Pakistan v Sri Lanka, 1st Test, Abu Dhabi, 4th day January 3, 2014

'We'll be pressing for victory'- Chandimal


Sri Lanka batsman Dinesh Chandimal has said that the team will be pressing hard for victory on a day-five pitch that is likely to be increasingly receptive to spin bowling. The visitors lost only one wicket for 234 runs on day four, suggesting the surface remained good for batting.

Offspinner Saeed Ajmal was unable to prize a wicket in 42 overs in the second innings, but Chandimal said that turn could be gleaned from one end of the Abu Dhabi pitch, and pinned the team's hopes on consolidating their lead, before unleashing their own spinners on Pakistan.

"It's not an easy pitch to bat on. The ball doesn't arrive in the same way every time. As a team we have about 240," Chandimal said. "Tomorrow we will see how we go in the first hour and then set a target for them. We've got plans for that. We'll fight hard and try to win it.

"It is spinning more from one end. Because of that, playing the spinners is getting harder - especially Saeed Ajmal. When he switched ends it became a bit easier for us. If the spinners had bowled from the other end, they might have been able to get something more out of it, so we will keep that in mind when we bowl. We'll use that advantage and fight. Maybe 300 plus will be a winning total, but first we have to ensure that we can't lose the match.

"Probably, the pitch is going to be slower tomorrow. Yesterday it had a lot of seam. Today the ball came a bit slower.Tomorrow also it will get slower."

Chandimal was out hooking for 89 in the second session, but he had shown considerable resolve and ability during a 138-run stand with Angelo Mathews, on which the match pivoted. Sri Lanka had a lead of seven with four wickets already lost in the morning, but ended the day 241 ahead, with five still in hand.

"I'm quite disappointed, because that 89 came in difficult circumstances for the team. When I went to bat, three wickets were down, and Kumar Sangakkara and Mahela Jayawardene were out," he said. "It was a really tough situation. But I came through that and in the last moment, getting out like that is disappointing.

"But as a team, it's really heartening to see where we have got to. In the morning they had the match in their hands, but by evening we had swung it our way.

"Angelo and I trusted that we'd be able to pull this game back for us. We batted really well in the first session. We talked then and though somehow, the two of us have to bat the next session as well. Unfortunately in the last hour of that session, I got out. But we supported each other very well and that showed."

Chandimal had hit two hundreds in his last two Tests in March, but followed that up with a woeful run in limited-overs cricket, going 19 ODIs without hitting a half-century. He regained his touch in the ODI that preceded the Tests, as he led the team to victory with an unbeaten fifty.

"I've always said sportsmen have bad patches. What we have to know is how to come out of those poor runs. I worked on a lot of things in the past months and now is the chance for me to get some benefit from that. As a cricketer I'm really happy with the way I played."

Andrew Fidel Fernando is ESPNcricinfo's Sri Lanka correspondent. He tweets here

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Dummy4 on January 4, 2014, 7:26 GMT

    Go for a draw or ask Pakistan to take the risk. SL fans should not forget that on day 3 at least a draw was not on our way

  • Noman on January 4, 2014, 7:11 GMT

    This is damn crazy to think that Srillanka such a poor side can pressure Pakistan and bowl them out. Chandimal and Angelo just wait for Irfan and Gul to come back. Then we will see you much you can bat I bet duck ,duck duck!

  • Android on January 4, 2014, 6:28 GMT

    @djyash; thats what i am saying mate. i am not saying to go all mad and hit everything aut of park. but in last10 overs they scored only 25. and almost same story with previous 10 overs. by that time lead was around 200. now each over they will bat, will bring draw closer. match is startd with new ball but i meant that if it goes to the end, they would have liked another new ball in last hour of the day. wicket is still ok to bat on as pitch report says.

  • yasiru on January 4, 2014, 2:00 GMT

    Dear khurram test cricket is all about make other team can't win the game and then fight hard for a win,so they have to make sure they can't loose.if they try to accelerate and loose wickets it is hard ti draw the game.they have to make sure there is only probable 2 results either they win or the match draw.this is perfect test cricket batting we saw from srilanka after about two years.And you are wrong about new ball every match in all format innings start with a new ball.any way i also think it will be a draw.have to wait and see....

  • suru on January 4, 2014, 1:55 GMT

    sl bowling is worst among sub-continental team and their batting going downwards. Hafeez was threathened by steyn but scored 3 centuries against srilanka. This shows how medicore srilankan bowling is.

  • Android on January 4, 2014, 0:31 GMT

    Still the game is on for both Sri Lanka and Pakistan. The effort put out by the youngsters of SL as one team is so much appreciable. The two captains, Mathews and Chandimal, proved so much of their character.

    Day 05, is crucial. SL must go into attack mode and first ensure that a loss is not an option in this hard fought match. Then, SL must declare and give Pak batsmen the experience of SL best bowling and fielding to ensure the victory. Pak on the other hand had the game on their hands until the stumps of Day 03. But they had to pay because they underestimated the strength of SL.

    Good Luck to both teams. It has already been a thrilling Test Match.

  • Faisal on January 4, 2014, 0:20 GMT

    If total is not practical to achieve Pak will go back to typical Misbah style tuk tuk. SL will need to give a reason to Pakistan to go after the total and only then they can hope they will throw wickets. Otherwise You give them 320 in 70 overs and they will try to have a draw. If you want to win , you have to take chances.

  • Dummy4 on January 3, 2014, 23:27 GMT

    SL should win from here. 250 is not gettable on day 5..

  • Jawwad on January 3, 2014, 23:13 GMT

    knowing Misbah, I doubt he will push for a win. He is a safety first approach cricketer and don't think he is about to change that. As they say luck favors only the brave. That's a brave statement from Chandimal. Wish if Misbah had something to that affect.

  • Channan on January 3, 2014, 21:52 GMT

    Talk is cheap. The wicket, apart from a few from Ajmal hitting rough spots, appears very good to bat on. So, barring any sudden change in wicket conditions, giving Pakistan a fair chance may be handing them the match. Pakistan batsmen when not thinking about saving their wickets like in ODI's can be dangerous.

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