Sri Lanka’s Maharoof pledges 200 percent against New Zealand

KINGSTON, Jamaica, April 23, 2007 (AFP) – Sri Lanka seamer Farveez Maharoof pledged to give 200 percent if that’s what it takes to defeat New Zealand in the World Cup semi-finals here on Tuesday.

Maharoof made a compelling case for a starting place in the team with a man-of-the-match performance against Ireland last week where he took four wickets, including three in an over, as well as pulling off a stunning run-out.

“I will give 200 percent in the match and I would back myself to perform,” said the 22-year-old from Colombo.

“We have played really well so far. It will be a case of continuing to give it our best.”

Maharoof, a former captain of his country’s Under-19 side, seized his chance against Ireland in Grenada to make a case for semi-final inclusion with Dilhara Fernando ruled out through injury.

“I got injured earlier in the tournament against Bangladesh but I just kept working hard in the nets. This is my first World Cup and it is something I have been looking forward to ever since I became professional three years ago.”

Sri Lanka’s bowlers have been mightily impressive in the World Cup.

Maharoof has nine wickets but he is behind teammates Muttiah Mural