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Jayawardene - No pressure

Vice-captain hoping for Muralitharan fillip

Jayawardene: Confident

Mahela Jayawardene claims there will be no added pressure on Sri Lanka to win when they play England in Colombo on Saturday.

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"For us it has been a simple theory - just take one game at a time and just keep things under control"

Mahela Jayawardene

Quotes of the week

The co-hosts are firm favourites to win the fourth quarter-final with home advantage on their side at the 35,000-strong R. Premadasa Stadium.

Sri Lanka breezed through Group A, while England went right to wire to advance from Group B after defeats to Ireland and Bangladesh.

Labelled with the 'favourites' tag, anything but victory will be treated with fierce criticism from their partisan support, but that is nothing new for their vice-captain.

Pressure

"There's always pressure on you to win matches, that's with every team," said Jayawardene.

"For us it has been a simple theory - just take one game at a time and just keep things under control."

Sri Lanka lost just one group game when Pakistan secured a narrow 11-run win before the big tie against Australia was washed out.

And despite England's patchy performances in the group stages, Jayawardene felt Andy Flower's side did well against big teams.

Complacent

"They beat some of the top teams so that means they do turn up for the big games," Jayawardene warned.

"We cannot be complacent about what they have done in the group stages, they have some good players who can turn things around for them."

Veteran bowler Muttiah Muralitharan was still recovering from a hamstring injury which he sustained during the last group match against New Zealand.

And Jayawardene hoped the off-spinner would be fit for Saturday's match, adding: "We gave him a day off (on Thursday). He's been playing for 20-odd years; I think he deserves a day off.

"He did a bit of his running and bit of bowling yesterday, he was fine and I think he will have a session tomorrow. It's up to him how he wants to prepare for the game so we are not questioning his abilities."

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