Century at Kandy my best ever: Vaughan
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Century at Kandy my best ever: Vaughan

England captain Michael Vaughan on Sunday rated his century in the drawn second Test against Sri Lanka here as his best ever.

india Updated: Dec 14, 2003 19:39 IST

England captain Michael Vaughan on Sunday rated his century in the drawn second Test against Sri Lanka here as his best ever.

"This has been my best hundred till date," said Vaughan, whose 105 helped England avoid defeat after being set a 368-run target.

England ended the final day at 285-7 after slipping to 90-3 in the morning.

"The position that we were in and considering that it was the last day of the match and (Muttiah) Muralitharan was bowling, it did take a lot," said man-of-the-match Vaughan.

"I knew it would take a real long innings by someone to save the match and it was me who got that today," said Vaughan, who slogged for over seven hours to save the match.

The England captain, 50 overnight, batted for over two sessions for his next 55 runs, hitting just four boundaries on Sunday.

"The last couple of years I have been used to scoring runs in a free manner but I knew that batting on a fifth-day wicket against Muralitharan and (Chaminda) Vaas, I had to dig my heels in."

Vaughan conceded that facing Muralitharan was always a very tough prospect.

"Facing someone like Murali, it's important that you have time in the middle against him and all our players have had some decent lengths in the middle and it's bound to increase our confidence."

Vaughan felt the pressure could be getting to the Sri Lankan players with the first Test also ending in a draw.

"I think there's a slight worry in their team about how we've played and maybe they think that we could have gone on and won the game today, which would have been one hell of an effort.

"We're just lacking a little bit of expertise and a little bit of experience but we'll keep scrapping and make sure that we try to put them under pressure."

Vaughan said he was finally enjoying his batting after experiencing some pressure in the beginning.

"I probably thought about captaincy too much when I was batting. But when we were on our tour of Bangladesh, I decided to go out reminding myself that I was an opener who had to give the team a good start."

Vaughan led England to a 2-0 triumph in a two-Test series in Bangladesh last month. They also blanked Bangladesh 3-0 in a one-day series.

Vaughan captained England for the first time for a full series in Bangladesh, having taken over as captain at home when Nasser Hussain stepped down during a series against South Africa.

Sri Lankan captain Hashan Tillakaratne lauded Vaughan's effort and said his team had its tail up when he fell in the last session.

"We thought we had a good chance of winning when Vaughan was dismissed," said Tillakaratne. "In such situations it's just a matter of a couple of wickets that can change the result."

Tillakaratne said he was happy at the way his team played.

"It's disappointing not to win the match but the positive point for us is that we're playing well as a team."

The skipper said there had been no big advantage to batting first.

"There was not much in the pitch for the spinners. I thought Murali was bowling really well and gave his 100 percent and you know you always have a chance when he is bowling."

The third and final Test will be played at the Sinhalese Sports Club (SSC) ground in Colombo from December 18 to 22.

First Published: Dec 14, 2003 19:39 IST