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Last Updated:  Saturday, 15 March, 2003, 16:57 GMT
Sri Lanka target Australia
Marvan Atapattu hits out for Sri Lanka
Atapattu's century was crucial

Sri Lanka captain Sanath Jayasuriya is confident his side can surprise defending champions Australia and reach the World Cup final.

Sri Lanka edged out New Zealand in the battle to qualify for the semi-finals with a 74-run victory over Zimbabwe.

But they must now beat Australia in Port Elizabeth on Tuesday to keep their hopes of repeating their 1996 World Cup triumph alive.

"History says the wicket [in Port Elizabeth] is turning and it's anybody's game on that particular day," said Jayasuriya.

"We will need to play really hard cricket."

Jayasuriya was full of praise for his fellow opener Marvan Atapattu, who scored 103 not out to help Sri Lanka set Zimbabwe a tough target of 257.

I'm hitting the ball well and I'm really confident
Sri Lanka's Marvan Atapattu

"Early on it was not an easy wicket to bat on and the fact that Marvan batted right throughout the innings was the key.

"It was a brilliant innings to get 100," said Jayasuriya.

"Kumar Sangakkara came in and got some runs too and that was very important for the team."

Atapattu's second century of the World Cup earned him the Man of the Match award.

"It wasn't an easy wicket in the early stages," said Atapattu.

"The ball wasn't coming on to the bat as much as it did in the second session but I fought hard to get those runs.

"I'm hitting the ball well and I'm really confident."

Links to more Sri Lanka stories


Sri Lanka's Marvan Atapattu
"The pitches here aren't as fast now so it's harder for batsmen"

Have Your Say on Zimbabwe
04 Jan 03 |  Have Your Say
Have Your Say on Sri Lanka
04 Jan 03 |  Have Your Say

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