Confidence gained from Victory over Afghanistan was key against India: Shanaka
Confidence gained from Victory over Afghanistan was key against India: Shanaka

Dasun Shanaka, the 'Player of the Match' for Sri Lanka, attributed the team's thrilling victory over India at the Dubai International Stadium on Tuesday to camaraderie in the locker room. This came after the team's Asia Cup Super Four opener against Afghanistan in Sharjah on September 3, which gave them the confidence to take on Rohit Sharma's team.

The eight-wicket beating Sri Lanka suffered at the hands of Afghanistan in the Group B game on August 27 served as a wake-up call for the former Asia Cup champions, and the Islanders responded forcefully in the Super Four to exact revenge before gaining the confidence to defeat India on Tuesday night.

"The confidence in the dressing room is great" said Shanaka, who was named "Player of the Match" for his 2/26 from two overs and his late-order fireworks that helped Sri Lanka cross the finish line on Tuesday. The bowlers in pockets did a good job. Dilshan (Madushanka 3/24) and (Maheesh) Theekshana (1/29) deserve praise for their outstanding bowling.

"We fared well, but the bats came out against them. After the first game (against Afghanistan), we had some fruitful discussions, and now we are aware of our options. Kusal (Menids 57) and Pathum (Nissanka 52) superbly established the tone, and (Bhanuka) Rajapaksa (25 not out) and I (33 not out) set up the chase.
Kusal Mendis expressed his overwhelming happiness with the outcome after setting the tone for the chase with a 37-ball 57.

Very pleased. Pathum and I got off to a fantastic start, but Rajapaksa and Shanaka had what was likely the strongest partnership of the tournament. We were successful using the right-left hand combination. The coaches in Sri Lanka, where I put in a lot of effort, instructed me to play the standard game: take singles; hit the fours or sixes.

"That has aided in our achievement. We looked for a gap and chose that course of action. We engaged in our usual game. We have middle-order power hitters. In the first six overs, my responsibility is to play my typical game, Mendis said.

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