by Champika Fernando
In response to India’s mammoth total of 600, Sri Lanka sit precariously on 154 for the loss of five wickets and Vaas believes, the overnight pair of Angelo Mathews and Dilruwan Perera should bat through the first two sessions to have some hope in the match.
With Asela Gunaratne ruled out with a fractured thumb, Sri Lanka are a batsman short and a defeat seems almost the only possibility for the ‘wounded’ hosts.
“If we can bat, until tea we might be able to escape danger,” said Vaas at the end of second day’s play. “That’s what we should aim to do – to bat well in the first two hours. At the moment Angelo Mathews and Dilruwan Perera are batting well.
So tomorrow hopefully they will stay at the wicket and bat well until lunch.
Vaas said that Sri Lankan batsmen did not bat well even though the conditions still helps the batsmen..
“If any side gets 600 there is pressure on the opposition team’s batsmen. But even so, we didn’t bat well. Some batsmen got out early. That’s something that a team can’t tolerate – but that’s the nature of the game,” he explained.
Resuming from their overnight score of 399 for 3, India added 201 run off 43.3 overs before a career-best performance by Nuwan Pradeep ended India’s innings. Pradeep claimed figures of 132, including Indian skipper Virat Kohli. His individual brilliance however could not stop the Indians who went about their business with ease.
“Though I didn’t start well, I thought I got better as I kept bowling. I got some rhythm,” Pradeep said of his achievement.” I’ve taken four wickets few times. This is my first five-wicket haul and I’m very happy that I could get it. I didn’t do much different – just a little change.
Pradeep made his international Test debut against Pakistan in 2011 had taken 61 wickets in 24 matches including six, four wicket hauls prior to this.
“When you get four wickets, you have to bowl 15/16 overs, and you’re very tired after that. If you’re bowling more than that you still have to maintain that intensity and still bowl quickly. I think I did that. I maintained that intensity and bowled fast in my later spells. I think I couldn’t get to that fifth wicket before because of tiredness,” Pradeep said adding that he’s disappointed with where they have placed in the match at present.