Cricket World Cup 2015: Mahela Jayawardene laments 'tough' exit

By Stephan ShemiltBBC Sport in Sydney
Sri Lanka batsman Mahela Jayawardene
Sri Lanka batsman Mahela Jayawardene made his one-day international debut in January 1998

Sri Lanka batsman Mahela Jayawardene says the World Cup quarter-final defeat to South Africa was a "tough" way to bow out of international cricket.

The nine-wicket loss at Sydney was also team-mate Kumar Sangakkara's last one-day international.

"It is tough to leave international cricket on a day like this," said Jayawardene, 37.

Sangakkara, 37, added: "Disappointments are part of our careers. You have to take them on the chin."

Sri Lanka were bowled out for 133 at the Sydney Cricket Ground, with Sangakkara making 45 and Jayawardene four. South Africa then chased the target for the loss of only one wicket in 18 overs.

"I will have time to look back through my career and maybe in a few months' time it will be nice to look back at the memories," said Jayawardene.

"But it is disappointing to finish off like this."

Most runs in a single World Cup
673Sachin TendulkarIndia112003
659Matthew HaydenAustralia102007
548Mahela JayawardeneSri Lanka112007
541Kumar SangakkaraSri Lanka72015
539Ricky PontingAustralia92007

Right-hander Jayawardene scored 11,814 runs in 149 Tests and 12,650 runs in 448 one-day internationals.

Sangakkara ends his ODI career on 404 caps and with 14,234 runs, a tally second only to Sachin Tendulkar. His 482 dismissals is more than any other wicket-keeper.

The pair, both former national team captains, hold the record for the highest partnership in Test cricket, 624 for the third wicket against South Africa in 2006.

They were part of the Sri Lanka team that won the World Twenty20 in 2014 and that was beaten in the World Cup finals of 2007 and 2011.

Kumar Sangakkkara and Mahela Jayawardene

"On behalf of the nation and the team, I thank them for their invaluable service," said current Sri Lanka captain Angelo Mathews.

"The best thing for us would have been to go to the final and win it for them but it was not to be."

Sangakkara will retire from international limited-overs cricket after a World Cup where he became the first man to score a hundred in four successive one-day internationals.

"There's tape holding my fingers together and a lot more holding my body together," said the left-hander, who will continue to play Test cricket and will play for Surrey in this summer's county championship.

Cricket World Cup 2015: South Africa stroll to semi-finals

"Retiring is not about form. I'm sure I could play a year or two more, but the time is now and it's right. I'm pretty happy with the decision I've made.

"A lot of greater players than me have gone and the game has continued, other players take that mantle. In my case, it won't be any different."

Jayawardene, who made his international debut in 1997, is set to play T20 cricket for Sussex in the coming season.

"I will sit and enjoy my life," he said. "It has been a good 18 years and there have been no regrets, but it is time to look for different challenges.

"Our time has done and we must leave with peace and enjoy what we have achieved."

Sri Lanka's Mahela Jayawardene and Kumar Sangakkara
Mahela Jayawardene and Kumar Sangakkara played a combined 852 one-day internationals for Sri Lanka

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