Pakistan v Sri Lanka 2013-14 January 6, 2014

Lakmal and Eranga are bowlers to watch - Jayawardene


It is a rare match in which a Sri Lanka fast bowler delivers more than 40 overs, but the intensity of Shaminda Eranga and Suranga Lakmal's toil in the first Test has moved Mahela Jayawardene to mark them out as future matchwinners for Sri Lanka. Eranga and Lakmal bowled 41 and 46 overs respectively, sharing six wickets evenly between them.

Each bowler delivered several spells without success, but they maintained exacting discipline and pace during lengthy occupations of the bowling crease. Their first-innings efforts were particularly notable as they combined mild movement with accuracy to help keep Pakistan's scoring rate under three an over on a good batting track.

"Really happy about the way we came back in that Test," Jayawardene said. "We knew that there would be something in the pitch in the first innings, when we were out cheaply, and our fast bowlers were very good. This is the first time two fast bowlers bowled this well for us in a long time. If we can help develop those two guys, I don't think it will be hard to win overseas Tests in the future. Shaminda and Suranga both bowled really well."

Sri Lanka's batsmen, meanwhile had kept Saeed Ajmal wicketless for 49 overs in the second dig. Ajmal had never before bowled more than 20 overs without a breakthrough in the second innings, and Jayawardene suggested familiarity with Ajmal's bowling had earned Sri Lanka an edge that may prove definitive in the coming matches. This is Sri Lanka's fifth Test series against Pakistan in the past five years.

"We've played a lot of cricket against Saeed Ajmal. He's a trump bowler for his team, and we knew that if we batted well against him, we could remove that threat to some extent. The younger players batted really well against him, so hopefully we can continue that. That said, he is a very good bowler. There's a chance he can take wickets against us at any moment, but if we play him like we did in the first match and also play the quicks well, there's a good chance for us to win the series. We won the last series against Pakistan 1-0 in Sri Lanka by sticking to similar plans."

Jayawardene said Sri Lanka were pleased with the draw in Abu Dhabi, but said they would need to sustain the batsmen's form to earn a better result in Dubai.

"It's really important that we did well in the first match, having not played Tests in for so long. To be in such a bad situation against Pakistan and then to come back was really good. We got back into the game and that's what Test cricket is about. Different things happen on different days. When we are behind, we have to show a little character and we did that, even turning it into a potentially winning situation.

"But it's important to realise that's over now, and we have to go and look at this next pitch and start again. If we do that, and keep to the plans that we'll devise, it shouldn't be hard to win here."

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

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Optimus on January 7, 2014, 15:54 GMT

    Good match. Enjoyed it...

  • Zain on January 7, 2014, 12:18 GMT

    I Hope Dubai wicket contains something special for the spin bowlers especially Herath and Ajmal it would be really good to see some spin on the track..

  • Dru on January 7, 2014, 11:02 GMT

    Yep they did a decent job and got some movement which was heartening to see from a SL pace bowler. Long way to go before they could be even considered match winners given they were not really too threatening when the wicket offered plenty on the first day - Pak lost their first wicket to a run out after getting 46! But as I said heartening to see from SL bowling stocks.

  • Dummy4 on January 7, 2014, 10:46 GMT

    Mahela was out of his perform, so he's need to considerate on his batting performance. he is a great batman SL ever had, he just need another couple of test to come back. without his contribution wining was a bad dream to SL.

  • Rohan on January 7, 2014, 10:35 GMT

    @ mainul079080 : Nice to see a BD fan here. I hope SL will be able to put up a good fight in the upcoming tour to BD however BD are sure to be clear favorites.

  • mainul on January 7, 2014, 10:07 GMT

    All subcontinent teams are flat track bullys and the remaining teams(Aust,England,SA,Newzeland) are pace track bullys. So its equal. Aust were whitewashed 0-4 to India, England 0-3 to Pakistan, SA 1-4 to Srilanka and Newzeland 0-3 to Bangladesh. There is no such thing to suffer from low self esteem for sub continent supporters.

  • Manoj on January 7, 2014, 7:12 GMT

    @warneneverchuck: Our Indian players are the flat track bulies mate. Didn't you see how we were humiliated by Saffas when SL managed wins in both the tests and ODIs. Quite strange..ha

  • Kushal on January 7, 2014, 7:11 GMT

    @ Kholi_theGreat At least your cricketers din't get bowled out for 43.

    Here is Mahela's test averages in SA-27.87, NZ-27.71, aus-31.42, England-34.11, Bangladesh-38.12, UAE-13.37.

    At least you have Test matches in all the countries and won all the ICC tournaments outside sub continent. You came to SL and thrashed us 4-1 as well.

    We are colombo Track bullies. HA

  • Lalith on January 7, 2014, 7:07 GMT

    SL is still not good enough to show a team performances in TESTS. Most of the time one man show. If Mathiew was not there SL would have lost. I think to win a Test 4 or 5 players should perform well in a Test.

  • Nuwan on January 7, 2014, 7:02 GMT

    these two would become better match by match for sure, afterall its Vass who's behind them. Yeah I'm also surprised not to see welagedara in Cricket recently, he was a consistent performer in Tests & a striker aswell .

    BTW From someones from caliber of Mahela's, we don't expect him to fail twice consecutively in the same match, but it has happened to many in Cricket & will happen in the future as well. Yet the point I need to emphasize here is: He never would fail in two consecutive matches for sure (specially not in Test Cricket).

    @warneneverchuck : you're just hilarious mate, keep up those good work, we (SL fans) were getting boring having only one distinguished comedian of the same mold as yours these days.

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