Pallekele: Kumar Sangakkara on Monday clarified that he led Sri Lanka in place of Mahela Jayawardene against England as the side did not want to risk lose the skipper on the count of slow over rate ahead of the semi-finals.
Jayawardene has already been fined for slow over rate against the West Indies and one more offence would mean that he will be handed a one-match ban.
"Well I was the official captain today. Both Mahela and (Angelo) Mathews were on warning and that is valid for six months. So we did not want to take the risk," Sangakkara said after Sri Lanka defeated England by 19 runs to reach the semi-finals along with the West Indies from Group 1.
Jayawardene has already been fined for slow over rate against the West Indies.
Malinga played a key role in Sri Lanka's win as he took five wickets, including three in a single over and Sangakkara was all praise for the paceman.
"The guys played really well. Lasith is unbelievable, specially the Super Over againat New Zealand here with the new ball and also with the old ball. Hope he keeps doing that for us."
Sri Lanka are yet to lose a match in the tournament, making the hot favourites to win the trophy but Sangakkara said they do not want to think much about it.
"It would be fantastic if we can win it but the focus is to keep our feet on the ground."
However, England skipper Stuart Broad blamed the top-order failure for the defeat. "We've learnt a huge amount from this, we need to keep wickets in hand at the top, moreover we fell short at the top of the order and in our death bowling too," he said.