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23-Jun-2010 09:56:00 GMT
Sri Lanka v India, Final, Asia Cup, Dambulla

After Maharoof's Hat-trick Sri Lanka Look Asia Cup Hat-trick

Dambulla: Sri Lanka captain Kumar Sangakkara warned that his team would "hit the ground running" against India in Thursday's Asia Cup final at Dambulla.

"A final is a final," he told reporters on Wednesday. "Winning an Asia Cup especially at home would be a special thing.

It's going to really inspire us and we are going to hit the ground running and really try and win it.

India's captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni, meawhile, insisted his team was not under any added pressure despite being beaten by the hosts by seven wickets in their final pool match.

"As a cricketer you see it as just another game," he said. "There is no point thinking it as a final. We are playing against Sri Lanka, that's it."

Dhoni demanded more consistency from his bowlers. "I think they have done decently for us in patches," he said.

It will be really good to win a few games where you put 240 or 260 on the board and win. You can't all the time expect your batsmen to score 280 or more and make you win the game.

It will be good if we can do that. But then again our strength has been batting. We are a side that relies more on our batting than our bowling.

Sri Lanka, who had never batted under lights in their previous two matches against Pakistan and Bangladesh, invited India to bat first earlier this week.

"It was another step towards challenging ourselves to get a bit better and a bit tougher," said Sangakkara, whose are aiming for a hat-trick of Asia Cup wins after winning in 2006 and 2008.

Teams news

Sri Lanka
Maharoof's five-for and hat-trick could prompt the selectors to choose him ahead of Chanaka Welegedera. Thilan Samaraweera has batted just once this series and it remains to be seen if Thilina Kandamby is picked in his place.

Squad from Kumar Sangakkara (capt & wk), Tillakaratne Dilshan, Upul Tharanga, Mahela Jayawardene, Thilan Samaraweera, Angelo Mathews, Chamara Kapugedera, Nuwan Kulasekara, Lasith Malinga, Muttiah Muralidaran, Farveez Maharoof, Thilina Kandamby, Chanaka Welagedera, Rangana Herath, Suraj Randiv.

India should play their first-choice attack of Praveen Kumar, Zaheer Khan, Harbhajan Singh and Ashish Nehra, who will return after recovering from back spasms. A half-century in the previous game could earn Rohit Sharma a promotion.

Squad from Mahendra Singh Dhoni (capt & wk), Gautam Gambhir, Dinesh Kartik, Rohit Sharma, Virat Kohli, Ravindra Jadeja, Zaheer Khan, Praveen Kumar, Suresh Raina, Harbhajan Singh, Ashish Nehra, Ashok Dinda, Pragyan Ojha.

Stats and trivia

  • India and Sri Lanka have played 15 tournament finals, with India winning six and Sri Lanka seven. Sri Lanka have won six finals since 2000, while India just one, in the Compaq Cup last year in Sri Lanka.
  • India haven't won an Asia Cup in 15 years; Sri Lanka, if they win on Thursday, will take the title for the third straight time.
  • The teams play their 19th ODI against each other since the start of 2009, and there is more in store. India tour Sri Lanka in July for three Tests and a triangular ODI tournament also involving New Zealand.

Match facts
Thursday June 24, 2010 (day/night)
Start time 14:30 local (09:00 GMT)

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