Oz, Lankans on tenterhooks as weather threatens third ODI

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Sydney, Feb 7 (UNI) After two washed-out games in Brisbane, the Australian and Sri Lankan teams are keeping their fingers crossed as weather threatens to spoil the encounter between the two sides here tomorrow.

Australia captain Ricky Ponting said,''It's probably been frustrating for all three teams I suppose.'' ''Brisbane, the weather up there last week was horrendous and it hasn't been much better this week. Our preparation has been a little bit different this week than we probably would have liked,'' he added.

Sri Lanka has a good record here at the SCG, wining four of their last five ODI games although they are yet to play a Test at this venue. ''Maybe that's why they don't let us play Test cricket here,'' Sri Lanka's captain Mahela Jayawardene said jokingly ahead of the their match tomorrow.

Ponting has been suffering with back soreness since the Adelaide Test against India conceded that he should have retired hurt rather than batting on in the Test.

But the 31-year-old said he is now confident of making it through the whole CB Series.

''I must admit I battled through [Sunday's] game in Brisbane,'' he said.''I had a lot of work over the last few days here but today I purposely had a really long hit-out in the nets out the back just to get a bit more confidence in my movements and try and iron out a bit of the stiffness that I've got.'' The Australian team's fielding has been under scanner in recent times with the captain himself being guilty on a number of occasions.

''The catching is a concern,'' Ponting said. ''We've had guys moving all over the place in the cordon, [Andrew] Symonds coming in, Michael Clarke moving around first and second slip. It seems like if there's a half-chance or a hard chance we're putting them down but the more hard work we do they're going to start to stick pretty soon.'' UNI XC RAR AB GC1749

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