Murali-less Sri Lanka fancy Twenty20 title

Sept 5, 2007 (AFP) – Sri Lanka have the resources to win the world Twenty20 crown despite the absence of star off-spinner Muttiah Muralitharan, their captain said Wednesday before leaving for South Africa. Skipper Mahela Jayawardena said Sri Lanka, the top limited-overs team in Asia and World Cup finalists in the Caribbean in April, needed to be at their best as the shortest form of the game allows very little margin for error.

“We cannot afford to do too many mistakes in this type of competition. It is 20 overs and you will not get a chance to make amends unlike in the 50-over game,” he said.

Sri Lanka also do not have much Twenty20 experience. “We have just played three Twenty20 internationals, so we lack something there,” Jayawardena admitted.

“We need to keep four to five wickets in hand to face the last five overs when batting.” Muralitharan was forced to skip the tournament due to a nagging shoulder injury.

In Group C, Sri Lanka open against Kenya on September 11.