Wahab Riaz exults after dismissing Kaushal Silva in the Sri Lanka second innings of the first Test at the Galle International Stadium. AFP picture by Ishara S Kodikara

GALLE: Coach Marvan Atapattu said that losing the wicket of Kumar Sangakkara at any stage of the match was a huge loss but added that it has created a stage for the other to show what they are capable of as Sri Lanka try to save the first Test against Pakistan at the Galle International Stadium.

“It’s like Rangana (Herath) not getting wickets as expected but when those big stars don’t perform it’s upto the others to up their standards and help out when the team wants it. It’s their chance now,” said Atapattu at the end of the fourth day.

Sri Lanka are 62-2 in their second innings and require a further 55 runs to erase the first innings deficit of 117.

“We are still about 55 runs behind and priority should be to get those runs,” said Atapattu.

“We will see what we do from there. There’s not much time left in this Test match its 98 overs if we go the full distance tomorrow. We have to bat well to get out of the hole; we have to dig ourselves in. If we can do that it will be a big psychological boost for us.”

“We are in a three-match series here and we all should understand that what a good innings would do for the next Test. It’s good to come up with examples but cricketers should be self motivated more than anyone else coming and telling them.”

Defending his team’s performance on the field after they allowed Pakistan to recover from 96-5 to 417, Atapattu said, “After having Pakistan five down for 118 at the end of the first day anything is possible. We believed in the dressing room that we can do it. But we didn’t create enough chances.

“But in Tests there have been instances where we have enjoyed similar situations. If you go back to Headingley in 2014 when we won, the runs were scored by Angelo (Mathews) and Rangana (Herath). There are instances where tail-enders have scored runs and put the opposition under pressure.

“I personally don’t think we did too many things wrong. Some of the option the tailenders took worked. Some of the big shots were connected and it was one of those days. From a situation where they were down and out they fought back.

“Everybody have their own way of combating different situations. Sarfraz (Ahmed) has shown that’s the way he takes on pressure. It’s very hard to enforce any style on any individuals. That has to come naturally. Those two innings were special.”

Sarfraz scored 96 and Asad Shafiq 131 to take the game away from Sri Lanka.”