Loss a good lesson for Tri finals bid: Moody



HOBART ? Coach Tom Moody hopes Sri Lanka has learnt a lesson ahead of today's key tri-series cricket match against South Africa at Bellerive Oval. With the vacant berth in the three-match final series against Australia at stake, Moody is telling his charges they can't afford to lapse or ease up at any stage.

The Lankans were dealt a painful lesson last Tuesday, against the Proteas in Perth, when a score of 300 beckoned with Sanath Jayasuriya in full flight before they lost 9-84 and the match, by five wickets. Moody yesterday hoped that the costly fade-out would not be repeated.

"As we recognised ... it's not only the first 15, 20 overs that are important, it's the 30 after that.

"You've got to play the full 50 overs and on Tuesday we hope to play a full hundred overs.''

Sri Lanka starts today's match on nine points, trailing South Africa by three and can overtake it with a win. Sri Lankan offspinner Muttiah Muralitharan will have one ear on the Bellerive crowd after enduring weeks of taunts from Australian cricket fans over his controversial action. Muralitharan underwent voluntary testing at the University of Western Australia last week to have his action cleared, but has been frustrated by the constant taunts he has received from Australian crowds, and was reprimanded for giving a Perth fan a one-fingered gesture. Moody hoped the latest round of testing would put an end to the speculation over Muralitharan.

"He's gone through a lot over his career,'' he said. Muralitharan had threatened to boycott future Australian tours, but Moody said he doubted crowd behaviour would affect his decision.



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