Cricket: Resurgent India impress Sri Lanka’s Jayawardene

CARDIFF, June 19, 2013 (AFP) – Sri Lanka’s Mahela Jayawardene is under no illusions about the scale of the task confronting his side when they face India in a Champions Trophy semi-final in Cardiff on Thursday. The latest high-profile one-day international contest between the teams is a repeat of the 2011 World Cup final in Mumbai.

That clash saw the 36-year-old Jayawardene make unwanted history by becoming the first man to score a century in a World Cup final yet finish on the losing side, with India victorious by six wickets.

On Monday, Jayawardene was in the runs again, but on the winning side, with his unbeaten 84 helping secure a 20-run victory over defending champions Australia at The Oval that booked Sri Lanka’s place in the last four.

Jayawardene saw India beat Sri Lanka in a warm-up match at Edgbaston earlier this month and has been impressed by their form in the tournament proper.

“I think they’re playing some really good cricket,” he said. “Their batting looks really strong, so that’s a key area we need to focus a bit on.”

The India team set to take the field in Cardiff has been transformed so dramatically in the past two years it will likely feature just three players — cap