Abu Dhabi: Oct 20, 2011
Sri Lanka batting coach Marvan Atapattu insisted on Thursday that his team can save the first Test, despite being punished by a rampant Pakistan batting line-up.
Sri Lanka conceded a huge 314-run first innings lead to their rivals, before closing the third day on 47-1, still 267 behind.
Sri Lanka lost opener Tharanga Paranavitana off the first delivery of their second innings, trapped leg-before by paceman Umar Gul before Lahiru Thirimanne (20) and Kumar Sangakkara (27) avoided any further damage.
Atapattu said his team will have to bat solidly.
"Well we have to. We really have to bat well in the second innings and I am sure the boys will do their best to save this match," said Atapattu, who considered Sri Lanka's first innings score of 197 as a missed opportunity.
"I feel that we missed an opportunity. It's certainly not a 200-pitch and we all accept that. We were at least short by a good 100 runs," said Atapattu, whose team was rocked by Pakistan's rookie left-arm paceman Junaid Khan with figures of 5-38.
Atapattu said the pitch was not conducive for batting initially after Pakistan captain Misbah-ul Haq put them in.
"The outfield is not fast by any means and the wicket wasn't a batting-friendly wicket for a start. I wouldn't say it was two-paced but there was something there for bowlers who were ready to bend their backs," said the former captain.
Atapattu, 40, who played 90 Tests and 268 one-dayers during his career, termed the conditions in Abu Dhabi as "tough".
"It's hard conditions, tough conditions. Obviously, we knew what we were against, but we weren't at our best. Tomorrow will be a new day and hopefully the ones who missed out will have a good day tomorrow."(AFP)