Jayawardene urges Sri Lankan team mates to try harder

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HOBART, Australia, Nov 17 (Reuters) Sri Lankan captain Mahela Jayawardene has called on his team mates to show some fighting spirit after a batting collapse left them staring at a heavy defeat in the second test against Australia.

Jayawardene led by example with a superb 104 on the third day at Bellerive Oval but said his personal achievements had been soured by the dismal performances of his team mates after the tourists collapsed to be all out for just 246.

Sri Lanka's only other contributors were Kumar Sangakkara, who made 57, and Farveez Mahararoof, who scored 19 despite batting with a runner because of a serious foot injury, but more than half the team failed to reach double figures.

Australia made 542 for five declared in their first innings and are 111-1 in their second, leading by 407 runs with nine wickets remaining.

''We've spoken a lot when we came to Australia that we need to find something within us to beat this team,'' Jayawardene said.

''Unfortunately, we still haven't got that hunger for victory. We need to bring that out in ourselves.

''As a team, we need to focus more. We've been pushed to the wall now. There's nowhere else for us to go, except to push them back.'' Sri Lanka were given a glimmer of hope of forcing a draw when the Australians opted against enforcing the follow-on but Jayawardene said all the batsmen needed to lift their games.

''The next two days are very crucial for us to make sure we show some of that character before we leave Australia,'' he said.

''We need to show something different and take something out of it.

''We need to show a bit more belief in our ability. You need to give yourselves more time to settle.

''You need to grind yourself and fight through the tough period.

They need to focus a bit more and concentrate a bit harder.'' WORLD RECORD Jayawardene's century was his 19th in tests but his first against Australia.

His finest achievement is his 374 against South Africa last year -- in which he and Sangakkara shared a world record partnership of 624 -- but he said scoring a hundred against Australia was a special achievement.

There was an element of luck -- he survived a run out chance on 14 and was dropped twice in the 70s -- but he regained his composure while wickets were tumbling around him.

He batted for more than four hours and reached his hundred off 188 balls when he drove Brett Lee through the covers for his 14th boundary before holing out in the deep to be the last man out.

''It was tough today and I was very determined to get a hundred,'' he said.

''I haven't got a hundred against the Australian attack, so it was very important for me to spend some time out there and fight myself through the initial period and get to a position where I could get something,'' he said.

''Their attack kept asking questions, even I was lucky a few times. It's very good wicket to bat on if you fight through that initial period.

''It's quite easy to get used to the pace of the wicket and then graft your runs.

''I've played a couple of good knocks where we've won matches and I've pulled us through but I rate this among the top.

''Right now, I'm disappointed but when I'm retired and look back at the hundreds this will be a sweet one.'' REUTERS TB BD1528

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