Sri Lanka in SA

Lankans to fight fire with fire

2011-12-15 07:30
Mahela Jayawardene (Gallo Images)
Cape Town - Veteran Sri Lankan batsman Mahela Jayawardene says they will counter the dangerous South African pace attack with some aggression of their own in the first Test, starting at SuperSport Park in Centurion on Thursday.

A quick wicket is expected, which will assist the South African pace attack - expected to comprise at least four of Dale Steyn, Morne Morkel, Vernon Philander, Jacques Kallis and Marchant de Lange.

Sri Lanka have had a torrid time of late, not winning a Test in the 14 matches since ace spin bowler Muttiah Muralitharan retired last year. They have lost series to England, Australia and Pakistan while drawing a largely rain-curtailed series against the West Indies.

But Jayawardene is confident that they can overturn their poor form and told the Beeld newspaper they will employ "aggressive, flamboyant shot-making" to counter the home side's expected pace barrage.

"In the last few series we haven't played our type of cricket and it's time we return to what Sri Lanka became known for.

"The key will be to play aggressive because that could change the course of play inside an hour or two," said Jayawardene.

Meanwhile, their captain Tillakaratne Dilshan says they definitely won't lack any motivation after being written off by most pundits.

"Everyone says South Africa is the overwhelming favourite to win the series and that only motivates us more.

"We believe all our players can do what is expected of them. If we play the sort of cricket Sri Lanka became known for, we can beat any team in the world," said Dilshan.

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