HAMBANTOTA: Sri Lanka captain Mahela Jayawardene praised Ajantha Mendis after the spin magician’s record-breaking effort helped beat Zimbabwe in the tournament opener.
Mendis capped his return to international cricket after an eight-month injury lay-off with astonishing figures of six for eight runs to shoot Zimbabwe out for 100 in the Group C clash, giving Sri Lanka a convincing 82-run win.
“I am happy with the way he bowled,” said Jayawardene. “Even in the domestic tournament he bowled really well. That was the indicator to see how match fit he was and how much control he had.”
Jayawardene added that Mendis’ return was a boost to Sri Lanka.
“He was very keen to get back into the side and we saw that hunger. We wanted to make sure that he went through the process and get his back sorted, which is why we kept him away for this long. He’s come back strongly and hopefully he’ll continue to do the job.”
The spinner said he was happy over his contribution.
“I’m very happy that my return to the team was good,” said Mendis. “This was my first game, so I was a bit nervous but the confidence given to me by my captain and teammates helped me a lot.”
Published in The Express Tribune, September 20th, 2012.