CB Series 2007-08 February 16, 2008

Jayawardene asks batsmen to fire

Cricinfo staff

Sangakkara needs support, says Jayawardene © Getty Images

Mahela Jayawardene has urged his side to adopt a smarter approach following Sri Lanka's 63-run loss to Australia in the sixth CB Series match in Perth.

Sri Lanka were in with a great chance to notch up their first win over Australia but a meek batting performance put paid to their chances. "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.

Kumar Sangakkara played a lone hand in the Sri Lankan run-chase but the rest gave it away with some poor strokeplay. "The way we lost wickets was not good," he said. "At crucial times, we keep losing wickets and you can't do that in a run chase."

The tailenders once again failed to make an impression - the last five wickets put together only 14 - and Jayawardene wanted to see Chamara Silva, Farveez Maharoof, Chamara Kapugedera and Nuwan Kulasekera take up more responsibility with the bat. "These guys can bat and they have scored runs and we need to get their confidence back," he said.

Sri Lanka, who were off to a poor start in the series, revived their chances with a thumping eight-wicket win against India on Tuesday. However, Sri Lanka's batsmen are yet to fire against Australia - having collapsed against them on both occasions. Sanath Jayasuriya has shown only glimpses of form, with 46 runs at 15.33, while Jayawardene, Silva and Tillakaratne Dilshan all fell cheaply when up against Australia.

Sri Lanka take on India in their next match in Adelaide on Tuesday.