Australia v Sri Lanka, CB Series, Sydney

Jayawardene takes positives from narrow defeats

Sidharth Monga

February 16, 2012

Comments: 67 | Text size: A | A

Lasith Malinga misses a chance to run out MS Dhoni in the final over, India v Sri Lanka, Commonwealth Bank Series, Adelaide, February 14, 2012
Missed opportunities, such as this run-out chance against MS Dhoni in the final over, cost Sri Lanka a victory against India in Adelaide © Getty Images
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Mahela Jayawardene is looking at the positives of having pulled two games back from the brink as opposed to feeling frustrated at not having finished those games off. Sri Lanka's three games in the series so far have been weird, in that they lacked flow and continuity. At times they showed remarkable spirit and intelligence, at times they played ordinary cricket that confounds.

In Sri Lanka's first game, their batting was stop-start against India but their bowlers pulled things back, before they were a little slow in the field as India came out from a slippery position. In the second game against Australia, Sri Lanka started superbly, Jayawardene was exceptional as captain, but their batsmen messed up the chase. Angelo Mathews didn't give up, though, and nearly took them to an exceptional win.

In their second meeting with India, the Sri Lanka batsmen floundered. Rickety start, Dinesh Chandimal-led rebuilding, and when the time arrived to push on, more wickets fell. The bowlers were ordinary at the start of the chase, but the fielders pulled them back so well they could smell the win, only for the fielding to break down and leave Sri Lanka with two points from three games.

"We take it in a positive way but we realise we did make mistakes," Jayawardene said. "We were not ruthless enough to finish games off, and that is a disappointment. We need to make sure, when we get into those situations, we finish games off and get that winning habit going. That's something we've spoken about and hopefully we can get that right tomorrow."

Jayawardene said Sri Lanka needed to react better in those crunch situations. "In certain situations we did not react that well. Even with the bat, it's not just the last 10 overs. We lost two early wickets and we built up. When we were setting up in that Powerplay, we lost two wickets and didn't take advantage. Missed run-outs in last two overs. Overall we didn't handle certain situations that well. At the end of the day I thought we came back strongly in a lot of departments to compete with India, so that was a positive, but we need to be ruthless to finish the game off."

He said the problem hadn't reached a stage where it could be said Sri Lanka had forgotten how to win, but admitted the need for wins was urgent. "We've been winning but when you start winning more percentages then [only] you get a good habit going," Jayawardene said. "We have been winning in between and losing a few games, playing some games really badly so there was the inconsistency. That's something we're trying to rectify."

Tomorrow's game against Australia will be Sri Lanka's fourth of the tournament. Even if they win, they will have to do much better in the second half of the tournament in order to make the finals. "It's a crucial game for us, and every game is important," Jayawardene said. "I can't predict how many wins we need to get into the finals. What's in our control is to try and win matches.

"It's a good game - the last one - with points on board, and if we can play the way we did in the last three games, and control certain situations better and make less mistakes, we'll get those wins under our belt. One, two, three good wins, and we can be on top of the table."

Sidharth Monga is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo

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Posted by   on (February 18, 2012, 8:35 GMT)

@sachin_vvsfan. Who benefitted D/L method mostly in this match....Before rain comes AUS score card were 88 for 6 in 26 overs.Except David Hussey all their fornt line batsmen were back in the favilian.And their tailenders only remaining.If not D/L SL could have whole 50 overs to chase what ever AUS set. Now tell me who is more benefitted.Don't talk non sense.

Posted by sachin_vvsfan on (February 17, 2012, 12:24 GMT)

@wjkalana funny comments.You seriously think SL wasn't benefitted by D/L? " India gonna loose all the games from here on" yeah lets wait and see who is gonna loose

Posted by Lalindra2012 on (February 17, 2012, 11:42 GMT)


Posted by rockyyy on (February 17, 2012, 10:58 GMT)

for a change india tops the table!!!!!!!

Posted by wjkalana on (February 17, 2012, 10:48 GMT)

Hello my fellow Indian friends thats how you win against australia not a last over win , won by 8 wickets with 101 balls to spare, It took 9 innings (4tests and 1T20) for indians to beat Australia and sri lanka just did it in 2nd match. Thats why wevsay indians are flat track bullies. so get ready to get hammered in rest of the tournament. India gonna loose all the games from here on. Pack u r bags and get ready to go home.

Posted by gabrialgihan on (February 17, 2012, 8:37 GMT)

@ csowmi7 dude its not about the world cup its a passed which happend a year ago... do you remamber how aravinda hammerd brett lee all over centurian and how murali took 8 wickets from his last match... they had 5 years of cricket left with them but its all about the time and giving the chance to the youngsters and going off in respect which jayasuriya didnt do.Everyone can see tendulkar is too old to play cricket.. he cant dive cant chase a ball he is clearly playing for the records which a world class batsmen shouldnt do of his caliber, the only thing it does is loose the respect he has created among the fans not only indians all over the world...

Posted by   on (February 17, 2012, 8:33 GMT)

@ miles100 , So when was the football introduced to india?and whr there are in world rankings now, 180 or something? LMAO

Posted by gabrialgihan on (February 17, 2012, 8:28 GMT)

@ csowmi7 yes your stars are right about srilanka y dont you apply it to india.... world cup winning team not one year from winning the cup.. double white wash in england whitw wash in australia???? ooops shame worst world cup winning team ever lol :-)

Posted by csowmi7 on (February 17, 2012, 6:52 GMT)

@gabrialgihan. The fact remains that in the world cup Tendulkar was the leading run scorer for India and the second most for the tournament. The very fact that he has so many records is a testimony to his quality. The fact that he has every record does not mean that he plays for records but that he is well above the rest. Does this mean that bradman's 99.94 average and 29 centuries a record at that time mean that he played for records? This man has carried the burden of the nation for 22 years and deserves to go out on his own terms.

Posted by Habi on (February 17, 2012, 5:22 GMT)

@warsha:- Agree that SL is good cricket team and had defeated IND in ENG and AUS - BUT NOT MANY TIMES. In AUS - IND:3 - SL:1, in ENG - IND:4 - SL:1, in SA - IND:1 - SL:0, in WI - IND:0 - SL:1. (TIE and No Results excluded) Total (In AUS,ENG,SA,WI) IND:8 - SL:3. If you take all neutral venues then IND:21 - SL:13. You can use link for full details-;home_or_away=3;opposition=6;team=8;template=results;type=team;view=host

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