WC 2003 - Im upset at missing ton, but happy that we won: Sachin
Published: Tuesday, March 11, 2003, 2:25 [IST]
Copyright AFP 2001
Johannesburg: Sachin Tendulkar smashed a majestic 97 on Monday to help India book their place in the World Cup semi-finals with a 183-run win over Sri Lanka - then gave the bowlers credit for a job well done."That was a great batting track so for the bowlers to get that much bounce, movement and pace from it was just extraordinary," said Tendulkar after the victory at the Wanderers where Javagal Srinath and Ashish Nehra both returned identical figures of four for 35."Now we are in the semi-final we just have to keep going." India, put into bat by a half-fit Sri Lanka skipper Sanath Jayasuriya, made the most of perfect conditions to make 292 for six off 50 overs."I am terribly disappointed not to have reached a 100 but the main thing is that the team won. We are in the semi-final and that is very exciting," said Tendulkar."The ball came nicely onto the bat - it was a good track if you hung in there." If Tendulkar credited the victory to the bowlers, man-of-the-match Srinath focussed the attention on the batsmen. "I think the batsmen did most of the job," the 33-year-old said. "When you have a total of 292 to defend, it makes the job of the bowlers that much easier. It was a great wicket to bowl on, the bounce and carry were there, I would love to come back here and bowl in the final on March 23."While the Indians celebrated, Jayasuriya was livid after his team were shot out for 109 in 23 overs, but refused to blame his decision to field first for the heavy defeat."We did not bowl well and did not bat well either. It was a very disappointing game for us," he said. "I think I was right to ask India to bat in the morning because there was bounce in the wicket, but except for Chaminda Vaas none of the bowlers did their job."They gave the batsmen too much width. When our turn came to bat, we just could not get going because the Indians bowled the right length." Sri Lanka now must defeat Zimbabwe by a heavy margin at East London on Saturday to keep their slim hopes of making the semi-finals alive. "That is a big game, but we will have to play much better than today if we are to win," Jayasuriya said.Indian captain Saurav Ganguly said his team played "a perfect game of cricket." "We batted brilliantly, bowled very well and fielded superbly. I could not have asked for more," he said. "We have won seven games in a row after losing to Australia and that is as good as anyone can hope for. We are happy to be in the semi-finals, but in a World Cup you have to be ready to face any team and we are."