Dimuth Karunaratne has stated that he was mighty pleased with the way his team played and stated the lack of pressure allowed them to play freely, which was the key to their success. He further discussed the game in brief before Avishka Fernando remarked on his man of the match-winning performance.
However, this very fact contributed in them putting up what was probably their best performance of the tournament so far. Each and every player played his role perfectly in what was a true team performance that culminated in a 23-run victory over the West Indies.
"Really good - got confidence. All the boys contributed. Those are the things I expect as captain,” skipper Dimuth Karunaratne stated after the match, reported ESPNCricinfo.
After putting up their highest score of the tournament so far, by posting a target of 339 on the board, they kept it tight for the opposition throughout and ultimately managed to defend the total with ease. Fernando scored a brilliant 104 off 103 balls while Angelo Mathews and Lahiru Thirimanne scored quickfire innings in the end in what was the first time the team performed as a unit. Earlier, Kusal Perera had also given them a great start with 64 off 51 balls.
“We put additional pressure on ourselves earlier. We all know Sri Lanka play freely, the way you saw Avishka. If you take our middle order, they were more positives. We want to play freely in our next games too,” Karunaratne added.
Angelo Matthews also made headlines after coming onto bowl after two years and took the wicket of centurion Nicholas Pooran off his very first ball.
“On Angelo Mathews bowling, Vandersay was leaking some runs, so offered Mathews couple of overs," quoted Karunaratne.
Playing only his ninth ODI match, Fernandes chose the world’s biggest platform to score his maiden century. This took his tally to 328 runs in the tournament and propelled his tournament average to 36.44.
"When I went in, I was happy doing what was required from me. They bowled well. Very happy this hundred came in a winning cause. Very happy that I got this opportunity. Happy to have made use of this opportunity. And all I want to focus on is improving my game for the country," Fernando said of his performance.