Pakistan v Sri Lanka, 1st Test, Abu Dhabi, 3rd day October 20, 2011

Marvan Atapattu hopeful of saving Test

ESPNcricinfo staff

Sri Lanka have an enormous challenge ahead of them to save the first Test against Pakistan in Abu Dhabi, but their batting coach Marvan Atapattu has said his team can do it. Sri Lanka trail by 267 with nine wickets in hand in their second innings and two days to go.

"We really have to bat well in the second innings and I am sure the boys will do their best to save this match," Atapattu said.

Sri Lanka conceded a first-innings lead of 314 after they were dismissed for 197 and Pakistan replied with 511 for 6 declared. Atapattu said the opportunity had been lost with the first-innings collapse.

"I feel that we missed an opportunity. It's certainly not a 200-pitch and we all accept that," he said. "We were at least short by a good 100 runs. 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."

"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."

One batsmen who thrived in these tough conditions was Pakistan opener Taufeeq Umar, whose 12-hour double-century set-up Pakistan's push towards victory. His 236 was the first double-hundred by a Pakistan opener since Aamer Sohail's 205 at Old Trafford in 1992.

"It was my burning desire to score a Test double-hundred," Taufeeq said. "I am delighted to hear that I am in an illustrious company of Hanif [Mohammad] and Sohail. It was very hot, but I kept telling myself that my team needed me to stay and I achieved that to put my team in a strong position."

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Mandeep on October 21, 2011, 12:08 GMT

    good to see pakistan playing and winning too.

  • Ishara on October 21, 2011, 10:54 GMT

    I agree with johnathanjosephs, only thing different is we should bring Kaushal silva instead of Prasanna Jayawardane. then our batting look very solid. mind you Chandimal can open the batting. he is top order player. I would love him batting at 3 but Sangakkara still the best that position. we are waisting Mathews talent sending him too late. Mahela not performing as we expect him to do at No4. selectors should not fear to ask him down the order. for me batting line up should be 1. Dilshan 2. Thirimanne 3. Sangakkara 4. Mathews 5. Mahela 6. Chandimal 7.Kaushal Silva 8. Herath 9. Lakmal 10. Welagedara 11. Pradeep.

  • Nilantha on October 21, 2011, 10:38 GMT

    personally i think that what we need is ajantha mendis or suraj randhiv back in this team alongside herath..what are the selectors playing at leaving these two guys out...its almost as if you cant get a place in teh team until you have not much time to go in your career..great players arent so overnight, they develop and therefore need time to do so...

  • Julian on October 21, 2011, 6:52 GMT

    Would be better if samaraweera was in this series rather than paranavitana.

  • Dummy4 on October 21, 2011, 6:48 GMT

    Mathews has been the best SL batsman against Aussies and he is in a good form as well. Why not promote him.

  • scott on October 21, 2011, 6:45 GMT

    para is not that bad he does average more than 34(which is less than most of the bowling averages in this team).Nuwan pradeep should not be in the team. he averages less than 2 wickaets a game and almost 4 runs an over in first class cricket. kulasekera is a promising allrounder and they need to drop welegedara, prasad and lakmal. will b good when eranga is fit again and then they can play 2 spinners with hopefully mathews back bowling soon.

  • Dummy4 on October 21, 2011, 6:15 GMT

    feel sorry bout SL cricket administrators are only concerned bout their financial gains through cricket not the development of the sport youngsters have waiting in the bench while players like paranavithana and prasanna are continueosly failed sorry bout SL cricket sanga mahela retired they are worst than bangladesh

  • Roshini on October 21, 2011, 6:13 GMT

    You can say anything that pleases Sri Lanka but there lies the naked truth for all Sri Lankans to witness match after match. The fact remains that Sri Lanka will always struggle to bowl out a quality test batting line up twice regardless of pitch conditions. Opposition scoring 500 plus will be a common feature time after time.After SL lost the services of legendary Murali, and very good bowlers like Vass and Malinga (for test cricket) the aftermath has been quite dismal. The present crop of bowlers will have to seek divine powers if they are to push Sri Lanka out of this misery and bring home some results.

  • Panduka on October 21, 2011, 4:11 GMT

    @Lahori_munde I think you have misunderstood the definition of the term 'ordinary'. A couple of tough months doesn't make a team ordinary. Another word you should understand is 'mediocre' which is what pak has been for the last 4-5 years. Saying that it is good to see pak turning it around lately as world cricket needs a strong pak team.

  • Ajay on October 21, 2011, 3:52 GMT

    Pakistan team is the best asian cricket side no doubt!

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