Sri Lanka v UAE, Asia Cup, 3rd match

'We are tired but that is no excuse' - Jayawardene

Charlie Austin

July 18, 2004

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Mahela Jayawardene's own cameo might have been cut short by a horrible misunderstanding that led to him being run out, but his team had no such problems. Sri Lanka powered past the United Arab Emirates. Jayawardene, leading the side in Marvan Atapattu's absence, spoke to the press after the game.

On what was a competitive score
When we had a look at the wicket in the afternoon we knew that it was not going to be that good. It was dry and had already had a game yesterday and we discussed 240 to 250 as a good competitive score.

On Sri Lanka's batting performance
I personally though we would struggle to get going at the start and then build up momentum at the end. But I was surprised that we were going at five runs per over in the beginning. The only hiccup was that we were losing wickets at regular intervals. We need to address that on Sunday

On the UAE bowling
They bowled really well and stuck to a plan, especially the three spinners who bowled really well. There were some good positive things that came out of the match for them. We played some rash shots and they put some pressure on us

On Lasith Malinga
Malinga bowled quite a few wides but you have to give him some leeway as he was playing his first game. But we will discuss those things [the number of wides] because we want perfection

On whether the team is fatigued
When you are a professional cricketer you have to put up with that. Yes, we are tired but that is no excuse. We are here to play cricket and we have to play to our best.

On the upcoming match against India
We are looking forward to that game because the Indians have been on top of us in the last coule of games. They have been playing good cricket and if we can come up to that level it means we are up there as well. We will definitely put up a good show.

On the absence of Sanath Jayasuriya's left-arm spin
We do have a problem there but I am sure that the other guys, Dilshan with his offspin and Kandamby with his legspin if he plays, will chip. But it is a big blow. Sanath is the second highest wicket-taker in history for Sri Lanka cricket.

On the team composition for the next game
We will decide on that tomorrow depending on how the wicket is, whether it is going to suit the spinners or the quicks. If we think we can make do with the extra batsmen then we can come in with allrounders. We will have a chat tomorrow morning.

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Charlie Austin Sri Lanka editor When Charlie Austin left for Sri Lanka after graduating from Sussex University, he was a planning a winter's cricket in the tropics and a six-month stint with an environmental NGO. His mother's worst fears were soon realised when it became clear that he had fallen in love with the island. Six months have now become eight years and Colombo has become his home. He joined Cricinfo in February 2000 and now heads operations in Sri Lanka, responsible for both sales and editorial. He is also the director of a UK-based travel company called Red Dot Tours, and is currently ghosting Muttiah Muralitharan's autobiography.
Related Links
News : Bulletin
Players/Officials: Mahela Jayawardene
Series/Tournaments: Asia Cup
Teams: Sri Lanka
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