Mirpur: Sri Lanka have not won a major title for a long while and captain Angelo Mathews today said that his side were happy to have broken the “barrier of finals” by defeating Pakistan in the summit clash to lift the Asia Cup here.
Sri Lanka were runners-up in the 2007 and 2011 50-over World Cups as well as in the World Twenty20 in 2009 and 2012. They were also the runners-up in the 2010 edition of the Asia Cup.
“We wanted to break the barrier between us and the finals. Big victory not only for me, but for the whole team. Haven't won a major tournament for a while,” Mathews said after Sri Lanka regained the Asia Cup title which they had last won in 2008.
“Credit to the whole team. I thought the toss wasn't crucial and Lasith (Malinga) set us up wonderfully. It was a very good run-chase,” he added.
Asked about leaving out spinner Ajantha Mendis, who had a fine tournament by picking nine wickets from three matches, for today's final, Mathews said, “Very tough call to leave Mendis out because he performs well whenever we ask him to.
“But we wanted an extra death bowling option and Lakmal was brilliant,” he said.
Pakistan captain Misbah-ul-Haq attributed the loss to his side's inability to execute the plans.
“It was not the pressure of the final. Just didn't execute our plans. We wanted not to give Lasith any wickets and in the end he took all our wickets,” he said.
“I think losing the first three wickets so quickly we were under pressure. We recovered well after that, but we could have added 25-30 runs more. Just could not build enough pressure with the ball.”