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Jayawardene: Sri Lanka must believe they can get to the semi-finals

Former captain Mahela Jayawardene has urged Sri Lanka to keep believing they can still reach the World Cup semi-finals provided their batsmen show more responsibility.

Sri Lanka were handed defeats against New Zealand and Australia with two washouts before reviving their World Cup campaign with a win over tournament favorites England.

"Sri Lanka must still believe they can get to the semi-finals of the World Cup -- but it's their lack of consistency that keeps holding them back," Jayawardene wrote in his column for the International Cricket Council.

"It's a big ask to win their next two games but it's still possible. But to do that they must be consistent in the batting group, which they couldn't do at Durham (against South Africa)."

Sri Lanka, who were knocked over for 203 against South Africa to lose by nine wickets, face West Indies and India in their upcoming matches.

Sri Lanka not only need wins against West Indies and India but need other results to go in their way for them to reach in the top four.

"If they go out there against the West Indies and be positive, believing in what they can do, then you never know what may happen," said Jayawardene.

"They need to manage those emotions out in the middle and hopefully it can make a difference. Knowing the Sri Lankan fans and public, they’ll be backing the team all the way and they know they have the ability to be successful."