ST GEORGE’S, April 12, 2007 (AFP) – Sri Lanka vice-captain Kumar Sangakkara said it was vital his side kept faith with the style of cricket that won them the 1996 World Cup if they were to lift the trophy for a second time.
Sanath Jayasuriya, still a key member of the side and Romesh Kaluwitharana, Sangakkara’s predecessor as Sri Lanka wicket-keeper, formed a dynamic opening partnership that exploited the fielding restrictions then in place for the first 15 overs and revolutionised the way totals were compiled.
No longer was the key to building a big score keeping wickets in hand and waiting for the last 10 overs before going on the offensive.
Jayasuriya and Kaluwitharana turned everything upside down by attacking the opposition’s fastest bowlers right from the off and Sri Lanka ended up beating Australia by seven wickets in the final in Lahore.
It’s a tactic that still works. Last year Jayasuriya and current opening partner Upul Tharanga shared a world record first-wicket one-day international stand of 286 against England at Headingley.
Sri Lanka, third in the Super Eights, were taking on table-toppers New Zealand in a second round match at the Grenada National Stadium here Thursday.