Melbourne, Mar 2: After Sri Lanka defeated Australia in a must-win match to qualify for the tri-series final, captain Mahela Jayawardene said his players showed a “lot of character” to lift themselves up after the morale-shattering loss against India in their penultimate round-robin game.
After being thrashed by India on Tuesday, a battered Sri Lanka needed nothing less than a win against Australia at the MCG today to seal their spot in the best-of-three finals against the home team, starting Sunday.
And the islanders managed to achieve their goal but not without some tense moments as they eked out a nail-biting nine-run victory over Australia that knocked India out of the tournament.
“The boys showed character (to bounce back after the defeat against India). (Before today's match) we discussed in the dressing room ‘what has happened (against India) has happened',” a jubilant Jayawardene said after the win.
“When chips were down you need to lift your game and that's what the team has done,” he added.
Jayawardene also credited the vociferous Sri Lankan supporters present at the MCG today for helping the team's cause.
“Fantastic support, it's like playing in Sri Lanka. I'm sure the crowd will follow us now, the lift that we got (from them), it pushed us in the last few overs.”