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Aussies worry about SL record

To judge from past experience, it wont be easy for the Australians to beat Sri Lanka in the semifinal at a venue that has always favored the host.

india Updated: Sep 26, 2002 01:14 IST

To judge from past experience, it wont be easy for the Australians to beat Sri Lanka in the semifinal of the 12-nation ICC Champions Trophy at a venue that has always favored the host.

Australia meets Sri Lanka at the Premadasa Stadium on Friday in one semifinal. India is playing South Africa Wednesday in the other. Sri Lanka has an envious record at the ground. The home team has played 45 matches at Premadasa with 32 wins against 11 losses, with two no-result matches. Sri Lanka also has won 14 of the past 17 matches there.

"It's a massive test against this team in their own back yard," Australian Vice Captain Adam Gilchrist said.

"They not only play Sri Lankan conditions well, they play that ground well _ they've shown that," Gilchrist said.

Since 1996, when the first multi-team tournament with a grand final was played at the ground, Sri Lanka has won six of seven finals there, picking up a title every year except in 1998, when India scraped home by six runs.

Gilchrist said the Australians would prefer to bat first if they won the toss on Friday.

"History shows that it is tough to chase big scores on that ground and in any sort of finals cricket it's nice to have runs on the board."

First Published: Sep 25, 2002 14:14 IST