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13-Sep-2009 06:12:00 GMT
Sri Lanka v India, Compaq Cup, 2009

It Was One of The Worst Days Says Dhoni

Colombo: Indian skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni would have never thought that within 24 hours of India becoming the best One-Day International team, he would have to endure one of his worst days in office.

Under the floodlit R. Premadasa stadium, Sri Lanka found another new sensation - Angelo Mathews, who made a mockery of India's strong batting line-up with a six-wicket haul.

After having put up a powerful performance against New Zealand in the first match, India were handed a 139-run defeat, their worst in Sri Lanka. Indian batting collapsed like nine pins and were packed off for 168, chasing 308.

Mathews' six for 20 was the best performance by any Sri Lankan against India and also the best by any bowler at the R. Premadasa stadium.

"It was one of the worst days, starting in the season," Dhoni said.

"If I start pointing things (mistakes we made) then I will not stop by midnight. I have nothing to say. But credit to Sri Lanka, they played very well," he said.

They got off to a great start. Sanath batted well and Mathews bowled really well. The only thing that went well for us was the warm-up before the game.

Hopefully the bad day is behind us before the final. That is the only positive we can take from this match.

Asked if playing on two consecutive days had taken a toll on the players, Dhoni said,

The format is demanding. The fast bowlers bowled with their full effort in the second session yesterday and again they had to turn up today. I am quite pleased with their effort.

Sri Lankan skipper Kumar Sangakkara said Mathews is the all-rounder they were looking for.

He is a solid plyer. He is young and a matured cricketer. He is the all-rounder that we are looking for. All I can say to him is that keep going like this and cement his place in the team. Talent is one thing and real hard work and consistency is another. He is on the right track and I am sure he will not get carried away and continue to work hard.

Sangakkara said his team played a perfect match and hoped they repeat the performance in the final.

We played very well. Sanath coming back to form was expected at some point. He gave a solid start and then the middle order played their part. We lost some wickets at crucial time but made up with our bowling and fielding.

We hope our performance is not one day too early. Every win is important for us and takes the momentum forward.

Mathews might have broken many records Saturday night, but he was firmly grounded.

All I did was to put the ball in the right spot. The ball did the rest. I planned to do well and it turned out to be my day.

I could not do well with the bat, but I am happy that I performed with the ball.

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