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July 21, 2009
Mahela Jayawardene, the former Sri Lanka captain and top scorer on day two of the final Test, has given credit to the Pakistan spinners for putting the hosts' batting under pressure and bowling them out for a total less than Pakistan's.
"We've spoken about building up partnerships and batting for long periods of time which we aren't doing," Jayawardene said after top scoring with 79. "We have to give credit to the Pakistani bowlers at the same time. On a wicket that is playing well they created opportunities. I thought [Saeed] Ajmal bowled pretty well and [Danish] Kaneria coming back for his first Test match bowled in good areas and created pressure. We need to be more positive and focussed on what we are doing.
"The pitch was not that difficult to bat but the spinners bowled really well they created a bit of pressure on us and we lost a few wickets in the middle session when they got on top of us. We did pretty well to get to 233 the main thing was not to give them a bigger lead. Disappointed that we didn't bat to our potential and got more runs on a very good wicket."
Jayawardene said the pitch was spinning a bit but was not dangerous. "We've already got a wicket, a crucial one, this evening and still they are about 80 runs ahead. But it's not a big task we have seen it before the Pakistanis under pressure the way they play.
"We've just got to make sure we are disciplined and create opportunities. It doesn't matter whatever the score they get we have to chase it down and get it. It's simple as that. The whole series the bowlers have carried us through. They bowled brilliantly. I know we'll have to put pressure on them tomorrow but they are quite capable of handling that."
Jayawardene praised the courageous efforts of Tillakaratne Dilshan who batted with a fractured finger for 44. "We are getting the scan reports [of Dilshan's finger] today. He is in pain but that shows the character in the guy. He got another blow as well while batting but kept battling on it was an amazing effort. I hope it's not too serious. He is a valuable member of our team especially going into the ODIs."
Jaywardene was holding up the Sri Lankan innings at one end when he suffered cramps on his leg and had to seek treatment from the physio. Soon afterwards he was dismissed by a superb delivery legspinner from Kaneria without adding to his score.
"In the previous over when I swept Ajmal I felt a twinge on the same hamstring that I had pulled a few months back in the IPL. I had a precautionary check on it to see whether it was bad. I am going to keep ice on it and hope it is nothing serious," Jayawardene said.
"It was a very good flipper from Kaneria and it was loss of concentration on my part. I never played back to him throughout the innings. I misread the ball and paid the price for it."
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