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Sangakkara proud of his team

It was again a so-near-yet-so-far case for Sri Lanka. They had finished the second best in the 50-over World Cup in the West Indies in 2007, and it was no different in England.

cricket Updated: Jun 23, 2009 00:15 IST
Venkat Ananth

It was again a so-near-yet-so-far case for Sri Lanka. They had finished the second best in the 50-over World Cup in the West Indies in 2007, and it was no different in England.

However, they can pick up plenty of positives. "We've had a great tournament and I'm proud of the way the team played and the attitude it showed," said Sri Lanka skipper Kumar Sangakkara.

In T20 cricket, where unpredictability is the norm, Sri Lanka's six wins on the trot is a commendable achievement, a few gaffes in the final notwithstanding.

First up, the decision to promote Jehan Mubarak, who hardly got any time in the middle until the final, is debatable. Then the move to bowl the inexperienced Isuru Udana towards the end when both Muttiah Muralitharan and Lasith Malinga had an over left, too, could be questioned.

But more than anything else, it was the failure of the top order that put paid to Lanka’s hopes. A lot was riding on top order on Sunday, but their failure exposed the hitherto untested middle order.

The bowling, which came good every time until the final, also failed to live up to its reputation. Pakistan nullified everything the Lankans threw at them with considerable ease.

Nonetheless, the Lankans seem to have won many hearts in England.