Mumbai: Sri Lanka captain Kumar Sangakkara said the thumping win over New Zealand in their final group match is good for his side's confidence but it has to be ready for tougher battles in the knock-out stages of the World Cup.
"It's always nice to win but you have to be realistic in matters like these. It's good for our confidence but we have to know the real test lies from the quarterfinals," said the wicketkeeper-batsman who scored a match-winning, maiden Cup century and went past 9,000 runs in ODIs.
"It's nice to score runs in these games, but the big test comes in the quarter finals. Hopefully I can repeat such performance in those games," added the 33-year-old who made a superb 111 in 128 balls with 11 boundaries and two sixes to guide the Lankans to a 112-run triumph last night.
He also felt happy to have scored a century in a winning cause. "If you end up on the winning side after scoring a hundred, you feel special," he said.
Sangakkara praised the efforts of his bowlers, in particular Muttiah Muralitharan who came on to bowl despite suffering a bruise in his knee when he fell down while taking a run.
"He has bowled beautifully even on one leg. He's done that before in Australia with an injury and nearly won us a game. He did that here," said the Lankan captain about his star spinner's haul of four for 25.
Asked about the key roles played by the three seniors in the team, himself, his predecessor Machala Jayewardene (66) and Muralitharan, Sangakkara said, "That's what our role is all about. We have to show our responsibility and do justice to the kind of seniority we have," he remarked.
Sangakkara put on 145 for the third wicket with Jayawardene after the team was tottering at 19 for 2 within the first five overs.
About the controversial 'catch' taken by New Zealand's Nathan McCullum off his own bowling that was disallowed by the third umpire when Jayawardene was 26, Sangakkara said his view was blocked and his partner wasn't sure whether it was taken cleanly or not.
"Mahela said he was not sure about Nathan's catch. We saw even in New Zealand innings when Mahela caught McCullum, it went upstairs. It can go either way," he said.
He feels New Zealand are a tough side to beat and though they were bowled out within 35 overs, a few good partnerships could have turned the match the other way. "New Zealand are always a competitive side, very well balanced. They always do well in World Cups. We never take them lightly. But the kind of variations we have in our attack, we can trouble any attack."
"When the match finishes in 35 overs, it seems easy, but New Zealand had an okay start and Taylor had got them on course on the run-rate. A couple of partnerships would have turned it around but we did well in the tough period. Our bowlers bowled very well," he said.