Sri Lanka, Windies look ahead to the Super Eight

<img border='0' align='left' title=' ' src='' class='caption'> Sri Lanka and the West Indies will enjoy a contest without pressure when they clash in their last Group C league match of the World Twenty20 on Wednesday.

Updated: June 10, 2009 08:10 IST
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Sri Lanka and the West Indies will enjoy a contest without pressure when they clash in their last Group C league match of the World Twenty20 here on Wednesday.

What should have been a virtual knock-out game in the group will hold nothing more than academic interest after both teams knocked mighty Australia out of the tournament.

"This was the only group that had three Test-playing nations in it, so to come out it pretty well is a huge bonus," said Sri Lankan captain Kumar Sangakkara.

"Both the West Indies and us have made the Super Eights, so the pressure will no doubt be a bit less. But international cricket is serious business, there is no question of taking it easy."

Sri Lanka hammered Ricky Ponting's men by six wickets on Monday, two days after the West Indies rode on captain Chris Gayle's explosive 88 off 50 overs to down the Aussies by seven wickets.

Sangakkara said Ajantha Mendis's success against Australia, where he took 3-20 in four overs, bode well for his team and he expected the mystery spinner to play a major role in the tournament.

"In a Twenty20 game, where you have to attack almost every ball you play, to have unpredictability, that mystery around him is good," the captain said.

"Batsmen will get on top of him on some days, but more often than not, he is a wicket-taking bowler, an attacking bowler."

Mendis turns the ball both ways with one visible action, making it difficult for batsmen to read him in the air.

Mahela Jayawardene, Sangakkara's predecessor as captain, said Wednesday's game was crucial for both teams.

"We need to look at the bigger picture going into the match," Jayawardene told reporters.

"The momentum is crucial in a World Cup of this nature. One needs to get every small things right, whether it is batting, bowling or fielding.

"No one wants to lose a winning streak. This game will help us get into the rhythm for the Super Eights contests."

Jayawardene conceded Gayle was the major threat and Sri Lanka's bowlers were working on a plan to get him early.

"Chris is definitely a threat up front," he said. "He has a free-flowing game. We will of course try to bowl in areas where he is not comfortable."

The West Indies are being hailed as one of the most dangerous teams in the competition despite being hammered 2-0 in the preceding Test series by England.

They now get a chance to make a mark in a tournament where they were dumped in the first round in the inaugural event in 2007 after losing to Bangladesh.

"We know we have a team that can beat the best, but in Twenty20 it all depends on how one plays on a given day," said Gayle.

"We take it one match at a time. We definitely want to beat Sri Lanka which will raise the team's confidence for the Super Eights."

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