Mumbai: After taking his team to a magnificent win over Kiwis, skipper Kumar Sangakkara said that the initial 10-12 overs were difficult for batting.

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Murali, Mendis make Kiwis dance to spin

"When we started batting, the wicket was a bit soft and we had lost our openers. The idea was to dig deep and rotate the strike in the beginning so that we can accelerate at the end," the man-of-the-match said at the post match presentation ceremony.

The Lankan captain admitted that the heat and humidity took its toll and he never expected that there would be so much dew.

Asked whether he will keep these factors in mind if he comes back for the final, he replied, "There is a long way to go before we can think of coming back here. We know we are well on our way and it will be nice to play the quarterfinal at home."

The skipper lavished praise on Muttiah Muralitharan who bowled splendidly to take four for 25 despite a pulled hamstring that hampered his movements.

"Murali is a legend. He bowled on one leg today but did so well. We have a few days before the next game, and we hope he will be fully fit for the quarterfinals. This is his last World Cup and he has won so many matches for us. We want to make sure he enjoys himself, and we want him to bowl and take wickets," the skipper said of the senior most member of the side.

(Agencies)

New Zealand team
MJ Guptill, BB McCullum†, JD Ryder, LRPL Taylor*, KS Williamson, SB Styris, JEC Franklin, NL McCullum, JDP Oram, TG Southee, HK Bennett

Sri Lanka team
WU Tharanga, TM Dilshan, KC Sangakkara*†, DPMD Jayawardene, TT Samaraweera, LPC Silva, AD Mathews, KMDN Kulasekara, SL Malinga, BAW Mendis, M Muralitharan


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