Colombo, Feb 26 (PTI) Pakistan were hardly taken as astrong World Cup contenders after the recent spot-fixingscandal but Sri Lanka captain Kumar Sangakkara described themas a tough side after they lost to the 1992 champions by 11runs in a group A match here today.
Sri Lanka are one of the leading contenders to win theWorld Cup but they failed to break by World Cup jinx afterPakistan batted first and posted 277 runs.
"They are a tough side. They proved that they have pridein themselves and I thought they played fantastic crickettoday," Sangakkara, said.
"We tried to change that (the jinx) today. I am not toosure why that has happened over the years, but there were somecritical moments in this game and we couldn''t turn thosecritical moments in our favour," Sangakkara added.
Sangakkara became Shahid Afridi''s 300th victim in ODIcricket with the Pakistani captain becoming the third playerfrom his country to reach the milestone after former captainsWasim Akram and Waqar Younis.
"Shoaib (Akthar) getting Mahela and Shahid (Afridi)getting Dilshan were critical moments of the game. ThenChamara (Silva) was a bit slow off the blocks, but he gainedmomentum towards the end and his finish was excellent,"Sangakkara added.
Afridi, who picked up five wickets against Canada inPakistan''s opening game, was named Man-of-the-Match for hisfour for 34.
"I am thrilled with the performance today. I told 280would be a good total. We knew the ball will swing and it willbe tough to bat under lights. Initially our target was 300,but we were happy to get 277. Everyone in the side wants toimprove and we try to win every game we play," the Pakistanicaptain said.