COLOMBO: A place in the final of the ongoing ICC World Twenty20 in home ground "means a great deal" for the cricket fans of the country, Sri Lanka captain Mahela Jayawardene said after the hosts beat Pakistan in the first semifinal on Thursday.
"It (place in the final) means a great deal, thanks to the fans," he said after Sri Lanka defeated Pakistan by 16 runs at the R Premadasa Stadium.
In a brave move, Sri Lanka brought in left-arm spinner Rangana Herath in place of off-spinner Akila Dananjaya and the skipper termed the decision as a tactical change.
"It was a tough call keeping out birthday boy Dananjaya but we knew Pakistan were weak against left-arm spin," said Jayawardene, who was adjudged man-of-the-match for his 38-ball 42 and leadership qualities.
Opting to bat Sri Lanka made a modest 139 for four in their 20 overs and Jayawardene he felt they were a few runs short.
"We felt we were 15 short and 140 was a par score. We made mistakes in the field but it didn't cost us," he said.
Pakistan skipper Mohammad Hafeez said a middle-order collapse put paid to their hopes of a win.
"Every person gave 100 per cent. Jamshed and Raza have been the positives for us in this tournament. We were much in the game but the middle-order collapsed," he said.
"I thank the fans who came here to support us. We really wanted to do something for them," Hafeez added.