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Sri Lankan bowling inspires Sangakkara

cricket Updated: Jun 13, 2009 10:56 IST
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Sri Lanka captain Kumar Sangakkara believes his side's varied attack is the reason they've remained unbeaten so far at the World Twenty20.

The team have long been known for the quality of their spin bowling yet Pakistan were 35 for three at Lord's on Friday before the likes of off-break ace Muttiah Muralitharan and mystery bowler Ajantha Mendis had come on.

Sri Lanka, despite being restricted to a modest 150 for seven, held Pakistan to 131 for nine as they won their opening Super Eights encounter by 19 runs.

Muralitharan did take two wickets in two balls to get rid of Misbah-ul-Haq and Shahid Afridi but unorthodox paceman Lasith Malinga weighed in with an impressive three for 17.

Minnows Ireland will try to stop the Lankans in their tracks at Lord's on Sunday with Sangakkara confident the best is yet to come from his side.

"It was a great, all-round effort to defend that total when we should have had 170 or 175," said Sangakkara. "With better options and partnerships, we could have had a more comfortable total."

All-rounder Tillekaratne Dilshan, man-of-the-match against Pakistan for his 46 off 39 balls, added: "It was important we got a good start and we went on from there. We're confident we can finish (the Super Eights) well.

"We're playing very good cricket, we know with Mendis and Murali we can defend 160 against any team. This was always a very important match, a great result and this has given us confidence."

Pakistan captain Younus Khan tried to lead from the front with 50 off 37 balls but was undone by his side side's indisciplined display in the field which saw 20 extras conceded.

"We had a couple of early no-balls and you can't do that in this sort of cricket," he said.

"You then get a free hit and four runs so it's not very good - we had 20 extras today and we lost by 19 runs so it shows how crucial it is in this form of cricket.

"At one stage I was thinking they'd score 200 or something like that, but our spinners did a good job. It's all been about the start for us in this tournament and we've struggled with that for the whole tournament.

"We also struggled with our batting and we only had one good partnership but in a match like this you have to go all the way and not just score twenties and things like that."