India was the better side

Sunday, April 3, 2011
Kemantha Govender

Durban - Sri Lankan captain Kumar Sangakkara has handled his nation's defeat in the ICC Cricket World Cup with grace and humility, saying that India were the better team and should be proud.

India defeated Sri Lanka by six wickets in the 2011 edition of the ICC Cricket World Cup at the Wankhede stadium in Mumbai. It was only the third time in 10 World Cup finals that a side batting second reached victory.

Speaking to media, Sangakkara had only proud words for Mahela Jayawardene, who scored an unbeaten 103 off just 88 balls in Sri Lanka's 274-6.

"I am very proud of everyone in the team, especially Mahela (Jayawardene) who rose up to the occasion and put up a great hundred," said Sangakkara.

"When you look at the Indian team, anything less than 350 is not enough. It has been a great tournament for us. The way India played they deserved the tag of favourites. Both Sri Lanka and India will be proud with the way they have played."

Sangakkara, despite Sri Lanka's second consecutive loss in a World Cup final, had grace in defeat.

"India was the better side. They were fantastic tonight. The only way for us to stop India was to get at least seven wickets. Gautam (Gambhir) was outstanding and (Mahendra Singh) Dhoni stepped up and performed. We are disappointed but the better side won."

Indian captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni often called the "iceman" did not mince his words yet again, he acknowledged that he had to make some tough decisions and had it not gone India's way, would have had lots of critics.

"Well, of course it's a relief to win," said Dhoni in an interview with journalists following the match. "We took quite a few big decisions today, especially with Ashwin and myself, so if we had lost there would have been plenty of questions and that's something that was pushing me to do well. 

"In this game I wanted to bat up the order and [coach] Gary Kirsten and the senior players backed me. I had a point to prove to myself and I'm obviously glad I got the runs I did. In the last month or so together we have done really well. We've grown together on and off the field and it has been a very memorable time to be part of this team," said Dhoni.

Batting legend Sachin Tendulkar may have not reached his 100th ODI century but that did not seem to matter to him. "This is the proudest moment of my life," said Tendulkar on India's World Cup Victory. "This is the ultimate and I'm experiencing it." 

Virat Kohli said: "Sachin carried the burden of a nation for 21 years so he deserves it." - BuaNews

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