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Ishant Sharma

By Sa’adi Thawfeeq

Sri Lanka vice-captain Lahiru Thirimanne said that his team threw away the advantage that he and his captain Angelo Mathews built in the third morning of the second Test at the P Sara Oval.

“When India got the second new ball we threw the advantage away losing two-three wickets. Our middle order didn’t get much runs but it happens in cricket, said Thirimanne summing up the day’s play for his team.

“We knew we had to get a 350 plus score in the first innings but we couldn’t do that, hopefully we can get some early wickets tomorrow morning.”

Thirimanne described the pitch as a good one although batsmen found runs hard to come by.

“It was doing a little bit for the fast bowlers but after the first half an hour it was really flat but Ashwin and Mishra bowled really well at the time they got a little bit turn and they bowled in good areas,” said Thirimanne.

“We battled through that period really well but we couldn’t capitalize on the start we got. We wanted to bat till lunch today. Angelo wanted me to bat positively but we had to face the challenges the Indian bowlers offered.”

Thirimanne said the pitch would spin a little bit more than it does on the next two days and Sri Lanka’s only hope is to get early wickets. “Hopefully if we can restrict them to under 300 runs it will be a good score to chase.”

India lead overall by 157 runs with nine second innings wickets in hand.

“Normally on this wicket there is something for the fast bowlers early on and as the day goes by there is something on it for the spinners as well. It is a good cricket pitch,” said Thirimanne.

“It’s easy to pick the spinners when the ball is getting slower but when you get in initially you have to work on the pace of the wicket. Batting becomes easy when you score 20-30 runs.”