‘I want to make my form count’

TEAM MAN: Sanath Jayasuriya’s joy at scoring his century was short-lived; he would rather have had Sri Lanka win.

TEAM MAN: Sanath Jayasuriya’s joy at scoring his century was short-lived; he would rather have had Sri Lanka win.   | Photo Credit: — Photo: AFP

Special Correspondent

Dambulla: His 28th ODI hundred was a special effort but Sanath Jayasuriya said, “I would have been happier had my effort won the match for Sri Lanka.

But there are four more games remaining and we can come back,” added Jayasuriya after becoming the oldest cricketer to score a hundred in a One-Day International.

“I am getting older, but I keep getting the runs,” the punishing opener added.

Joy and pride

Jayasuriya said representing Sri Lanka gave him immense joy and pride. “I want to play and perform for my country. That has always been my goal. Not everyone gets the opportunity.

“When I am batting well, I want to make my form count.”

And landmarks do not particularly interest him. “I don’t really think about records, that’s not my style. What matters more is how your contribution helps the team.”

Jayasuriya admitted that the conditions were not easy for batting. “It was very hot and I was struggling a bit. I wanted to bat for a longer period so that the other players could bat around me and get some runs on the board.”

Jayasuriya was appreciative of the Indian bowling effort. “The past experience we had here suggested that the wicket would seam a lot but that was not the case today.

“But the Indians bowled well. We were going well at one point and it would have been ideal had we had got some more runs on the board.”

Poor fielding

He conceded that the host did not field well. “The fielding was not up to our expectations and we did not take those catches either.”

The two wickets that Sri Lanka lost in the batting Power Play proved costly, he said. He also lamented the run-out dismissal of Tillakaratne Dilshan.

“In every match, one or two of our batsmen are getting run out. We need to avoid that.”

India’s left-arm spinner Pragyan Ojha said he stuck to the basics while bowling at Jayasuiya. “He is an exceptional batsman and I did not want to provide him any width,” he said.

Ojha said there was no added pressure on him in the absence of spin spearhead Harbhajan Singh. “I just go out there and perform to the best of my ability. It is a great opportunity and you do not want to miss out on it.”

He was delighted with the Indian victory. The spirit in the camp was high, Ojha said.

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