Jayawardene hails 'perfect' win
Mahela Jayawardene said Sri Lanka had played 'a perfect game' during the first-Test win over India.
Last Updated: 26/07/08 4:52pm
Captain Mahela Jayawardene said Sri Lanka had played 'a perfect game' during the first-Test win over India.
Sri Lanka completed victory by an innings and 239 runs inside four days at the SSC in Colombo to take the initiative in the three-match series.
Spin duo Muttiah Muralitharan and Ajantha Mendis shared 19 wickets as India subsided for scores of 223 and 138 after watching Sri Lanka pile-up 600-6 declared during the first two-and-a-half days.
Jayawardene was one of four centurions in the innings to continue his love affair with the SSC, a ground at which he has now scored a record nine Test centuries.
"The guys did brilliantly," he said. "Everything went to plan and I guess it was a perfect game for us.
"We batted well to put them under pressure when they batted and then we bowled and fielded exceptionally.
"Once we enforced the follow-on we knew we had to be patient because the pitch wasn't doing too much.
"We were lucky to get a couple of early wickets and after that Murali bowled brilliantly and Ajantha kept the pressure going at the other end.
"Special credit should go to Murali and Ajantha for how they bowled on what was a good batting track."
The match was also the first to trial the International Cricket Council's TV umpire referral system, allowing players to challenge decisions made by the on-field umpires if they feel they are incorrect.
Jayawardene declared himself a fan, although his enthusiasm perhaps reflected the fact his side had benefited from it on several occasions.
"If it wasn't used in this test we'd probably have had four bad decisions go against," he added.
"I am all for this new system because if mistakes are made you can get them corrected."
India captain Anil Kumble promised a strong response from the tourists in the second Test of the three-match series, which starts in Galle on Thursday (July 31).
"We didn't really bat well in both innings but we need to work on all three departments," admitted Kumble.
"It was not just one department that didn't support us."
Kumble refuted suggestions that his team was underprepared after just a solitary practice game.
'Not good enough'
"I don't think we were underprepared - it was just that we were not good enough," he added.
"We need to obviously look at tackling both Murali and Mendis differently in the next game and try to be a bit more positive.
"We are a group that has done really well in the past and it's now a matter of getting together and ensuring and we put up a good show.
"We done that in the past and I am really confident that this group will be able to put up a better show in Galle."