Sri Lanka’s team manager has cheekily suggested having England as their next opponents will offset a tough cricket World Cup schedule.
After a below-par start to the tournament, Sri Lanka burst back to form with a 92-run win over Bangladesh on Thursday night at the MCG.
They were flying back to New Zealand on Friday morning ahead of Sunday’s crucial match against England in Wellington.
The Sri Lankans had been in New Zealand since mid-December before their brief visit to Melbourne.
While unimpressed with the travel, team manager Michael de Zoysa also jokingly referred to a comment he said an English journalist had made before the Bangladesh game.
“It would have been nice to have finished in New Zealand before coming to Australia,” de Soyza said.
“It’s tiring for the boys – we have to get up at seven in the morning and be at the airport by eight.
“(But) as someone said at the last press conference, England is a bye.”
Wellington will be massive for both teams’ quarter-final chances, given their patchy starts to this tournament.
The English have one win from three games and must beat Sri Lanka, who now have a 2-1 record.
“This is a very important win for us,” said man of the match T.M. Dilshan, who broke the record for the highest Sri Lankan score in a World Cup with 161no.
Dilshan and Kumar Sangakkara put on 210 for the second wicket as Sri Lanka amassed 1-332.
Bangladesh were never in the hunt and were dismissed for 240 with three overs left.
It was Dilshan’s highest one-day score and Sangakkara marked his 400th ODI with an unbeaten 105.
While Sri Lanka dominated, Dilshan said it would be foolish to read too much into the win.
“Every single game, we have to take seriously,” he said.
“We can’t say ‘this game, we won by (nearly) 100 runs, we can play in another two days’ time easily’,” he said.
“We can’t say it’s a turning point for us.”