Kingston, Jamaica: After playing probably the innings of his career, Sri Lanka's opening batsman Upul Tharanga believes that the 174-run knock against India on Tuesday will give him plenty of confidence going forward.
Playing his first series after a gap of six months, Tharanga looked tentative at the start of his innings. But he got into the groove as his innings progressed. After getting a life on 93, he didn't look back, first completing his 13th ODI hundred and then tormenting the Indians bowlers with a flurry of boundaries.
"This was my first series after six months and I took some time to get into the groove. Playing with Mahela gave me utmost confidence. After I got past my hundred, I decided to attack as there were overs and wickets left. This century will give me plenty of confidence," the Tharanga said after his Man-of-the-Match performance in Sri Lanka's 161-run win.
The 28-year-old opening batsman made 174 not out of just 159 balls as Sri Lanka posted a mammoth 348 against India.
Tharanga was dismissive of anything short and wide that the Indian bowlers bowled aplenty on Tuesday. He accumulated 46 off 41 balls he faced from Shami Ahmed, who went for 68 in his ten overs. Against Umesh Yadav, who was the most expensive of the Indian bowlers - going for 64 in his eight overs - Tharanga got 33 off 23 balls. He looked comfortable facing the spin duo of Ravichandran Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja, taking 62 runs off 57 deliveries.
Sri Lanka skipper Angelo Mathews lauded the performance of his side. "We needed this win after we lost the toss. Mahela and Tharanga batted superbly. Mahela showed his class and Tharanga batted brilliantly after struggling at the start. The bowlers also bowled wonderfully," Mathews said after the match. "I am doing my bit in contributing to the team in any way and I hope to continue the good work."