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

Sri Lanka can still win - Welegedara

ESPNcricinfo staff

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

  • Dummy4 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

  • Dummy4 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

  • Dummy4 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.

  • Ishan 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.

  • Dummy4 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.

  • Rayhan 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.

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


  • Pradeep 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!

  • Dummy4 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.

  • Mohammed 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 :)

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