Sangakkara praises Pakistan new-ball bowlers
Kumar Sangakkara has praised the way Pakistan used the new ball on the first day of the second Test in Dubai. Sri Lanka lost five batsmen in the first session, with Umar Gul and Junaid Khan doing the damage, and ended up being dismissed for 239. Sangakkara top scored with 78 while Chanaka Welegedara and Rangana Herath boosted the visitors with a 75-run partnership for the eighth wicket.
"It was just a case of getting through that new ball without losing too many wickets," Sangakkara said. "But, having said that, I thought Pakistan used that new ball very well. There wasn't too much in that wicket, so it was a bit disappointing from our side, but again it was a great fightback to get to 240-odd runs at the end."
Sri Lanka's capitulation on the first day for the second Test in a row left Pakistan needing to face a testing nine overs, but the openers saw off the new ball without too much fuss and Pakistan ended the day on 42 without loss.
"With 240, if we get some wickets with the new ball we might have a chance of keeping Pakistan down to a manageable total," Sangakkara said. "This wicket is probably slower than the one in Abu Dhabi, with less movement first up so it was unfortunate we couldn't make better use of it, but that's the beauty of Test cricket.
"Sometimes, when you don't have a great first innings you need to claw your way back into the match and every day and over that we play out there is an opportunity for us to get back in the game."
Umar Gul, who made the early inroads for Pakistan, said the bowlers exploited the moisture in the pitch well. "Definitely we are very happy because the coach told us that there was a bit of moisture on the wicket and you can try and get five to six wickets early. I was a bit surprised but later on what he said was true.
"We have to bat well to take the lead and then repeat our bowling performance of the first innings to win the Test. We are up to it and will do our best to take a 1-0 lead here."