Virat Kohli during a press conference in Dhaka. (AFP Photo)
Fatullah: India skipper Virat Kohli said the dew on the ground was "way beyond our expectations" but credited his bowlers for taking their Asia Cup match against Sri Lanka into the last over, here on Friday.
Sri Lanka chased down the 265-run target set by India in 49.2 overs, courtesy a marvellous century by experienced wicketkeeper-batsman Kumar Sangakkara.
"I think the bowlers did a good job, there was a lot of dew in the end. We didn't expect so much dew because there wasn't so much of it yesterday. But credit to them [bowlers] to take it to the last over," Kohli said at the presentation ceremony.
While praising allrounder Ravindra Jadeja for tilting the match in India's favour with two quick strikes, Kohli said his batsman could have added 25-odd runs to the eventual total had they batted more smartly.
"We could have been smarter with our batting and could have added 25-30 runs more. Jadeja was magnificent with the ball. To give just 30 runs on that wicket and pick up three was just brilliant from Jadeja. We were just waiting for the ball to turn before the dew," he said.
Jadeja bagged the wickets of Mahela Jayawardene, Dinesh Chandimal and Chaturanga de Silva to help India tighten the noose on the Lankan batting in the middle overs.
Meanwhile, Sangakkara, who made a breathtaking 84-ball 103, said he was trying to stay till the end and the dew made his job easier. "My job was to stay there for as long as possible and stay competitive. The dew on the ground made it a lot easier for me. We had a great opening partnership which really set us up. And with Thisara in the end, we knew he could do the job. It was a team effort overall," the 36-year-old veteran said.
"I think handling pressure comes with experience. It's been a few good months for me; I've worked hard on my fitness and experience counts," he said.
Sri Lanka captain Angelo Mathews praised his bowlers for restricting India to a manageable total. "We looked to play good cricket and we did well to restrict them to 260. The spinners did a beautiful job. And then the champion came in to play a terrific knock," Mathews said.
Spinner Ajantha Mendis bagged four wickets for Sri Lanka and prevented the Indian side from finishing on a high. "Yes, Mendis is our trump card. We chose to bowl first as the dew factor comes in to play in the second innings. Our spinners did really well to contain India," he added.