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Last Updated: Friday, 20 February, 2004, 18:10 GMT
Ponting sends pitch warning
Australia celebrate their first wicket
Sri Lanka could not afford the early run out of Sanath Jayasuriya
Australian captain Ricky Ponting has warned Sri Lanka that preparing wickets to suit their spinners could backfire on them.

The tourists won the opening one-day international at Dambulla by 84 runs after scoring 262-6 and then bowling out Sri Lanka for 178.

"If they want to prepare those kind of tracks, it's going to be equally hard for them as it is for us," he said.

"We have shown them how well we can play in these conditions."

He added: "If you play on wickets like that, I don't care how good a batting side you are, you're going to struggle chasing 262 against a decent attack."

Sri Lanka's star spinner Muttiah Muralitharn took 2-30, but his performance was eclipsed by Australian Brad Hogg, whose left-arm chinamen brought him figures of 5-41.

"The pleasing thing about tonight was that we did everything we said we were going to do coming into the game," Ponting added.

"We played their spin sensibly, rotating the strike, hitting the bad balls for four and keeping wickets in hand for the end where Symo [Andrew Symonds] did a good job for us."

We did a tremendous job to keep Murali wicket-less until his last over
Ricky Ponting

Opposite number Marvan Atapattu was left to rue the loss of early wickets which undermined Sri Lanka's hopes of challenging the World Cup holders.

"We came back well after their initial assault and on a pitch like that 260-odd was gettable, but we had a shocking start from which we never recovered," Atapattu commented.

"It was a tragedy to lose Sanath [Jayasuriya] and Romesh [Kaluwitharana] so early because we know the firepower they have."

The best-of-five series continues with a second game at Dambulla on Sunday.

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