Pakistan v Sri Lanka 2013-14 January 6, 2014

Lakmal and Eranga are bowlers to watch - Jayawardene

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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

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

    Good match. Enjoyed it...

  • Zainnajam 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..

  • stormy16 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.

  • 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.

  • VKohlitheGreat 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.

  • mainul079080 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.

  • MichaelBurton 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

  • SLslider 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

  • LALITHKURUWITA 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.

  • Nuwas 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.

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

    Good match. Enjoyed it...

  • Zainnajam 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..

  • stormy16 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.

  • 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.

  • VKohlitheGreat 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.

  • mainul079080 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.

  • MichaelBurton 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

  • SLslider 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

  • LALITHKURUWITA 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.

  • Nuwas 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.

  • MichaelBurton on January 7, 2014, 6:19 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

  • Yousufahmed1 on January 7, 2014, 6:18 GMT

    Average of 64 after playing 15 Test matches and is the premier bowler. Is yet to take a single 4 wicket haul. And people laugh at Ishant. LOL

  • ajithabey on January 7, 2014, 4:38 GMT

    Mahela should probably bat at no 6 following in form Sanga, Chandimal and Mathews to regain his form and batting in a crucial position in the middle order.

  • Nuwas on January 7, 2014, 4:30 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.

  • on January 7, 2014, 3:42 GMT

    Mahela need to concentrate on his own performance at the moment.young guns performed well and need to keep going in the rest of the series.

  • on January 7, 2014, 3:22 GMT

    If Mahela fails in the next test match as well, he must retire from test cricket as we cannot expect him to play well in England, at all, in tests, this year. Please follow Graeme Swann who retired halfway of the Ashes series.

    Dilshan should have played some more test cricket. Let's hope that he will come back to play test cricket and help to raise our position in the test rankings.

  • on January 7, 2014, 2:56 GMT

    2nd test xi should be : 1.kusal Perera, 2.kaushal Silva,3.sanga,4.jayawardene,5. .chandimal, 6.mathews , 7.prasanna, 8.lakmal,9.herath,10,eranga,11.senenayake

    sri Lanka should play perera because dimuth didn't look very stabilized in the crease ... Perera will give an fast start while Silva will play slowly ... senenayake should be given a chance ... the pitch in abudhabi didn't offer anything to the spinners

  • on January 7, 2014, 2:51 GMT

    I don't mind is sri Lanka go for mahroof again vs england

  • on January 7, 2014, 2:50 GMT

    yes but we need a third pacer ... for the series against england 3 seamers and 1 spinner should be in the xi ... lakmal, eranga/kulasekara, welegedara and herath as the spinner

  • on January 7, 2014, 2:12 GMT

    These are just bunch of words with no weight. Sri Lanka could slip away at any time against Pakistan. Let the spectators do the review Mahela

  • jj0685 on January 7, 2014, 1:42 GMT

    @warnerneverchuck. Please check your sources for your stats. Sri Lanka has scored over 200 runs outside the subcontinent 91 times out of a total of 192 innings, that it they source over 200 about 49% of the time. Which is a very good record. I don't know how that compares to other countries. Agree that SL have not won a test in Australia, but they have won test matches in all other countries, even recently in South Africa against the No. 1 team. Pretty good of a country that has only been playing test cricket for 30 years.

  • on January 7, 2014, 1:07 GMT

    donot argue sri lanka is a friendly country so be friends and play with each other the friendly way besides sri lanka is one of the asian sides to which pakistan also belongsso they are the branches of the same tree.

  • DJardine on January 6, 2014, 23:23 GMT

    warneneverchuck but took drugs, whatever. just like subcontinent teams are flat track bullies, teams like yours are fast track bullies. remember india sweeping the floor with aussies 4-0 last year? each team play to their strengths on the tracks they were brought up in. that's what makes test cricket interesting. if u don't remember, sri lanka, india, pakistan won matches in SA last two years. so there......

  • on January 6, 2014, 20:39 GMT

    Mahela has a tendency to over hype Lankan players though most of them are ordinary. Lanka is a very good team as sum of pieces but barring Sanga, Mahela and Herath most others are average or just good.. Except Sanga no one is truely a great !!

    Lakmal and Eranga are ordinary bowlers who couldn't trouble a Pakistani batting line up which is a rubbish batting line up.Speaks volumes !

  • on January 6, 2014, 19:26 GMT

    Still they will be well off if they have the discipline of Vass. Kulasekara too has fared well in tests. Don't know what has happened to Welagedara, Pradad and crowd, not even coming out in any other news.

  • on January 6, 2014, 18:14 GMT

    I think this is encouragement comment from Mahela to young fast bowlers. I can agree that Suranga Lankal is more disciplinary bowler in Sri lanka team. He has improved and wish to see him in one day series as well. These days Thisara perera is out performing where Suranga lakmal can be a great replacement.

  • on January 6, 2014, 17:40 GMT

    in good batting track as a captain mathews was practicing batting in first match by making 150 runs for is own and he will try to win against bangla

  • warneneverchuck on January 6, 2014, 17:39 GMT

    First of all SL cant ecen score 200 outside subcontinent. Their batsman r average including flat track bullies like sanga mahela. How can they win a test. They r yet to win a single test in country like aus and may be india also

  • stumpedlloyd on January 6, 2014, 17:36 GMT

    @Ayesh Budima: I hope you're right about Mahela coming through in the 2nd and 3rd tests. But I have to disagree with you that he failed in the 1st Test because it was his first game. Someone who has played 138 tests prior to the First Test should not need one or two tests to get into the groove. Also, if you look at Mahela's last 10 test innings, he has made a total of 180 runs. He is averaging 18 in his last 10 test innings. Not exactly the mark of a batsman in form.

    As for the Lankan seamers, bowling in early summer in England should benefit them. It would be beneficial if they generated some actual pace, too, instead of being military-medium trundlers. England is smarting from the 5-0 drubbing by the Aussies, but that could also make them dangerous. Too bad Sri Lanka has only 2 tests in England; then again, that's SLC's fault for giving England a 2-test series in Sri Lanka the last time because of the fondness for 20/20. When will SLC learn?

  • on January 6, 2014, 16:38 GMT

    @eranga how can u say mahela gone out 3 times in the samecway? can't u see the difference? also that was mahela' s 1st match in the tournament he need time to adapt to the pitch sure he'll perform in 2nd or 3rd match

  • InsideHedge on January 6, 2014, 16:33 GMT

    Both are good honest pacers, nothing more, from what I've seen in the past. I didn't see this match so it will be interesting to see how they develop for the remainder of the series. It should be remembered that the Pak's batting is on the weak side. Despite a terrific pace+spin attack, they continue to be a mid ranking side, one that's capable of beating the best in a one off match but never in a series.

    The true test for Lakmal and Eranga will be in England. Lanka tour England early and you can bet your penny farthing that England will produce green tops, the elements at that time of the year make it difficult to produce anything but. England, smarting from a thrashing for the ages, will be desperate to win both Tests against SL and restore their reputation. The tracks will be suitable for any seam bowler, England will count on their batsmen to overcome anything Lanka offers. It's actually the perfect time to play England, they are under serious pressure.

  • jb633 on January 6, 2014, 16:08 GMT

    Sri Lanka should just be looking forward to coming to England and giving us a good hiding in our own backyard. They way our batsmen have been playing over the last two years i am sure the SL seamers will be licking their lips with the prospect of bowling against our guys.

  • on January 6, 2014, 13:57 GMT

    Srilanka have two great batsman Sanga & Mahela but his test ranking is No.6 on the other side Pakistan have only Younus but Pakistan ranking is No.4 just because of better bowler so how you told that lakmal avg. 64 is a better bowler? funny...

  • on January 6, 2014, 13:49 GMT

    Only weak link in the current TEAM is Mahela now..Got 3 times OUT in this test match for THREE consecutive deliveries for the Same bowler and same way..

  • VKohlitheGreat on January 6, 2014, 13:45 GMT

    @ Tal_Botvinnik : I am excited to see Binura Fernando but I hope at least he would have something worth watching to unlike the Best Rising talent in SL, Dinesh Chandimal.

  • imtiazjaleel on January 6, 2014, 13:32 GMT

    Where is Welegedara the left arm pacer

  • Tal_Botvinnik on January 6, 2014, 13:11 GMT

    Please wait till the end of the series to comment about the pacies, mahela.

    I noticed a lot of good pacers in the SL Domestic. 1. Kasun Madushanka, he has a FC avg of 22 . Russell Arnold descibes him as a nippy swing bowler bowling line and length. 2.V Fernando:A Very Quick Leftie. 3.Nisala THaraka: Swings it and wobbles it both ways 4.V Perera: A Carbon copy of Trent boult but slower. 5.Binura Fernando: Best U19 Bowler in SL.

  • VKohlitheGreat on January 6, 2014, 13:10 GMT

    Lakmal and Eranga impress Mahela but who does mahela impress?

  • on January 6, 2014, 13:05 GMT

    Totally disagree both are the average bowler.

  • DreamCricketer on January 6, 2014, 13:03 GMT

    Dreamcricketer: Before Mahela comments about other members in the team he should first talk about what his contribution has been to the team. He has not been a consistent batsman outside the Asian subcontinent.

  • on January 6, 2014, 12:49 GMT

    all is voor and wel, but I dont apprehend why Sohaib Maqsood isnt in the Pakistan test Squad. playing test cricket will learn him how tot bat even better.

  • on January 6, 2014, 12:41 GMT

    give a chance to some like kanishka alvitagla, and nuwan pradeep..we need a strike bowler..not containing bowlers

  • on January 6, 2014, 12:28 GMT

    Completely agree with mahela. These two have great potential and SL cannot afford to lose them. They have already lost valuable players like prasad, thushara, lokuhettige, maharoof and dilhara fernando...

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  • on January 6, 2014, 12:28 GMT

    Completely agree with mahela. These two have great potential and SL cannot afford to lose them. They have already lost valuable players like prasad, thushara, lokuhettige, maharoof and dilhara fernando...

  • on January 6, 2014, 12:41 GMT

    give a chance to some like kanishka alvitagla, and nuwan pradeep..we need a strike bowler..not containing bowlers

  • on January 6, 2014, 12:49 GMT

    all is voor and wel, but I dont apprehend why Sohaib Maqsood isnt in the Pakistan test Squad. playing test cricket will learn him how tot bat even better.

  • DreamCricketer on January 6, 2014, 13:03 GMT

    Dreamcricketer: Before Mahela comments about other members in the team he should first talk about what his contribution has been to the team. He has not been a consistent batsman outside the Asian subcontinent.

  • on January 6, 2014, 13:05 GMT

    Totally disagree both are the average bowler.

  • VKohlitheGreat on January 6, 2014, 13:10 GMT

    Lakmal and Eranga impress Mahela but who does mahela impress?

  • Tal_Botvinnik on January 6, 2014, 13:11 GMT

    Please wait till the end of the series to comment about the pacies, mahela.

    I noticed a lot of good pacers in the SL Domestic. 1. Kasun Madushanka, he has a FC avg of 22 . Russell Arnold descibes him as a nippy swing bowler bowling line and length. 2.V Fernando:A Very Quick Leftie. 3.Nisala THaraka: Swings it and wobbles it both ways 4.V Perera: A Carbon copy of Trent boult but slower. 5.Binura Fernando: Best U19 Bowler in SL.

  • imtiazjaleel on January 6, 2014, 13:32 GMT

    Where is Welegedara the left arm pacer

  • VKohlitheGreat on January 6, 2014, 13:45 GMT

    @ Tal_Botvinnik : I am excited to see Binura Fernando but I hope at least he would have something worth watching to unlike the Best Rising talent in SL, Dinesh Chandimal.

  • on January 6, 2014, 13:49 GMT

    Only weak link in the current TEAM is Mahela now..Got 3 times OUT in this test match for THREE consecutive deliveries for the Same bowler and same way..