Lankans can do it this time, says Mahela

Captain says his team are set for glory as Windies thrash Aussies to reach final

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 06 October, 2012, 12:00am
UPDATED : Saturday, 06 October, 2012, 3:46am


Sri Lanka's captain Mahela Jayawardene goes into tomorrow's World Twenty20 final confident of winning the title after failing at the last hurdle in three previous World Cup events.

Sri Lanka made the final of two successive 50-over World Cups, in 2007 and 2011, and also the World Twenty20 in 2009, but were unable to win when it mattered most, frustrating fans, former players and media alike.

But Jayawardene said playing the sold-out final on home soil in front of adoring fans at the 35,000-capacity Premadasa stadium in Colombo gave him hope that the team would finally turn the corner.

"It's an amazing feeling," the accomplished 35-year-old said as the hosts, who beat Pakistan by 16 runs on Thursday night, awaited the outcome of last night's second semi-final, which saw the West Indies bowl out Australia for 131 runs after setting an imposing target of 206 for the loss of just four wickets.

"We are all really happy to be part of a very successful group over a period of time. We have been blessed with four now - although I know we haven't won anything.

"But four finals, it's amazing. In one's career you are lucky enough to play in one final. We are a proud nation and everyone will be behind us on Sunday."

Jayawardene said his team's strategy will be different from previous finals.

"They have all had to be approached in different ways," he said. "One final was in Barbados [2007], one in England [2009] and one was in Mumbai [2011].

"Now we are playing in the Premadasa, so we will approach it differently.

"We spoke at the start of the tournament that we would have to play on three different surfaces in Hambantota, Pallekele and now Colombo. We had to adapt. It is all about handling tough situations better."