Sri Lanka eye Asia Cup success against India

Chandi Dharmaratne

DAMBULLA, June 23, 2010 (AFP) – Kumar Sangakkara’s Sri Lanka go into Thursday’s Asia Cup one-day final against India confident of securing a hat-trick of titles. Sri Lanka, who won the last two editions of the region’s top one-day prize, in 2006 and 2008, are buoyant after thrashing India by seven wickets in a league match on Tuesday.

The prospect of winning a major one-day title in front of passionate home fans excited Sangakkara.

“A final is a final,” Sangakkara told reporters on Wednesday. “Winning an Asia Cup especially at home would be a special thing.

“It’s going to really inspire us and we are going to hit the ground running and really try and win it.”

Sri Lanka and India qualified for the final after defeating Pakistan and Bangladesh, Asia’s other two Test nations, in the preliminary league.

Sangakkara said Tuesday’s win over India — which came without star bowlers Muttiah Muralitharan, Lasith Malinga and Nuwan Kulasekera, who were all rested — boosted his team’s morale.

“We are up for the challenge,” he said. “We feel good about the final.”

Indian captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni said his team was not under pre