Tillakaratne Dilshan urges Sri Lankan batsmen to score big

Tillakaratne Dilshan hoped he will also be amongst runs after managing scores of 19, nine, seven and three in the series Getty Images

Sharjah: Nov 3, 2011

Skipper Tillakaratne Dilshan urged his batsmen to stand up and score big to help Sri Lanka level the series against Pakistan by winning the third Test which starts here from Thursday.

Poor first innings batting let Sri Lanka down in the first Test before an epic double hundred and a fighting century from Prasanna Jayawardene salvaged a draw in the first Test in Abu Dhabi.

But the batters failed to show an improved performance in the second Test as Pakistan romped to a crushing nine-wicket win in Dubai to go 1-0 up in the series.

Dilshan admitted the task to level the series was not easy.

“Definitely, it’s not easy but we have prepared well and we know which area we have to improve and everybody is ready to deliver, if we play our brand of cricket then it might be a good chance to level,” said Dilshan on Wednesday.

Sri Lanka were bowled out for low scores of 197 and 239 in the first innings of both the Tests and Dilshan realised it’s the weak area.

“Our batting has let us down but we have worked really very hard and we have talked a lot about that and I hope three four guys stand up and turn these 20-30 into hundreds because first innings is important in Tests,” said Dilshan.

Sri Lankan skipper hoped he will also be amongst runs after managing scores of 19, nine, seven and three in the series.

“I am not feeling any pressure but I am worried about my batting. I have worked hard and have confidence that I can come out and score big,” said Dilshan, who scored just one fifty in the three-Test series against Australia in September.

Dilshan said the pitch at Sharjah Stadium — where international cricket returns after a gap of nine years — will be a good Test track.

“It has a little bit of grass and I feel it’s a good Test track and it has good challenges for both batting and bowling,” said Dilshan, praising Pakistan’s overall performance in the series.

“Pakistan have played good cricket, they have good bowling and we did not bat well, so if we play good cricket and put some runs on the board we can put pressure on them,” said Dilshan of their opponents who have not lost a series in one year.

Misbah said his players were focused on winning the series.

“I think everybody is focused and wants to play good cricket. That was our goal when we came here,” said Misbah, whose team will replace Sri Lanka at five in Test rankings. Pakistan are currently sixth in Tests.

Misbah said he expects Sri Lanka to come hard in the final Test.

“Sri Lanka are a very good side and they are fighters so we are ready for it but our focus is to do the basics well and play like we have done in the last year and a half,” said Misbah, hoping a good batting track in Sharjah.

“It s a normal Sharjah pitch. Looks good for batting, not much turn and not much for fast bowlers as well,” said Misbah, hoping Pakistani expats come out in good numbers for support. “There s lot of Pakistani support here and that’s why Pakistan have played well here.”

Pakistan are unlikely to make any change, but Sri Lanka were considering dropping opener Lahiru Thirimanne for Dilshan to return to the top and include uncapped paceman Kosala Kulasekara.(AFP)