ICL: Indian Cricket League

SL captain wants batters to lift game


Sri Lankan captain Mahela Jayawardene said on Saturday his team needed to play smarter cricket at international level after this week’s 63-run loss to Australia.

Sri Lanka blew their chance to go top of the tri-series ladder here Friday when several batsmen threw their wickets away as they were dismissed for 173 in the 46th over, giving Australia a crucial win.

Classy left-hander Kumar Sangakkara anchored the Sri Lankan chase with 80 and was the last man to fall, but received no support and could do little but watch as poor shots cost wickets at the other end.

Jayawardene applauded his team’s aggressive play at the start at the innings, but said that overall shot selections needed to improve and smarter cricket needed to be played.

“We need to go hard, but the shot selection has to be a bit better,” he said after the loss.

“In world cricket a lot of guys do go hard up front, with the power plays and all that, but the guys have got to be a bit smarter.

“The way we lost wickets was not good. At crucial times, we keep losing wickets and you can’t do that in a run chase.”

Sri Lanka hammered India by eight wickets on Tuesday to revive their hopes in the series after earlier being thrashed by Australia by 128 runs.

But veteran opener Sanath Jayasuriya has shown only glimpses of form, with 46 runs at 15.33, while Jayawardene, Chamara Silva and Tillakaratne Dilshan all fell cheaply in both losses to Australia.

The tail end once again failed to offer any resistance in Perth on Friday, with the last five wickets falling for just 14 runs.

Jayawardene said he wanted to see the likes of Silva, Farveez Maharoof, Chamara Kapugedera and Nuwan Kulasekera adopt more responsibility with the bat.

“These guys can bat and they have scored runs and we need to get their confidence back,” he said.

Jayawardene played down the controversial catch by Andrew Symonds that removed Silva for a duck. Replays appeared to show the ball touching ground while in the Australian’s hands, but umpire Daryl Harper elected not to refer it to the third umpire.

“I had a look at the replay a couple of times and there is a bit of doubt, but without going upstairs, it is quite difficult for the on-field umpires to see,” he said.

Jayawardene was also disappointed with some dropped catches late in the Australian innings, but was very pleased with speedster Lasith Malinga’s four-wicket haul.

Sri Lanka’s next match is against India in Adelaide on Tuesday and Jayawardene was hopeful seamer Ishara Amerasinghe would be fit after a hamstring strain.

Source:Cricket News

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