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Last Updated: Monday, 8 March, 2004, 14:12 GMT
Positive Aussies aid Murali
M Muralitharan
Murali celebrates another Australia scalp in the first Test in Galle
Sri Lankan off-spinner Muttiah Muralitharan says Australia played into his hands on the first day in Galle.

"They were very positive, that helped me take a few wickets," Muralitharan said after taking 6-59 in Australia's moderate total of 220 all out.

"That is their plan. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't.

"If the batsmen are attacking, it is a good sign for me. Most of the time the bowler will win because you cannot keep on attacking."

Muralitharan claimed the majority of his wickets with his orthodox off-break rather than the leg-spinner that had created havoc against England last December.

"The wicket is so slow, I thought I'd bowl more off spin today rather than the 'other' one," he said.

Muralitharan said Sri Lanka, well-placed at the end of the day on 81-1, were aiming to reach a first innings score in excess of 350.

"We have a good chance now. To restrict them to 220 on a first-day wicket is not an easy thing to do," he added.

"We have plenty of batting to come and if we can play sensibly a score of 350 would be good for us."


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