We must raise our standards: Sri Lanka captain Angelo Mathews
Sri Lanka’s captain Angelo Mathews accepted that his team must improve against the top teams if they want to harbour any hope of securing a second World Cup triumph. Sri Lanka were taken to the wire by Afghanistan, but the island nation was able to secure the win.
Mahela Jayawardene scored his 19th ODI century to rescue the Lankans, who were tottering at 51/4 at one stage. Captain Mathews supported the 37-year-old in steadying the innings with 44 runs before Thisara Perera smashed a quick 47 not out to ensure the fans did not witness another upset at the World Cup.
“We really need to raise our standards to compete against the top teams,” said Mathews.
“I am feeling relieved at the moment but I thought we came back well. It was a see-saw kind of game. They started off well and then we pulled it back in the end. I knew I had to stay out there with Mahela to get some kind of stand going.”
Jayawardene was named the man of the match for his century and he accepted that Afghanistan are not far away from the top teams in terms of quality.
He said, “All credit to Afghanistan. They batted really well in tough conditions, then followed it up beautifully with the ball.
“They have pace, movement and they're a handful. There is not a big gap between the top countries and these guys.”
Sri Lanka face Bangladesh on 26th February before facing England, Australia and ending their group stage with a match against Associate nation Scotland.