Cricket - Mathews hopeful ahead of final

Sri Lanka captain Angelo Mathews is hopeful his side can recover from a demanding playing schedule - and Tuesday's defeat against India - when the teams meet again in the triangular series final in Port of Spain on Thursday.

PA Sport
Cricket - Mathews hopeful ahead of final
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Angelo Mathews' Sri Lanka take on India in Thursday's triangular series final

Mathews' side were skittled for just 96 in 24.4 overs as India - spurred by career-best figures of four for eight in six overs from Bhuvneshwar Kumar - marched to an 81-run victory on the Duckworth-Lewis method in a rain-affected game at Queen's Park Oval. The result ensured both teams advanced to Thursday's final at the expense of host side West Indies.

"It was a tough wicket to bat on," Mathews said. "We bowled well, but when we batted the pitch had been under covers and had sweated more. We had nothing to lose and went for the win. It's mentally and physically draining to play three days in a row. We have played some good cricket to get to the final. Hopefully we can beat India on Thursday."

World champions India recovered from back-to-back defeats earlier in the tournament to advance to the final, much to the delight of stand-in skipper Virat Kohli.

"To bounce back like this and finish top of the table is a commendable effort," he said at Wednesday's post-match ceremony. "I am very proud of the team.

"We have shown a lot of character. When three good teams are playing in the tournament, anything can happen. We were never bothered about the rain delays. Our performance showed what happens when one executes their plans properly."

India could have regular captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni available for Thursday's game. The 32-year-old wicketkeeper-batsman has not played since suffering a hamstring injury in the tournament-opening loss against West Indies.

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