Sri Lanka’s Jayawardene says batsmen must lift

PERTH, Australia, Feb 16, 2008 (AFP) – Sri Lankan captain Mahela Jayawardene said his team needed to play smarter cricket at international level after this week’s 63-run loss to Australia. Sri Lanka blew their chance to go top of the tri-series ladder here Friday when several batsmen threw their wickets away as they were dismissed for 173 in the 46th over, giving Australia a crucial win.

Classy left-hander Kumar Sangakkara anchored the Sri Lankan chase with 80 and was the last man to fall, but received no support and could do little but watch as poor shots cost wickets at the other end.

Jayawardene applauded his team’s aggressive play at the start at the innings, but said that overall shot selections needed to improve and smarter cricket needed to be played.

“We need to go hard, but the shot selection has to be a bit better,” he said after the loss.

“In world cricket a lot of guys do go hard up front, with the power plays and all that, but the guys have got to be a bit smarter.

“The way we lost wickets was not good. At crucial times, we keep losing wickets and you can’t do that in a run chase.”

Sri Lanka hammered India by eight wickets on Tuesday to revive th