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DateLine Sunday, 17 February 2008

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Mahela blames batsmen for Sri Lanka's defeat
 

Sri Lanka skipper Mahela Jayawardena attributed his team's 63 run defeat at the hands of the Aussies in a crucial game at the WACA played on Friday due to losing wickets within the first 20 overs. He said for the two Chamaras - Silva and Kapugedera it was an opportunity to display their batting prowess.

"We feel that six batsmen should do the job for us. Dilshan has the experience and his promotion does weaken the middle order a little bit. But then, it's an opportunity for guys like Chamara Silva and Kapu (Kapugedera) to show what they are capable of."

"In the morning I thought 260 or 270 would be a good total. They had wickets in hand and we did well to restrict them to below 240. So having done the hard work it was disappointing to throw it away. We could have definitely chased those runs."

"We took too many risks earlier on. We did the same mistakes in Sydney. We can't throw away many wickets in the first 20 overs.

That has been our downfall. It's difficult for the middle order then to take chances. It was a very good wicket and it was a gettable score."

"The way we lost wickets was bad. We never put on decent partnerships. When Kumar was batting with Kapu we thought okay from this point we can build on, but we lost Kapu at that stage and we can't keep doing that." "These days it's very hard to stand and wait. The umpire gave him out and he walked away and I am fine with that. I had a look at the replay a couple of times and there seems to be little bit of doubt."

"You want to catch everything that comes your way. The catches didn't prove to be too costly, but at this level, you are expected to take them. Up to that point we fielded really well, but it sort of came off towards the end.

"He was down a bit because he bowled really well in the first few games, but didn't pick up enough wickets.

On a wicket like this we knew he can be handful. We have asked him to do a tough job. Start off with the new ball and keep things tight and then come back and finish it off. He's doing a great job. No complaints with the bowling, we just need to sort out our batting."

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