Australia v Sri Lanka, 2nd Test, Hobart, 2nd day November 17, 2007

Murali is enjoying the challenge, says Jayawardene



"Murali is a freakish guy and he could pick up five-six wickets in the second innings" - Mahela Jayawardene © Getty Images

Mahela Jayawardene said Muttiah Muralitharan was enjoying the challenge of bowling against Australia but the team haven't helped him get to the Shane Warne's world record.

"Murali has been trying a lot, but we haven't helped him out. Credit should go to the way Australia batted," Jayawardene said. "Without taking too many risks they put a lot of pressure on him. Murali is a freakish guy and he could pick up five-six wickets in the second innings. I think he's enjoyed the challenge." Muralitharan ended up taking just a solitary wicket for 140 runs in this Test and is still six short of the record.

Jaywardene felt the key to fight Australia on equal terms would be to not lose too many wickets when the second Test resumes on day three tomorrow at Hobart. Sri Lanka ended the second day at 30 for 0 in reply to Australia's 542 for 5 declared and face another long hard struggle to avoid losing the series 2-0.

"It's a pretty good score from Australia .It's a flat wicket and we need to make sure that we bat through tomorrow," Jayawardene said. "It was a bit dark and doing a bit and swinging and Australia would have thought of picking up a few quick wickets. I thought Marvan and Vandi (Vandort) did a pretty good job for us. It's up to us to take the advantage."

Jayawardene was one bowler short when he lost Farveez Maharoof, who did not take the field on the second day, through injury. "Maharoof started complaining yesterday and it got strapped up and I thought he bowled pretty well," he said. "He's a guy who'll hit the seam and keep it up. It was pretty difficult for us. He's suffering from a crush fracture in his ankle. It looks like he'll be out of the England series. Since he's a fast bowler he needs to put in a lot of effort in his delivery stride. The guy has been working very hard at his game over the last six months. He has improved quite a lot."

Jayawardene said that Maharoof should be able to bat without putting in lot of effort. "We'll see how it goes depending on the situation we are in."