variety has been great, our fast bowlers are good, our spinners have been good. We did good to bowl them under 220 as they looked set to be scoring 240 plus. But the variety in our bowling is tough to face.”