Sri Lanka skipper praises Vaas and Murali old pals act

ST GEORGE’S, Grenada, April 12, 2007 (AFP) – Sri Lanka captain Mahela Jayawardene paid tribute to old stagers Chaminda Vaas and Muttiah Muralitharan who created the platform for Thursday’s six-wicket World Cup win over New Zealand.

The veteran duo, two of the survivors from the 1996 World Cup winning team, shared six wickets between them as the Black Caps were restricted to 219-7 in their 50 overs before Sri Lanka cruised home with 29 balls to spare.

“We have played New Zealand many times in the last few years and it is always a good challenge,” said Jayawardene.

“Today the wicket got slower and slower and we bowled really well to keep them down to 220. Vaas and Murali really did their part.

“I thought 250-260 would have been a competitive score on that wicket. That score would have been tough to chase.

“You have to give full credit to our bowlers. If someone had given me 220 before the match had started I would have taken that.”

Sri Lanka, New Zealand and Australia all have eight points in the table with Jayawardene’s team due to face the defending champions in their next match here on April 16.

“It will be another good challenge to face Australia but if you want to win the World Cup you have to