Jayawardene disappointed by Sri Lankan defeat

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HOBART, Australia, Nov 20 (Reuters) Sri Lanka were unable to hide their disappointment after their brave but ultimately fruitless fightback in the second test against Australia today.

The Sri Lankans rebounded from an innings defeat in the first test in Brisbane with an improved performance in Hobart, losing by 96 runs after making 410 in their second innings.

Sri Lankan captain Mahela Jayawardene, who scored a century in his team's first innings, said he was pleased with his team's improvement but still disappointed in losing the series 2-0.

''I felt we had a very good team, a good attack but the way we played was not very consistent,'' he told a news conference.

''We couldn't penetrate that top order, which was very disappointing. And the way we batted was disappointing as well t particularly the first innings we played in both test matches.

''That gave us a lot of problems in the whole series. It's a very disappointing series.'' Jayawardene, who had publicly criticised his players during the series for their lack of application, said their only consolation was they were beaten by a great side and he hoped his own team would learn something from the Australians.

''When you came across a side like Australia, you want to challenge yourself and see how far you've come and where you need to improve,'' he said.

''There's a lot of areas we need to improve but we have to sit down and talk about where we are as a group, show character as a group.

''We have to realise we played against the best team in the world right now and they were in form as well.'' Jaywardene nominated Kumar Sangakkara's batting in the second test as the highlight of the series for the Sri Lankans.

Sangakkara made 57 in the first innings then 192 in the second -- the highest score by a Sri Lankan in Australia - and was unlucky not to get a double-century when he was given out to a catch that came off his shoulder.

''Kumar's innings was fantastic. One of the best I've seen,'' Jayawardene said. ''He batted exceptionally well. The way he handled the situation was brilliant.

''I was very disappointed the way we got out. He is very upset about it, but that's how the game goes I guess.'' Reuters TB DB1250

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