ST JOHN’S, Antigua, April 5, 2007 (AFP) – On the eve of the World Cup, the talk was of Muttiah Muralitharan and Chaminda Vaas. Now the words on Sri Lankan lips are Dilhara Fernando and Lasith Malinga.
The 27-year-old Fernando held his nerve on Wednesday to secure his team a heart-stopping two-run win over England by bowling Ravi Bopara off the last ball of their Super Eights clash.
The win has put Sri Lanka, the 1996 champions, in sight of the semi-finals.
“It was a fantastic game. I never saw a game like it before. I think I did well today. I think the boys are playing really well these days. The top boys are clicking with the bat so I think we can make the semi-finals,” said Fernando who finished Wednesday’s match with 3-41.
“My captain said bowl (the last ball) in the block-hole, no slow ball or anything like that. Just do the basic thing. I have done well in recent times and that gave me the confidence I needed to finish the match the way I did.”
In contrast to Fernando, who now has 130 one-day wickets to his name, big guns Vaas and Muralitharan finished with 1-45 and 1-48 respectively.