Sri Lanka's Muttiah Muralitharan takes a lap along with his teammates after beating New Zealand in their Cricket World Cup semi-final match against New Zealand in Colombo.
Muttiah Muralitharan on Sunday admitted that his and Suraj Randiv’s failure to take wickets had contributed to his team’s defeat. The record-breaking 38-year-old, who was a doubtful starter for the summit clash following niggles, went wicket-less in his eight-over spell, while Randiv finished with none for 43.
“We got enough runs on the board -- 274 was a good score. Malinga took two vital wickets but after that we couldn't crack their side especially in the middle part. The spinners didn't take enough wickets, that was the main reason," Muralitharan said. The team got a warm reception after it landed in Colombo.
“If I or Suraj took a few wickets then the story would have been different. These things happen in cricket so you have to move on and I’d like to wish the team well for the future. Hopefully, in 2015 they’ll bring home the Cup.”
The beaten Sri Lankan squad received a warm welcome on their return to Colombo on Sunday despite losing to neighbours India in the World Cup final the previous day.
Blessings were showered on Kumar Sangakkara’s men in a religious ceremony after a red carpet welcome at Bandaranaike airport. The cricketers, cheered by fans on the roadside, left in a motorcade for the city's Independence Square where they were welcomed with traditional dance and flag-waving supporters.
Captain Sangakkara said he was proud of his team but was disappointed for losing in two consecutive World Cup finals.