Mumbai: Mahela Jayawardena, the Sri Lanka batsman, has said his sublime century in the World Cup final was no consolation following his team's six-wicket defeat. Jayawardena's was the first instance of a batsman scoring a century in a World Cup final in a losing cause.
"I would swap that century any day for a championship medal," Jayawardena told the ICC, adding that India's batting line-up proved too strong to defend 274 against. "We fought well but it wasn't enough. We had to take wickets to control this Indian batting line-up. We got a couple of early wickets but we couldn't get anything going after that. "We didn't have the penetration that we normally do, and they batted very well."
Jayawardens's unbeaten innings of 103 was a flawless one. He struck boundaries and rotated the strike with ease, and was supported by Nuwan Kulasekara and Thisara Perera in the batting Powerplay. "When I went in it felt really good, got a couple of loose balls and I struck a few boundaries. That gave me the rhythm and momentum.
"When Kumar got out I knew I had to bat the 50 overs. With the Powerplays you know you can catch up. I'm quite happy with the effort but unfortunately we ended up on the losing side."
About his own future with Sri Lanka, Jayawardena said he was keen to continue playing. "It's important for us to mould the next generation of cricketers in Sri Lanka as well. I'll try and push myself to do that and be better than I am right now. There'll come a day when I'll feel I won't be able to contribute to this team, that's when I'll call it a day."