Sri Lanka ponder rest repeat against Ireland

ST GEORGE’S, Grenada, April 17, 2007 (AFP) – Sri Lanka’s Chaminda Vaas and Muttiah Muralitharan, who were controversially omitted for the crushing World Cup defeat by Australia, could also sit out Wednesday’s clash against Ireland. Their absence, and that of already injured quick Lasith Malinga, meant the 1996 World Cup winners went into Monday’s loss to the defending champions without a trio of bowlers who have taken 41 wickets at this tournament.

Australia cruised to a seven-wicket win with 44 balls to spare after dismissing a full-strength Sri Lanka batting line-up for 226 at the Grenada National Stadium.

However, Sri Lanka, like Australia, had already qualified for the semi-finals and skipper Mahela Jayawardene insisted he had no qualms about the decision to leave out Muralitharan and Vaas, two of the stars of the side that won the World Cup 11 years ago.

“Obviously those two guys had been playing throughout the World Cup. Murali had a problem with his groin as well – he played with a strapping in the last two or three games.

“Once we realised we had the semi-final spot I thought we needed to give those guys a break,” Jayawardene said after Monday’s match.

“They have had injury problems in the last