Champions Trophy 2013: Sangakkara was brilliant, admits Sri Lanka skipper

Champions Trophy 2013: Sri Lanka captain Angelo Matthews heaps praise on Kumar Sangakkara for his unbeaten 134

By Callum Orr
alastair cook
Alastair Cook's men suffered a seven-wicket loss to Sri Lanka Photo: The Sport Review

Angelo Matthews praised Kumar Sangakkara’s match-winning display after the Sri Lanka batsman’s unbeaten 134 helped his side secure a comfortable seven-wicket victory over England at Lord’s.

Matthews opted to bowl first on a flat wicket, a decision that was justified as his team comfortably chased down England’s target of 293-7 with three overs to spare, giving them their first win of the Champions Trophy.

And the 26-year-old captain was effusive in his praise of his top order, citing Sangakkara’s century in particular as a defining factor in the win.

“We needed that,” said Matthews. “We started off pretty waywardly but the bowlers came back well in the middle period, and once against Sangakkara batted brilliantly, when the team needs him he delivers.

“They got a bit of momentum with the last over, but the wicket turned out to be an absolute belter, brilliant to bat on.”

Sangakkara’s century helped to settle Sri Lankan nerves after a poor start in which opening batsman Kusal Perera was dismissed for just six runs.

But the 35-year-old was quick to share the plaudits with his team-mates, insisting that half century knocks from Nuwan Kulasekara and Mahela Jayawardne were equally as important to the team’s successful run chase.

“I was pretty happy with the way I went about it,” said the wicket-keeper. “[Tillakaratne] Dilshan and Mahela batted well but Kulasekara really put the icing on it, and once the powerplay was over, I think he surprised everyone with some great shots.

“Mahela’s the best batsman in the side and was looking really dangerous. It was tough on the bowlers at times but both sides batted well.

“We’ve got to win the next one, hopefully our run rate has done some good today and we’ll have to prepare well for the Aussies.”

Buy tickets for England v New Zealand on viagogo

Paul Scholes
Paul Scholes urges Man United to sign highly-rated 22-year-old
Frank Lampard
David James gives verdict on Edouard Mendy after Chelsea FC’s 4-0 win at Krasnodar
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer wants 20-year-old to replace Man United striker – report
Gary Lineker
‘What a talent’: Gary Lineker raves about Man United star during 5-0 win over RB Leipzig
Rio Ferdinand
Rio Ferdinand rates Edinson Cavani’s debut for Man United
Mikel Arteta (Photo: Arsenal Media / Screengrab)
Mikel Arteta delivers open update about William Saliba for Arsenal fans
Top 50 Muslim footballers: Arsenal, Chelsea FC, Liverpool FC and Man United stars feature
Top 50 Muslim footballers: Arsenal, Chelsea FC, Liverpool FC and Man United stars feature
Novak Djokovic
Erste Bank Open: Tsitsipas and Sinner join youthful line-up in Vienna’s second round
Rio Ferdinand
‘Wow’: Rio Ferdinand and Paul Scholes react to Man United star’s display
Frank Lampard
Frank Lampard delivers update on Chelsea FC star Callum Hudson-Odoi