Colombo: Sri Lankan captain Kumar Sangakkara on Tuesday hailed his strike bowler Lasith Malinga for destroying Kenya, saying his team had proved they were back in business after defeat to Pakistan.
Kenya crawled to 142 all out off 43.4 overs at the R. Premadasa Stadium with Collins Obuya scoring 52 and his brother David Obuya reaching 51.
But Malinga destroyed any hopes the Africans had of setting Sri Lanka a challenging total, taking 6-38 in a devastating spell of fast bowling, including his second World Cup hat-trick.
"I thought it was important the way we came back from Saturday," said Sangakkara, referring to their 11-run defeat at the hands of Pakistan.
"It was a good close game and we were unfortunate to have lost that but here we showed we're still a good side, mentally strong and we came out and finished the game pretty well."
"We tried to stop as many runs as we could and keep them down so that the wickets would come at the end and Lasith as usual, the champion that he is, the ball reversing, did a great job for us," the skipper added.
"Saturday's going to be a big game for us and hopefully we can keep improving, make sure we have a lot more energy on the field and hopefully do well enough to beat Australia," he said.
Malinga, who missed the first two games with a back injury, said: "Every time the captain gives me the ball, he asks for a wicket."
Disappointed Kenyan captain Jimmy Kamande said he had been hoping to set Sri Lanka a score of 230 to win but they failed to make the most of good positions.
Speaking about the Obuya brothers, he said: "They played very well but they could have been there until the end because they were settled in there.
"It's always going to be hard work for the new batsmen coming in so once they got out we crumbled again. It's like a habit for us now. One bowler gets....four, five in every game we have played so far in the tournament."
He praised Malinga for his bowling.
"We have seen him before though we haven't played against him. He's a world-class bowler," he said.