Experience vital for Jayawardene

KINGSTON, Jamaica, April 23, 2007 (AFP) – Sri Lanka captain Mahela Jayawardene is backing his side’s greater experience to see them through their World Cup semi-final against New Zealand. The teams meet Tuesday here at Sabina Park in the opening last four match of the first World Cup ever staged in the Caribbean, the victors facing the winners of Wednesday’s match between champions Australia and South Africa in Saturday’s final in Barbados.

Sri Lanka are set to field a team featuring three survivors from the side that won the 1996 World Cup – dynamic opening batsman Sanath Jayasuriya, left-arm quick Chaminda Vaas and exceptional off-spinner Muttiah Muralitharan.

“Our guys have played more games, big games, tougher games – so maybe our extra experience will help,” said Jayawardene here on Monday.

“That’s probably one advantage we can have over the New Zealanders.”

Black Caps skipper Stephen Fleming has repeatedly spoken about trying to target Sri Lanka’s perceived lack of batting depth.

But Jayawardene said this was not an issue as far as he was concerned, highlighting the different make-up of his team.

“New Zealand have a lot of depth in their batting