Pakistan v Sri Lanka, 1st Test, Abu Dhabi, 4th day October 21, 2011

Sangakkara praises Pakistan's bowlers

ESPNcricinfo staff
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Kumar Sangakkara has said that Pakistan's attack bowled "exceptionally well" on a day when only he stood between Sri Lanka and defeat in the first Test in Abu Dhabi. Sangakkara batted through the fourth day to score 161, whittling the deficit from 267 to 16, as Sri Lanka finished on 298 for 5. Pakistan would have taken several more wickets, though, had their fielders not dropped five catches.

"Pakistan bowled exceptionally well, they used the new ball well. The spinners came on and they also continued to keep the pressure up and that doesn't help," Sangakkara said. "It's a new attack, they got two seniors in [Saeed] Ajmal and [Umar] Gul but it's heartening to see two young bowlers come in.

"Junaid [Khan] used his angles well and used his pace variations well. He bowled in the right areas and that has been a challenge. We have not yet been able to overcome that challenge, but we should do it."

Sangakkara added 153 runs for the second wicket with Lahiru Thirimanne but then watched wickets fall at regular intervals as Sri Lanka lost four batsmen for 80 runs. Sangakkara was also let off twice, off Junaid and Mohammad Hafeez's bowling, and he made his good fortune count by scoring his 26th Test century and his 11th second-innings hundred.

"It would have been nice if I had I got it in the first innings but it was a tough fight and one of my better hundreds," he said. "But there is still work left and if we can get through the first session, we can put some pressure on Pakistan.

"Hundred or 150 [more] would be fantastic, that will also take time away. Let's see tomorrow, first we have to get the morning session out [of the way]. We have to first come out and fight again."

Pakistan opener Taufeeq Umar had ground out a double-century and batted for more than 12 hours in energy-sapping conditions. Sangakkara, however, said the fourth day had not been as bad.

"It was pretty alright, the weather was much cooler than the first day, the breeze helped you keep cool and wicket was flat, so I was just making sure we made few mistakes," he said. "I feel fantastic and great, once you bat and do the hard work it's great and there is more to be done."

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • on October 22, 2011, 8:27 GMT

    well droped by pk and well done by sanga

  • on October 22, 2011, 6:32 GMT

    Sanga is a great player. He has credited his innings by giving credit to the Bowlers.

    If bowling was good then making hundred against them is great.

  • on October 22, 2011, 5:24 GMT

    @ SRT_GENIUS considering the fact that this was his 26th hundred I don't think it will matter if it was discounted or not...also considering he played a beauty in Aus (196 was given out caught off the shoulder) it will take something spectacular to top that 1. So yea if you think he is trying to say the bowling was good cause he wants his 100 to look good maybe you should think again.

  • CRIC89 on October 22, 2011, 5:14 GMT

    Great inning Sanga, fantastic to watch. We need someone like you to lead the team until Mathews take over the captaincy. But unfortunately we haven't one. You and Mahela given up the captaincy wrong time mate.

  • Lmaotsetung on October 22, 2011, 4:33 GMT

    Shades of Sydney 2009 I reckon :P

  • Sampath_Lokuge on October 22, 2011, 4:16 GMT

    Sangakkara VS Pakistan.Good luck for grate batsmen to save SL.

  • on October 22, 2011, 3:23 GMT

    @SRT_Genius - Did u watch the match?? Did you see how the Pakistani bowlers bowled on this flat pitch?? They were simply unlucky with edges falling just short of the fielders or the fielders dropping a few crucial catches or the umpires making a few blunders! Had they fielded well, this match should have been over by now!! <anyways, missing Osman Samiuddin's report on the day's play!>

  • Sharjil.k on October 22, 2011, 2:35 GMT

    Respect when it is due...and i give Sanga respect for the way he played today. Regardless of how the Pakistani bowlers did today, Pakistans bowlers will always come after you. Its in our blood. But the test match isn't over yet, and Pakistani team shouldn't let his praise get into their head.

  • rahulcricket007 on October 22, 2011, 2:06 GMT

    @ORGANTON . PAKISTAN IS BETTER THAN YOUR ANDERSON & BROAD WHICH ONLY TAKES WICKETS IN ENG AUS ,SA . IN ABUDHABHI THEY WILL BE THRASHED . ALSO PAKISTAN IS NOT AT FULL STRENGTH IN BOWLING DPARTMENT . JUST IMAGINE ASIF , AMIR AND THEN COMPARE PAK WITH ENGLAND . PAKISTAN HAS THE BEST SWING BOWLERS IN THE WORLD .EVEN ON FLAT PITCHES THEY LOOKS A THREAT TO THE BATSMEN WITH REVERSE SWING . WE ALL SEE HOW ENGLAND BOWLERS PERFORM ON FLAT TRACKS AS WE SEEING THEM IN RECENT SERIES IN INDIA .IF PAKISTAN 'S FIELDING STEPS UP THEN I CAN CLEARLY SEE ENGLAND SUFFERING A HUGE DEFEAT FROMM PAKISTAN .I HOPE PAKISTAN CONTINUE GOOD PERFROMANCE AND WE WIL SEE THEM AGAIN IN TOP4.

  • johnathonjosephs on October 22, 2011, 1:10 GMT

    Amazing player and great orator. He always gives credit to the side when they deserve it (saying of India in WC 11 final that you need 350+ to feel safe beating them and against Pakistan in T20 final saying they were better side, even though Lanka was undefeated whole tournament). Did anybody know that his average when he is not wicketkeeping (after he gave up wicketkeeping to concentrate on batting) is 71?!?!?! 71, that makes him 2nd to only Bradman!!! He will be the fastest to 9000 runs (needs only an average of 31 in the next 6 innings to defeat Dravid) and will most likely be fastest to 10K runs (beating both Lara and Tendulkar) if he maintains an average of 45 for the next 20 odd innings or so. I am truly blessed to have lived in this era to witness such a player

  • on October 22, 2011, 8:27 GMT

    well droped by pk and well done by sanga

  • on October 22, 2011, 6:32 GMT

    Sanga is a great player. He has credited his innings by giving credit to the Bowlers.

    If bowling was good then making hundred against them is great.

  • on October 22, 2011, 5:24 GMT

    @ SRT_GENIUS considering the fact that this was his 26th hundred I don't think it will matter if it was discounted or not...also considering he played a beauty in Aus (196 was given out caught off the shoulder) it will take something spectacular to top that 1. So yea if you think he is trying to say the bowling was good cause he wants his 100 to look good maybe you should think again.

  • CRIC89 on October 22, 2011, 5:14 GMT

    Great inning Sanga, fantastic to watch. We need someone like you to lead the team until Mathews take over the captaincy. But unfortunately we haven't one. You and Mahela given up the captaincy wrong time mate.

  • Lmaotsetung on October 22, 2011, 4:33 GMT

    Shades of Sydney 2009 I reckon :P

  • Sampath_Lokuge on October 22, 2011, 4:16 GMT

    Sangakkara VS Pakistan.Good luck for grate batsmen to save SL.

  • on October 22, 2011, 3:23 GMT

    @SRT_Genius - Did u watch the match?? Did you see how the Pakistani bowlers bowled on this flat pitch?? They were simply unlucky with edges falling just short of the fielders or the fielders dropping a few crucial catches or the umpires making a few blunders! Had they fielded well, this match should have been over by now!! <anyways, missing Osman Samiuddin's report on the day's play!>

  • Sharjil.k on October 22, 2011, 2:35 GMT

    Respect when it is due...and i give Sanga respect for the way he played today. Regardless of how the Pakistani bowlers did today, Pakistans bowlers will always come after you. Its in our blood. But the test match isn't over yet, and Pakistani team shouldn't let his praise get into their head.

  • rahulcricket007 on October 22, 2011, 2:06 GMT

    @ORGANTON . PAKISTAN IS BETTER THAN YOUR ANDERSON & BROAD WHICH ONLY TAKES WICKETS IN ENG AUS ,SA . IN ABUDHABHI THEY WILL BE THRASHED . ALSO PAKISTAN IS NOT AT FULL STRENGTH IN BOWLING DPARTMENT . JUST IMAGINE ASIF , AMIR AND THEN COMPARE PAK WITH ENGLAND . PAKISTAN HAS THE BEST SWING BOWLERS IN THE WORLD .EVEN ON FLAT PITCHES THEY LOOKS A THREAT TO THE BATSMEN WITH REVERSE SWING . WE ALL SEE HOW ENGLAND BOWLERS PERFORM ON FLAT TRACKS AS WE SEEING THEM IN RECENT SERIES IN INDIA .IF PAKISTAN 'S FIELDING STEPS UP THEN I CAN CLEARLY SEE ENGLAND SUFFERING A HUGE DEFEAT FROMM PAKISTAN .I HOPE PAKISTAN CONTINUE GOOD PERFROMANCE AND WE WIL SEE THEM AGAIN IN TOP4.

  • johnathonjosephs on October 22, 2011, 1:10 GMT

    Amazing player and great orator. He always gives credit to the side when they deserve it (saying of India in WC 11 final that you need 350+ to feel safe beating them and against Pakistan in T20 final saying they were better side, even though Lanka was undefeated whole tournament). Did anybody know that his average when he is not wicketkeeping (after he gave up wicketkeeping to concentrate on batting) is 71?!?!?! 71, that makes him 2nd to only Bradman!!! He will be the fastest to 9000 runs (needs only an average of 31 in the next 6 innings to defeat Dravid) and will most likely be fastest to 10K runs (beating both Lara and Tendulkar) if he maintains an average of 45 for the next 20 odd innings or so. I am truly blessed to have lived in this era to witness such a player

  • avmd on October 22, 2011, 1:04 GMT

    Basically he is praising his own inning by crediting the bowling. Joke apart, he is a great sportsman and should have remained the Captain till he retired. Don't think Dilshan can handle captaincy and batting at the same time. If SL lost the series, Dilshan should be replaced by Mathew as captain.

  • on October 22, 2011, 0:49 GMT

    Pakistan are such a frustrating team to watch when they are good they are very good but they make silly mistakes(dropping the number of catches they did today) If Pakistan took the catch off Sanagakara when he was on 56 the match would have been over by now. The pakistan bowling line up looks good and bowled well but Gul can be frustrating to watch as when he's bowling he is a world beater but he then bowls some poor deliveries which dont test the batsmen. At least he didnt bowl no-balls today which is renowned for from time to time.Today this fact was shown as he took the wicket of Matthews and then bowled a number of wide deliveries to Sangakara which he did not have to play. Sri Lanka's bowling attack looks very weak at the moment and Dilshan is showing that he's been playing too much ODI cricket and 20 20 cricket as the shot he played to the delivery he got out to was poor.

  • Umms on October 22, 2011, 0:16 GMT

    Well said Sanga....he is humble man....he played a gem of a knock, but still have guts to praise the opponents...great work.......better than Abhishek Purohit who consistently sees the negative side about Pak. Four days in a match belongs to Pakistan and he could not come up with any thing good. Osman Samiuddin we miss you

  • Raj2000 on October 21, 2011, 23:45 GMT

    Sanga is one of the greatest batsman playing today and he's surely headed for greatness.

    It's not the Pakistan's bowling that got SL into trouble. It's SL's batting that's not living upto standard. Don't get me wrong, I'm not taking anything away from Pakistan - they absolutely bowled well and deserve full credit but, surely, one can't deny that SL didn't bat as well as they SHOULD have. On paper they are a better team than Pakistan but they are not performing at the moment. Maybe Murali's retirement affected them psychologically?

    I hope tomorrow Sanga gets his triple century and SL draws the match. The morning session is crucial and PJ has to hang in there with Sanga. Good luck SL.

  • SRT_GENIUS on October 21, 2011, 23:31 GMT

    He doesn't want his 100 to be discounted as something against a newbie attack. Typical Sanga.

  • playitstraight on October 21, 2011, 23:12 GMT

    Sanga, you are a true sportsman and a legend for Sri Lanka and world cricket. Humble, Honest and Generous are a some of the many traits that I have to describe you. Hats off to you Sanga and KEEP IT UP!!! - coming from an indian.

  • Zahidsaltin on October 21, 2011, 23:11 GMT

    Sanga is a real gentleman. Said that, it's a fact that all pakistani great bowlers deserved many many more wickets only if pakistani catching stats were equal to other major cricket playing nations. It is only once a ten matches that they hold on to all getable catches. It's an easy guess that wasim and waqar had at least 100 more wickets each if pakistan fielding was up to the mark. At the end, What an innings Sanga is playing under pressure when no other great stood with him

  • orangtan on October 21, 2011, 23:01 GMT

    Pakistan has arguably the best-balanced bowling attack world-wide except perhaps England at full strength. Now that the batting has also stiffened, it's only the fielding that needs improvement.

  • on October 21, 2011, 22:51 GMT

    Thats what great players do, appreciate cricket, Respect Sanga !

  • RAMKI2404 on October 21, 2011, 22:00 GMT

    Sanga, I wish you BOL and carry your batting and complete the 8th double hundred (If possible a triple). You deserve it. Pak Sanga is between your victory so you cant give him another chance. I cant wait for tomorrow's play.

  • Q72941 on October 21, 2011, 21:58 GMT

    Sanga certainly has CLASS written all over him. He is my ever favorite player along with Jaysuriya from SL camp. It's really joyful & refreshing to see a player - of that stature with real straight & humble demeanor - still exists in the world full of mediocre players with pumping fists, frowning brows & whatnot.

    Goodluck to Sanga & the likes of him.

  • Desihungama on October 21, 2011, 21:33 GMT

    That is a real magnificiant effort by Pakistan bowlers. True contest, we have on between bat and ball. Real Test Cricket. Kudoos to both.

  • on October 21, 2011, 21:21 GMT

    True Champion, always first acknowledge a worthy adversary.he is legend already...Hats off again mate.

  • Nathan_123 on October 21, 2011, 21:18 GMT

    Great knock by Sanga. To be honest the match should have been finished today if it was not for the 5 drop catches. Dilshan's batting was a disgrace. He got a peach of a bowl from the youngster. He went for a big drive to see his middle stump knocked out of the grounds. I don't think he has the mental strength and the technique to play in the middle order. He should either go back to opening the innings, where he can play without pressure or dropped from playing test matches.

  • PakCric786 on October 21, 2011, 20:58 GMT

    Kumar Sangakkara you are one of my fav players and you played great today even tho you got lucky lol.. but sir you are still one of the best batsman out there true match winner... Pakistan is my team but Srilanka and SA are also my fav teams.. good luck with rest of the matches.

  • sarasafir on October 21, 2011, 20:44 GMT

    One of the most humble cricketers, showing true sportsmanship. I'm not a sri lankan, but Sangakkara is easily one of my favorite players! <3

  • on October 21, 2011, 19:56 GMT

    humble guy praising oppisition

  • Rakim on October 21, 2011, 19:52 GMT

    Sanga is a true sportsman. I always liked him. Pak bowlers are grt :D

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  • Rakim on October 21, 2011, 19:52 GMT

    Sanga is a true sportsman. I always liked him. Pak bowlers are grt :D

  • on October 21, 2011, 19:56 GMT

    humble guy praising oppisition

  • sarasafir on October 21, 2011, 20:44 GMT

    One of the most humble cricketers, showing true sportsmanship. I'm not a sri lankan, but Sangakkara is easily one of my favorite players! <3

  • PakCric786 on October 21, 2011, 20:58 GMT

    Kumar Sangakkara you are one of my fav players and you played great today even tho you got lucky lol.. but sir you are still one of the best batsman out there true match winner... Pakistan is my team but Srilanka and SA are also my fav teams.. good luck with rest of the matches.

  • Nathan_123 on October 21, 2011, 21:18 GMT

    Great knock by Sanga. To be honest the match should have been finished today if it was not for the 5 drop catches. Dilshan's batting was a disgrace. He got a peach of a bowl from the youngster. He went for a big drive to see his middle stump knocked out of the grounds. I don't think he has the mental strength and the technique to play in the middle order. He should either go back to opening the innings, where he can play without pressure or dropped from playing test matches.

  • on October 21, 2011, 21:21 GMT

    True Champion, always first acknowledge a worthy adversary.he is legend already...Hats off again mate.

  • Desihungama on October 21, 2011, 21:33 GMT

    That is a real magnificiant effort by Pakistan bowlers. True contest, we have on between bat and ball. Real Test Cricket. Kudoos to both.

  • Q72941 on October 21, 2011, 21:58 GMT

    Sanga certainly has CLASS written all over him. He is my ever favorite player along with Jaysuriya from SL camp. It's really joyful & refreshing to see a player - of that stature with real straight & humble demeanor - still exists in the world full of mediocre players with pumping fists, frowning brows & whatnot.

    Goodluck to Sanga & the likes of him.

  • RAMKI2404 on October 21, 2011, 22:00 GMT

    Sanga, I wish you BOL and carry your batting and complete the 8th double hundred (If possible a triple). You deserve it. Pak Sanga is between your victory so you cant give him another chance. I cant wait for tomorrow's play.

  • on October 21, 2011, 22:51 GMT

    Thats what great players do, appreciate cricket, Respect Sanga !