Bangladesh v Sri Lanka, Group A, Asia Cup, Lahore.
Allrounder Jayasuriya leads Sri Lankan campaign
June 24, 2008
Stats and trivia
Jayasuriya hoping to explode:
Sri Lanka will be hoping to draw inspiration from their 1996 World Cup triumph when they begin their title defence for the Asia Cup limited overs cricket tournament with a match against Bangladesh at the Gaddafi Stadium in Lahore, Pakistan today.
Sri Lanka will play back to back matches and on the following day (Thursday) they will take on the United Arab Emirates (UAE) team at the same venue. The tournament will then move to the Karachi National Stadium where the second round matches and the final on July 6 will be worked off.
The opening two matches will certainly be an emotional one for all rounder Sanath Jayasuriya who played a sterling role to win the 1996 World Cup and is the only surviving member from that champion outfit.
Jayasuriya won the Most Valuable Player of the tournament award on that occasion and after more than a decade he is faced with a similar situation as the entire team is hoping that his explosive batting will help them to retain the Asian crown for the second successive year.
Jayasuriya who will turn 39 next week will certainly strengthen Sri Lanka’s batting which has lacked aggression in recent matches. With the inclusion of ace spinner Muttiah Muralitharan and Ajantha Mendis Sri Lanka could feel confident of having two quality spinners in their line up.
Meanwhile Sri Lankan captain Mahela Jayawardene is hoping that his team could overcome a slump in form which has seen them lose four of five one day series since finishing runners up to Australia in the World Cup last year.
Jayawardena admitted that they have not been in the best of forms in the last few months and this is another opportunity for them to display what they are capable of.
Jayawardena feels that there will be added pressure on the team considering the fact that Sri Lanka are the defending champions.