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Sri Lanka batsmen get the rap for Test defeat


COLOMBO, March 19 (AFP) - Sri Lanka's batsmen came under attack Monday with local commentators blaming them for the humiliating 2-1 defeat against the visiting England team.

The state-run Daily News said it was a series Sri Lanka could have won easily despite controversial umpiring that marred the three-Test series and triggered acrimony between the two teams.

"It was a series which Sri Lanka should have won without much sweat," the Daily News said.

"The failure of the batsmen to put up decent totals for their bowlers to bowl at and the swiftness with which they terminated their first innings at Kandy and at the Singhalese SC after winning the toss on each occasion, gave the opposition ample time to build their innings and dismiss Sri Lanka a second time."

The paper noted that Sri Lanka won comfortably by an innings and 28 runs when they posted a total in excess of 400 in the first Test at Galle, but complained that in the next two Tests that commitment was never there.

"Even the presence of an experienced cricketer like Aravinda de Silva in the middle order failed to check the Sri Lankan slide," the Daily News said.

Sri Lanka's team has been playing hard-to-get with reporters after England wrapped up the third Test with a four wicket win after just three days on Saturday.

The local press carried no comments from skipper Sanath Jayasuriya or other players who have been reluctant to talk to the press.

Meanwhile, the England team enjoyed a second bonus day off Monday with a private sightseeing tour.







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