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Asian Tribune is published by E-LANKA MEDIA(PVT)Ltd. Vol. 20 No. 82

"I will never play again in Australia" -- Murali

[b]"I will never play again in Australia" -- Murali[/b]

By H. L. D. Mahindapala

Australia is reeling from the defeat at the one-dayer against the Sri Lankans at the Adelaide Oval on Friday (10). They are one down and they have to win the remaining two final matches against Sri Lanka in the annual tri-series to come out as winners. Sri Lanka has to win only one.

The second in the best-of-three three finals will be played today in Sydney – a pitch that has favored Sri Lankan in the past. This is the Sanath Jayasuriya’s lucky pitch. The Australians know this and are rather jittery not knowing how to manage the Sydney match, fully sold out two days ago.

The Aussies are gambling not so much on the batting pitch as on the pitch of the coin. Whoever bats first, according to cricketing lore, has a better chance of winning. They are hoping to win the toss. Sri Lankans have been usually lucky on this pitch. And if their luck and skills hold, then the fall of the coin will not make much of a difference.

Sri Lankan underdogs – they lost in India and in New Zealand in recent matches – have come up from nowhere to challenge the world’s best cricket team. Though Kumar Sangakkara won the Man of the Match for his elegant 80 it was Tillekeratne Dilshan who was the star of the match. He performed brilliantly in all departments, particularly in getting a record run outs in one match. He caught, he hit the timber with deadly accuracy from either cover or mid-wicket, he batted and he bowled until the Aussies crumbled for 252 – 22 runs short of victory.

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