Maher warns of Sri Lankan danger - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Maher warns of Sri Lankan danger

By Alex Lowe 15/12/2002 05:45:43 PM Comments (0)

Australia A centurion Jimmy Maher has urged Ricky Ponting's senior side to remember Sri Lanka remain a threat despite the tourists' heavy defeat at the Gabba on Saturday night.

Maher, who has enjoyed a prolific season against the touring teams, added a 106 to the twin double-centuries he scored against England as Australia A racked up 8-312.

Sri Lanka's reply stuttered early and died as Sanath Jayasuriya's side lost its opening tour match by 102 runs.

But fewer than three months ago, it was Australia that was on the receiving end, slumping to a seven wicket defeat to Sri Lanka in the semi-finals of the ICC Champions Trophy.

And Maher has warned they remain a threat, particularly in the latter stages of the triangular tournament - that also involves England - when off-spinner Muttiah Muralitharan is expected to return from injury.

"They will be a threat. On wickets like Adelaide and Sydney that turn a bit more, and certainly in Melbourne, I think they can be very competitive," he said.

"When Murali comes back in their side, (Aravinda) De Silva, Chaminda Vaas - you've got to remember the last time we played them in the Premadasa Stadium in Sri Lanka they comprehensively beat us.

"They are a good cricket side and you never underestimate a Sri Lankan one-day side, with the likes of (Sanath) Jayasuriya, (Marvan) Atapattu and (Romesh) Kaluwitharana - they are all exciting players, hit the ball very hard and to all parts of the ground.

"If they get away to a good start in a couple of games it'll be very tough."

Complacency is not something Australia have been guilty of in the past and despite predictions of another unbeaten summer, Maher insists ponting will not allow any let-up in intensity.

"You can never walk out and think it's all going to happen. Obviously Australia are a fantastic unit, playing very good cricket, but on their day both these sides (Sri Lanka and England) could cause some problems.

"I don't think its going to be a walkover like everyone says. Sri Lanka have generally been a very good one-day outfit".

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