New faces and format helped: Sangakkara

The new format and a fresh set of faces definitely helped Sri Lanka clinch the first Twenty20 against India by 29 runs, said skipper Kumar Sangakkara.

updated: December 09, 2009 17:11 IST
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The new format and a fresh set of faces, including veteran Sanath Jayasuriya, definitely helped Sri Lanka clinch the first Twenty20 International against India by 29 runs, said visiting team skipper Kumar Sangakkara.

"It was a new format and there were fresh faces who are one-day specialists in the team who were ready to stand up and be counted," said Sangakkara who played a stellar knock of 78 to power the tourists to 215 for 5.

In reply, India were halted at 186 for nine by determined Lanka bowling and excellent fielding.

Sangakkara said the wicket of Gautam Gambhir was obviously the key point in the contest when the Indian left-hander was going great guns.

"The wicket of (Virender) Sehwag after they started well was a bonus. Then we got the wicket of Gambhir. At that stage they needed one boundary an over. Sanath and Mathews bowled in the right areas and that made the difference," he said.

But, the Lankan captain was not too happy with the way the team allowed matters to drift after reducing the hosts to a sorry-reading 129 for 7 in the 14th over.

"What we need to do is not to relax. In the last four overs we allowed things to drift. We need to be more ruthless," he said.

He was referring to the stand of 38 runs between Ashish Nehra and debutant Ashok Dinda which helped India come far closer to the target than what appeared at one stage.

Nehra used the long handle in making 22 in 13 balls before he was run out while Dinda made 19 before Tillakaratne Dilshan got his wicket.

On his own form after coming into the match on the back of a superb 137 in the second innings of the third and final Test in Mumbai, Sangakkara said he was getting set in the previous innings before getting out.

"It's just that I got the runs only in the last Test. I had a good domestic season and then got starts earlier," he said.