Australia beatable – Jayawardene

Despite a heavy loss to Australia in the Super Eight, Sri Lanka captain Mahela Jayawardene is heading in to tonight’s World Cup final against the same opposition in very much an optimistic frame of mind.

Jayawardene, who also defended the team’s decision to rest key bowlers Chaminda Vaas and Muttiah Muralitharan in that Super Eight loss on the basis that it meant they would be fresher for the crucial later matches, insists that Australia are not the invincible team they’ve looked like being so far this tournament.

Far from resigned to being Australia’s 29th consecutive World Cup victim and just another easy obstacle during their march towards a third Cup win in a row, Jayawardene says that Australia are a team of 11 humans and could easily make mistakes along the way. The important thing for Sri Lanka, he says, is to take advantage of these mistakes.

Sri Lanka can take inspiration from the last time the two teams faced each other in a World Cup final – the Sri Lankans scored an upset win in the 1996 renewal of the tournament.

Jayawardene also paid tribute to coach Tom Moody, who he says has been “brilliant” and is one of the main reasons for the team’s recent run of success.

It’s a perfect World Cup final, with undoubtedly the two best teams throughout the tournament up against each other in a highly anticipated contest. However, it looks like weather may play a part.

Despite two weeks of constant sunshine in Barbados, the forecast for today is for overcast conditions and outbreaks of rain.

If the match is interrupted, there is the option of the reserve day tomorrow, or the use of the Duckworth-Lewis system to decide the result if at least 20 overs of each innings are bowled.

But hopefully the showers will miss Kensington Oval and the perfect final will see perfect conditions and a full uninterrupted 50-over per side game.

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