Pakistan v Sri Lanka, 2nd Test, Dubai, 3rd day October 28, 2011

Sri Lanka can still win - Welegedara

ESPNcricinfo staff
30

Chanaka Welegedara, the Sri Lanka seamer, says his team are still in with a chance of winning the second Test against Pakistan in Dubai, after a fighting partnership between Kumar Sangakkara and Tharanga Paranavitana erased 88 runs off Pakistan's 164-run first-innings lead. The wicket started to offer ample turn, and some uneven bounce, on the third evening of the Test, and Welegedara said a lead of 150 would be enough for Sri Lanka to defend.

"This partnership has lifted the morale of the team and has placed us in a good position," Welegedara, who scored 48 in the first innings and then took 2 for 79, said. "We are now trailing by only 76 runs. If we can take a lead of 150 runs in the second innings then we can win the match. Our bowlers are capable of utilising such a wicket to win the match."

Sangakkara and Paranavitana had to endure some nervy moments, with plenty of appeals for bat-pad catches, and an inside-edge from Sangakkara that missed off stump by a whisker. Their partnership has brought Sri Lanka back into the match but Asad Shafiq, the Pakistan batsman, says he does not expect to be chasing anything more than 100 in the second innings.

"This pitch has a lot of help for our spinners and some uneven bounce too," he said. "We have a good chance of getting them out cheaply. I don't expect us to have to bat again, and if we do it shouldn't be chasing anything more than 100."

The deterioration in the pitch has been somewhat sudden, after it looked a decent one for batting over the first two-and-a-half days. Shafiq, who scored a half-century on Friday, said it was the kind of pitch where he should have gone on to score a hundred. "It was a good pitch when I was in the middle and I should have converted my half-century into a hundred. But I will definitely do it next time around."

The pitches in the UAE had come in for criticism when South Africa played Pakistan here last November, but this Dubai pitch has provided help for the bowlers, and with two days left to play, this Test appears destined for a result.

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • on October 29, 2011, 13:46 GMT

    what about the seniors performance why only comment about youngsters and drop them without giving a chance to establish why not drop the under performing seniors including the captain let the new boys to establish like parkistan australia india etc selectors should resign first

  • on October 29, 2011, 13:18 GMT

    probably this is why wellegedara is not given the ball except 2 overs and lakmal not given the ball dilshan and mahela need to retire and give samaraweera the captaincy and chandimal a permenant place in the team if srilanka need to rebuild dulip mendis need to quit after your great interview this is not your private property or buissiness let marsh to select the team

  • on October 29, 2011, 12:11 GMT

    Pakistan surely win this Test,,,i am waiting for Sadaf (plays for Rawalpindi)to be given chance in ODI's who is another lefty,,,He already took 35 wickets in 3 first class matches this season,,He is much better then Junaid Khan,,he has Pace,,,i hope he would be picked against England,,i wish you Good luck SADAF.

  • ian_ghose on October 29, 2011, 8:48 GMT

    Is it just me, or is it really so that Sri Lanka have decided not to score any runs? They've had this go-slow theme right from the series vs Australia and they duly paid for it. With a bit more intent, they could have been very close to deleting the defecit yesterday itself. As I write now, they are still behind and already 4 down (should have been 5). And by the looks of it, the defecit won't be overhauled in a jiffy. It's a shame really to see a team lack so much in intent in a game, that they aren't totally out of. Do they think they can keep blocking for 2 and a half days, because at this scoring rate, even if they block for 2 days (before being bowled out), they'll only be ahead by 100. It's quite sad to see Sri Lankan cricket regress so soon, so drastically.

  • on October 29, 2011, 7:03 GMT

    SL need 200 lead to defend. 150 will be gettable. This pitch didn't look like the Gall pitch so good PAK performance can even chase 250. Sure even if PAK chase on 5th day, it will be so difficult. Lead of 200 will be in good balance. Both Chanaka & Shafiq 2 overconfident. I see SL bowlers improving, pretty slowly but there are some +. Lower scores in last few test matches have made these young bowlers under pressure. SL batters shud make 350+ scores regularly in 1st innings. Thats the biggest disease than lack of firepower in bowling.

  • Ray24 on October 29, 2011, 5:30 GMT

    Welegedera is right in saying Sri Lanka can win. But the umpiring has to be as horrible as it was in the 1st innings. How can you ignore Sanga's edge and then give Azhar Ali out LBW of that big inside edge. Azhar was batting well and could've batted to take the game away from SL. Similarly, Hafeez was ruled out wrongly. If the DRS is there, most of these mistakes would've been avoided. ICC should look at the stats of how many wrong decisions would've been avoided, versus how many wrong ones were made, DRS is a clear winner. Maybe a handful of wrong ones shouldn't be made a reason for doing away with this technology.

  • DINESHCC on October 29, 2011, 5:25 GMT

    FOR SETTING A TARGET OF 150, FIRST YOUR TEAM SHOULD SCORE MORE THAN 300 RUNS IN THE 2ND INNNINGS. WHETHER IT IS POSSIBLE?

  • pradeep_dealwis on October 29, 2011, 5:24 GMT

    Over confident talk from both Shafiq and Welegedara, just rhetoric. Admittedly the SL bowlers are slowly and steadily improving, and the PAK batting line up lacks class ( barring , of course, Younis and Misbah), but 150 will be gettable. But it will be tough for PAK. Anything over 200 and it will be game on!

  • on October 29, 2011, 4:42 GMT

    Who said Welagedara is dreaming? With Pak anything could happened. Pak had made dreams comes true of Ireland in 07 WC, Bangla in 99 WC and recently the way they played the Sydney test. They can just lose games in session or two easily.Remember Mahela is due for a big score and if thats happens Pak will be in big trouble. Any how by dropping catches even if Mahela fail SL will win this game.

  • Irfan_chn on October 29, 2011, 3:40 GMT

    Firstly it is clear that SL were desperate enough to while away day 3 without bothering much about RR, I guess they are playing with an assumption that if they have a target close to 175 for Pak then they can turn the tide in their direction. What SL needs to remember is that the current Pak batting side is not as fragile as it used to be, I can easily sense that Pak can hold a draw but if they play like how they used to play in 90s - I mean their attacking game which is missing then there are enough chances that they can take up the series with pride!! Anyways desperately waiting for day4 to begin :)

  • on October 29, 2011, 13:46 GMT

    what about the seniors performance why only comment about youngsters and drop them without giving a chance to establish why not drop the under performing seniors including the captain let the new boys to establish like parkistan australia india etc selectors should resign first

  • on October 29, 2011, 13:18 GMT

    probably this is why wellegedara is not given the ball except 2 overs and lakmal not given the ball dilshan and mahela need to retire and give samaraweera the captaincy and chandimal a permenant place in the team if srilanka need to rebuild dulip mendis need to quit after your great interview this is not your private property or buissiness let marsh to select the team

  • on October 29, 2011, 12:11 GMT

    Pakistan surely win this Test,,,i am waiting for Sadaf (plays for Rawalpindi)to be given chance in ODI's who is another lefty,,,He already took 35 wickets in 3 first class matches this season,,He is much better then Junaid Khan,,he has Pace,,,i hope he would be picked against England,,i wish you Good luck SADAF.

  • ian_ghose on October 29, 2011, 8:48 GMT

    Is it just me, or is it really so that Sri Lanka have decided not to score any runs? They've had this go-slow theme right from the series vs Australia and they duly paid for it. With a bit more intent, they could have been very close to deleting the defecit yesterday itself. As I write now, they are still behind and already 4 down (should have been 5). And by the looks of it, the defecit won't be overhauled in a jiffy. It's a shame really to see a team lack so much in intent in a game, that they aren't totally out of. Do they think they can keep blocking for 2 and a half days, because at this scoring rate, even if they block for 2 days (before being bowled out), they'll only be ahead by 100. It's quite sad to see Sri Lankan cricket regress so soon, so drastically.

  • on October 29, 2011, 7:03 GMT

    SL need 200 lead to defend. 150 will be gettable. This pitch didn't look like the Gall pitch so good PAK performance can even chase 250. Sure even if PAK chase on 5th day, it will be so difficult. Lead of 200 will be in good balance. Both Chanaka & Shafiq 2 overconfident. I see SL bowlers improving, pretty slowly but there are some +. Lower scores in last few test matches have made these young bowlers under pressure. SL batters shud make 350+ scores regularly in 1st innings. Thats the biggest disease than lack of firepower in bowling.

  • Ray24 on October 29, 2011, 5:30 GMT

    Welegedera is right in saying Sri Lanka can win. But the umpiring has to be as horrible as it was in the 1st innings. How can you ignore Sanga's edge and then give Azhar Ali out LBW of that big inside edge. Azhar was batting well and could've batted to take the game away from SL. Similarly, Hafeez was ruled out wrongly. If the DRS is there, most of these mistakes would've been avoided. ICC should look at the stats of how many wrong decisions would've been avoided, versus how many wrong ones were made, DRS is a clear winner. Maybe a handful of wrong ones shouldn't be made a reason for doing away with this technology.

  • DINESHCC on October 29, 2011, 5:25 GMT

    FOR SETTING A TARGET OF 150, FIRST YOUR TEAM SHOULD SCORE MORE THAN 300 RUNS IN THE 2ND INNNINGS. WHETHER IT IS POSSIBLE?

  • pradeep_dealwis on October 29, 2011, 5:24 GMT

    Over confident talk from both Shafiq and Welegedara, just rhetoric. Admittedly the SL bowlers are slowly and steadily improving, and the PAK batting line up lacks class ( barring , of course, Younis and Misbah), but 150 will be gettable. But it will be tough for PAK. Anything over 200 and it will be game on!

  • on October 29, 2011, 4:42 GMT

    Who said Welagedara is dreaming? With Pak anything could happened. Pak had made dreams comes true of Ireland in 07 WC, Bangla in 99 WC and recently the way they played the Sydney test. They can just lose games in session or two easily.Remember Mahela is due for a big score and if thats happens Pak will be in big trouble. Any how by dropping catches even if Mahela fail SL will win this game.

  • Irfan_chn on October 29, 2011, 3:40 GMT

    Firstly it is clear that SL were desperate enough to while away day 3 without bothering much about RR, I guess they are playing with an assumption that if they have a target close to 175 for Pak then they can turn the tide in their direction. What SL needs to remember is that the current Pak batting side is not as fragile as it used to be, I can easily sense that Pak can hold a draw but if they play like how they used to play in 90s - I mean their attacking game which is missing then there are enough chances that they can take up the series with pride!! Anyways desperately waiting for day4 to begin :)

  • on October 29, 2011, 3:22 GMT

    i think its time for Mahela to rise to the occassion, he plays the ball late among all the SL batsmen, i also think Mathews must leave that shuffling technique of him behind i dont believe Attapatu advised him of that. its an interesting scenario, there will be a definite result and with Pak inexperienced batting and SL even more inexpereinced bowling it is going to be an interesting battle. If there were more of Inzis and Yousuf Pak had this match covered, time for Ali, Shafiq and Akmal to play well in the 2nd innings

  • on October 29, 2011, 3:05 GMT

    i think what welegedera said is right that 150 may be enough not because of pak recent record but just because the way the pitch is playing and i think it will be difficult to chase more than 175

  • on October 29, 2011, 3:03 GMT

    Anyways, proud os the guys. Performing so well without strike bowlers amid so much controversies, etc. And to think of it, quite a lot of the inexperienced players in the team haven't even played at home till now!

  • on October 29, 2011, 2:47 GMT

    Welagedara is correct. Those patches and cracks on the pitch will get bigger and bigger at the end of 4th day. So it will be very hard to bat on last day with the uneven bounce and turn. 200+ lead will be difficult to chase by any team.

  • KabaabRoll on October 29, 2011, 0:59 GMT

    @indianzen lack of good spinners??? How about your Harbhajan? Just got dropped AGAIN

  • Chirs-Cry on October 29, 2011, 0:45 GMT

    @helldriver Why do one-eyed people only see the dull part of the story ? Yes, Pakistan batting was fragile but it has changed a lot over the years !. Past is their to be learned not to be repeated. I dont remember any recent collapses of Pakistan. Just to refresh your memory(if applicable), Pakistan nearly chased a target of 434 set by a top class team, South Africa, in these very conditions and ground. They were easily in the driving seat(343/4) against a top notch bowling attack, on day 5, but bad lights stopped play. In the same series they denied another certain death and batted long enough to hold on to a draw. When did Pakistan collapsed against NZ ? such a ignorant you are. If Srilanka, with this bowling attack, can easily defend 150 then by the look of South Africa's bowling i can assure that they are able enough defend 15 runs, by ease.

  • johnathonjosephs on October 29, 2011, 0:31 GMT

    If Sri Lanka can manage a lead of 250 by the end of today AND bowl about 5-10 Overs to Pakistan today, the match is Sri Lanka's unless Misbah and YOunis or Hafeez does magic. This is NOT a flat pitch as many people would like to say Inshallah Sri Lanka will win

  • on October 29, 2011, 0:29 GMT

    @kitten, just to correct you there buddy, the ball flicked off of his thighpad.

  • Chirs-Cry on October 29, 2011, 0:18 GMT

    "We can defend 150" - LOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOL. Mate your team barely took 7 wickets(in 2 innings) in the first match !! Sir, you have some sense of humor, you sure know what you are talking about.

  • likeintcricket on October 29, 2011, 0:09 GMT

    Pakistan has played good cricket and their bowling and batting both on the mark. Only a brilliant Sangakara and some drop catches are in b/w 2-0 lead otherwise they have dominated all the departments. Sri lanka, we all know is a great fighting side and they could win this match but whatever be the outcome Pakistan has shown they are a good Test unit and can challenge anyone. The Indian Dudes who have some indifferent opinions about Pak bowling should read SANGA's article first ( Twice praising Pak bowling). Even though Pakistan is without Asif, Aamir, Riaz, Azaz cheema and Kaneria but the guys playing in the eleven fully deserved to be there.

  • HellDiver on October 28, 2011, 23:41 GMT

    If Sri Lanka can get lead of 200+ then Pakistan will be in serious trouble - their recent record of chasing near 200 is not reassuring, having failed against Sri Lanka, NZ and Australia in the last few years. Drop a few catches like they are capable of doing, their seemingly strong position can change in a jiffy.

  • kothumalli11 on October 28, 2011, 22:48 GMT

    Welegadara must be dreaming. First SL have to wipe-off the deficit and score at least another 225 runs with their brittle batting line up facing quality bowling on a misbehaving track (when they bowled nothing happens) and then bowl out Pakistan within the set target with their batsmen friendly bowling attack. Welegadara and his team have to overcome almost two impossible scenarios to achieve this win. It's test cricket, anything is possible…………….but still my money is on Pakistan.

  • Tigg on October 28, 2011, 22:09 GMT

    With their current seam attack they'll be lucky to defend 250.

  • on October 28, 2011, 20:57 GMT

    Well, anything below 175 will be chased without much fuss. The pressure will come on Pakistan if SL can give a target of over 175. But it looks almost impossible. Because if SL can score 250 more runs on this pitch, then Pakistan too can surely chase down the target of 150-175.

  • kitten on October 28, 2011, 20:43 GMT

    Dilshan, before this test commenced, stated that they had got a psychological advantage because of Sanga and P. Jayawardene's brave partnership. However, he and Jayawardene Sr. both failed yet again in the first innings, and if it was not for the umpire not seeing the ball take the edge of Sanga's bat, the game would have been in the last stages! SL were struggling, make no mistake, and one or two early wickets tomorrow, and game over. Pakistan have definitely been the better side. If they indeed do manage a lead of 150(very difficult on this pitch), then yes, it will be interesting. Welegedera is just trying to boost their confidence like Dilshan did. Talking about that 'bad' decision, having watched the match on TV, it took about two or three reviews to ensure what had happened, and the umpire only has a split second to make a judgement. I think we should make a few allowences for the umpires, they do a very difficult job.

  • Desihungama on October 28, 2011, 20:27 GMT

    Is Welegedara suggesting they all will be bowled out for another 225 runs? That is not a very positive approach.

  • indianzen on October 28, 2011, 20:18 GMT

    lack of good spinners in both sides are paining, a good spinner can try for wickets even if pitch is like a cement road... Ajmal? huh i doubt the legality in action...

  • Cannuck on October 28, 2011, 20:15 GMT

    Jeez.. just one innings of 48, Welagedara is an expert on wining tests. May be he should first wait till the team gets that 150 run lead. The way our top order played, and PAK bowlers bowled, I have my doubts, but hope they prove me wrong. Most SL players need to stop giving sound bites to the pressing media and concentrate on doing better on the field.

  • Morfi on October 28, 2011, 19:23 GMT

    surely both teams will need all the help they can muster to win the match. This would include the 2 umpires. So far, they have had the worst series. If they continue to miss the edges on to pads and give LBWs and continue to miss the edges when they are catches (Sanga's blatant glance to leg slip this afternoon, e.g.) - bowlers and batsmen both need to be very very wary.... there will definitely be a result barring outlandish developments...

  • on October 28, 2011, 19:06 GMT

    ya right. Sri Lanka's current test bowling strength is worse than Bangladesh or Zimbabwe.

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  • on October 28, 2011, 19:06 GMT

    ya right. Sri Lanka's current test bowling strength is worse than Bangladesh or Zimbabwe.

  • Morfi on October 28, 2011, 19:23 GMT

    surely both teams will need all the help they can muster to win the match. This would include the 2 umpires. So far, they have had the worst series. If they continue to miss the edges on to pads and give LBWs and continue to miss the edges when they are catches (Sanga's blatant glance to leg slip this afternoon, e.g.) - bowlers and batsmen both need to be very very wary.... there will definitely be a result barring outlandish developments...

  • Cannuck on October 28, 2011, 20:15 GMT

    Jeez.. just one innings of 48, Welagedara is an expert on wining tests. May be he should first wait till the team gets that 150 run lead. The way our top order played, and PAK bowlers bowled, I have my doubts, but hope they prove me wrong. Most SL players need to stop giving sound bites to the pressing media and concentrate on doing better on the field.

  • indianzen on October 28, 2011, 20:18 GMT

    lack of good spinners in both sides are paining, a good spinner can try for wickets even if pitch is like a cement road... Ajmal? huh i doubt the legality in action...

  • Desihungama on October 28, 2011, 20:27 GMT

    Is Welegedara suggesting they all will be bowled out for another 225 runs? That is not a very positive approach.

  • kitten on October 28, 2011, 20:43 GMT

    Dilshan, before this test commenced, stated that they had got a psychological advantage because of Sanga and P. Jayawardene's brave partnership. However, he and Jayawardene Sr. both failed yet again in the first innings, and if it was not for the umpire not seeing the ball take the edge of Sanga's bat, the game would have been in the last stages! SL were struggling, make no mistake, and one or two early wickets tomorrow, and game over. Pakistan have definitely been the better side. If they indeed do manage a lead of 150(very difficult on this pitch), then yes, it will be interesting. Welegedera is just trying to boost their confidence like Dilshan did. Talking about that 'bad' decision, having watched the match on TV, it took about two or three reviews to ensure what had happened, and the umpire only has a split second to make a judgement. I think we should make a few allowences for the umpires, they do a very difficult job.

  • on October 28, 2011, 20:57 GMT

    Well, anything below 175 will be chased without much fuss. The pressure will come on Pakistan if SL can give a target of over 175. But it looks almost impossible. Because if SL can score 250 more runs on this pitch, then Pakistan too can surely chase down the target of 150-175.

  • Tigg on October 28, 2011, 22:09 GMT

    With their current seam attack they'll be lucky to defend 250.

  • kothumalli11 on October 28, 2011, 22:48 GMT

    Welegadara must be dreaming. First SL have to wipe-off the deficit and score at least another 225 runs with their brittle batting line up facing quality bowling on a misbehaving track (when they bowled nothing happens) and then bowl out Pakistan within the set target with their batsmen friendly bowling attack. Welegadara and his team have to overcome almost two impossible scenarios to achieve this win. It's test cricket, anything is possible…………….but still my money is on Pakistan.

  • HellDiver on October 28, 2011, 23:41 GMT

    If Sri Lanka can get lead of 200+ then Pakistan will be in serious trouble - their recent record of chasing near 200 is not reassuring, having failed against Sri Lanka, NZ and Australia in the last few years. Drop a few catches like they are capable of doing, their seemingly strong position can change in a jiffy.