Sri Lankans ponder Aussie dominance

SYDNEY, Feb 9, 2008 (AFP) – Sri Lanka were the second best side at last year’s World Cup but captain Mahela Jayawardene has admitted that a continuing inability to beat Australia is becoming a major concern. Another loss would make it hard for Sri Lanka to reach the finals of the tri-series. On Friday, in the first one-day clash between the sides since Australia won the World Cup final last April, the home side once again proved too good, winning their tri-series match by 128 runs after bowling the Sri Lankans out for a paltry 125 in just 31.3 overs.

The Aussies have now won their last five one-day matches against Sri Lanka, and seven of their last eight clashes.

Star wicketkeeper-batsman Kumar Sangakkara raised his game, averaging 10 more with the bat against the world champions in one-day cricket than his career average, and did so again with a sparkling 42 on Friday.

But it was a solo effort. Sangakkara’s teammates couldn’t handle relentless Australian pressure, losing their last eight wickets for just 68 runs in a spectacular collapse.

Jayawardene said his side boasted plenty of talent but admitted some players were intimidated by the Australians.

“On the last few occasions they