Sri Lanka captain Kumar Sangakkara hailed a superb team performance after his side defeated Pakistan in the first of five One Day Internationals.
The hosts were in danger of failing to post a competitive score when Pakistan reduced them to 173-7, but the tail wagged considerably with Angelo Mathews, Muttiah Muralitharan and Nuwan Kulasekara all making valuable contributions as Sri Lanka posted 232-9.
In response, Pakistan never looked like chasing down the total. Sangakkara’s team made an early breakthrough by dismissing Shoaid Malik and this triggered a familiar batting collapse.
Some excellent bowling combined with some sloppy batting meant that Pakistan found themselves 95-6 and in real trouble. Umar Gul and Mohammad Aamer did put on 62 runs for the ninth wicket, but it was too little too late.
Overall, it was a very good performance from Sri Lanka and one that Sangakkara was understandably pleased with. Speaking afterwards, he admitted that his team ‘let it get away a bit’ at the end, but that the ‘guys did a great job’ throughout the course of the match.
There were several decent individual performances, but Sangakkara was keen to stress how pleased he was with the combined team effort. He said that ‘everyone played their part’, highlighting the ‘depth in talent’ that this Sri Lanka team has.
There are still four matches left , so Sri Lanka need to keep this form up if they are to overcome Pakistan in this series. They have made an excellent start though and you just know that Sangakkara will do all he can to make sure their high standards are maintained.