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April 27, 2006
Mahela Jayawardene, Sri Lanka's captain for the tour of England, has expressed his pleasure at his side's impressive start to the English summer. Though Sri Lanka failed to press for a win against the British Universities at Fenner's yesterday, Jayawardene said he was determined to build on the experience later this week.
Speaking to PA Sport, he said he expected his young side to benefit from their early exposure to English conditions. "Two guys got hundreds, and the bowlers all had a decent outing and kept asking questions by putting it in the right place. A couple of the other guys got starts and didn't finish off," he said. "But that is the main thing you must do in England, because you definitely can get a good ball any time. The guys learned that here, and it was a good lesson for them. It was seaming, and the weather was typically English - so it was the best practice we could get."
Jayawardene, who failed to get going in the match, said he would put in the hard yards. "I was feeling pretty good out there in the middle when I went in, but it was one of those things - sometimes you get a really good ball. If it gets you out you just have to forget about it and make sure you do the hard work out there next time you get in."
He also hoped that Muttiah Muralitharan, one of a few key players to be rationed ahead of the bigger games, would play in Sri Lanka's next match against Derbyshire, beginning on Saturday. "Guys like Murali have been playing a lot of cricket, so it is always good to give them a break," Jayawardene said. "We just need to be very sensible in how we manage the players."
Sri Lanka play three Tests and five one-day internationals against England.
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