Pakistan fielders celebrate the dismissal of Kaushal Silva on the third day of the first Test at Galle International Stadium. AFP photo Ishara S Kodikara

Sa’adi Thawfeeq reporting from Galle

GALLE: Centurion for Sri Lanka in the first Test against Pakistan at Galle Kaushal Silva said that his role in the team is to bat throughout the innings.

“That’s been my role for the last year and half. For the last year I’ve been scoring a lot of 90s and 80s and missed three or four centuries. In the past I’ve been getting those big runs. I wanted to prove a point this time to get a big one,” said Silva at the end of the third day.

“That is my target in this series. I just want to make hundreds – that’s the ultimate goal. I know if I stay at one end and get a good partnership with someone, we can get to 350.

“This morning we discussed having at least two good partnerships. Our target was to get over 350 on the board. Unfortunately it didn’t go our way. We got some really good balls and also played some bad shots.

“In Test cricket that can happen – you can bat well during a particular period, and sometimes you can’t go ahead and score runs regularly. In the afternoon we bounced back, bowled really well and got five wickets,” he said.

Pakistan ended the third day at 118-5 in reply to Sri Lanka’s first innings of 300, to trail by 182 runs going into the fourth day.

“Tomorrow morning will be very crucial for us. We need to bowl really well. Sarfraz (Ahmed) is a very attacking batsman and he has got a couple of hundreds in the last series. We need to get those early wickets and put pressure on them,” said Silva.

“If we can take one of the overnight batsmen the tail will be exposed, so we have a good chance of getting them out cheaply. The wicket on the first two days was spinning a lot. It will spin more in the next two days for sure. It’ll help our spinners. If we can get them all out and leave ourselves a day and a session to get them out again, we have a good chance of winning this Test match,” he said.

Silva rated the century as one of his best innings.

“Initially it was a bit tough. Especially the first hour and a half when I started my innings the ball was moving a bit and it wasn’t coming on to the bat properly,” Silva said. “The spin was there right throughout the innings but eventually the pace started coming on and it was easy to score runs. They bowled pretty well. They didn’t give a lot of loose balls. It wasn’t easy to score runs regularly.

“Most of our guys got starts but couldn’t capitalise. That was one thing that we have to think about for the next innings. Some of those deliveries were really good ones and some of them were not. Unfortunately it didn’t go our way, but next time our batters will do their best.”


Coach Waqar Younis blamed his batsmen for placing Pakistan in a precarious position. :We could have done better with the bat unfortunately there was poor shot selections that has put us in a situation where the two days seems like plenty of time in this Test match,” said Waqar.

“We have to really come back tomorrow morning and repair it again and make sure we get a partnership in.

“Our bowlers bowled really well. It is stilI a very good batting pitch Wahab (Riaz) bowled with serious fire and Yasir (Shah) spun the ball and looked a brilliant bowler, The bowling unit did a wonderful job this morning and this afternoon but the batting let us down.”