Mahela welcomes 'funny' turnaround
Captain Mahela Jayawardene savoured an emphatic turnaround after Sri Lanka trounced India by nine wickets in the second ODI in Hambantota.
Outplayed in the series opener last week, when they lost by 21 runs at the same venue, the Sri Lankans orchestrated an entirely more convincing performance on Tuesday.
Dismissing the Indians for a mere 138 all out in 33.3 overs thanks largely to three wickets apiece from seamers Angelo Mathews and Thisara Perera, the home side then romped to triumph with all of 181 deliveries to spare. Upul Tharanga, unbeaten on 59, and Tillkaratne Dilshan, out for 50, were utterly convincing in their pursuit.
"It is funny what two days of cricket does to you. I think we did a lot of good things the other night and we knew we just had to learn from our mistakes. I don't think we fielded very well in this match either, but the bowlers did very well," said Jayawardene.
"We had a chat about losing the first game and that's what is good about our guys, we are always hungry to come back and we even did it in the series versus Pakistan earlier this year."
Having lost the toss, Sri Lanka weathered the worst of the conditions, which brought characteristically heavy winds. Seamer Isuru Udana, on debut, endured a particularly torrid day, coughing up all of five wides in his first over in ODI cricket.
The left-handed Tharanga later enjoyed a promising return to form, striking eight fours during his 60-ball stay at the crease as the blustery weather relented.
"I haven't seen Tharanga bat like that in a long time, I think we are seeing the old Upul coming back with the way he has been timing it. We have been thrown different challenges and we have to deal with them, Isuru had a tough day bowling with the wind blowing. We will want to come back strong again for the next game as well," added Jayawardene.
Perera was named Man of the Match for his figures of three for 19 in eight overs, including three consecutive wicket-maidens - Virender Sehwag, Virat Kohli and Suresh Raina were entirely outfoxed by the talented right-arm seamer.
"I am very happy with this performance and I want to thank my team-mates. My first priority is bowling, I don't think too much about my performance, I just know that I have to bowl in the right areas. I want to thank my team-mates for backing me always," concluded Perera.