Mahela Jayawardene urged Sri Lanka to keep World Cup belief

Vastavam web: Former captain Mahela Jayawardene has urged Sri Lanka to keep believing they can still reach the World Cup semi-finals, pleading for the batsmen to show consistency. Sri Lanka were struggling after defeats to New Zealand and Australia and two washouts before reviving their World Cup chances with a shock win against hosts England last week.

But the 1996 champions lost to South Africa on Friday to slip behind England, Bangladesh and Pakistan in the race to qualify from the round-robin phase. “Sri Lanka must still believe they can get to the semi-finals of the World Cup — but it’s their lack of consistency that keeps holding them back,” Jayawardene wrote in his column for the International Cricket Council.

Sri Lanka, who were bundled for 203 against South Africa to lose by nine wickets, play West Indies in Chester-le-Street on Monday and India in Leeds on July 6. The Dimuth Karunaratne-led side not only need wins but also favourable results from other teams to go their way. “If they go out there against the West Indies and be positive, believing in what they can do, then you never know what may happen,” said Jayawardene.