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Cricket | International

Mathews backs SL big guns



Sri Lankan all-rounder Angelo Mathews believes his team's star batsmen are ready to start turning promising starts into substantial scores and help their side rediscover winning form.

Sri Lanka suffered their second successive defeat to start the triangular one-day series against Australia and India on Friday, falling by five runs to the hosts at the WACA.

Mathews said more runs were needed from the top order to turn Sri Lankan fortunes around.

Their three best batsman – Kumar Sangakkara, Tillakaratne Dilshan and Mahela Jayawardene – have all got into double figures in both their tri-series games, but none has gone on to make a substantial score.

Mathews, who made 64 batting at No 7 to almost rescue his side from a seemingly hopeless position on Friday, said it was only a matter of time before the trio capitalised on their early good work at the crease.

"Sangakkara, Dilshan, Jayawardene, they are world-class players, we all know that," he said.

They have been getting starts. I am sure they will bounce back and go for a big one in the next few games. "

Mathews said the Sri Lankan bowlers had been doing a good job in restricting the opposition, but that their batting had suffered from the regular loss of wickets in both matches.

Despite successive losses under the new leadership of captain Jayawardene and coach Graham Ford, taking the recent record of last year's beaten World Cup finalists to just two wins in their past 10 matches, Mathews said morale was still strong.

"The camp is feeling pretty good," he said.

"We are obviously disappointed, but the mood is pretty good. The last two games we have played pretty good cricket, we have six more games to go and we have to keep our heads up."

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