Pakistan v Sri Lanka, 3rd Test, Sharjah, 1st day January 16, 2014

'Bowlers controlled runs well' - Rehman

Pakistan's left-arm spinner, Abdur Rehman said his side would be looking to dismiss Sri Lanka in the first session on the second day after the visitors ended the first day of the Sharjah Test at 220 for 5.

Pakistan lost the toss on a pitch that did not offer much help for bowlers early on, but the spinners were able to strike as the day wore on. While Saeed Ajmal picked up two wickets in 29 overs, Rehman bowled 24 tight overs at an economy rate of 1.87. He also bowled 120 dot balls, playing a vital role in containing Sri Lanka.

According to Rehman, the pitch was also difficult for the batsmen, who needed more time to settle in.

"The pitch is pretty flat and we have to very work hard," Rehman said. "It didn't turn much in the first two sessions but after that, it started to turn and I am hoping to get more turn in the third and fourth innings. Our bowlers were able to control the runs well. Our plan is to get them as soon as possible in first two hours and give them a tough time.

"It's not easy to play strokes, the batsmen need more time to settle in. We are aiming to take a hefty lead to support the bowlers in the third innings."

Rehman also rued the chances Pakistan missed, specially Mohammad Talha's dropped catch off Angelo Mathews, when the batsman was on 0. Mathews and Prasanna Jayawardene put on an unbeaten 54 runs for the sixth wicket, batting until the close of play.

"It was a difficult catch but Talha tried his best," said Rehman. "It has made some difference but we will try to get them out as soon as possible on day two."

Rehman has been a part of many Pakistan squads since his debut in 2007, but has played only 19 Tests so far. When asked about his sporadic Test appearances, the bowler said: "I am used to it. Actually this question - whether I will play or not - never came into my mind and the only aim is to perform on the day I play. I am always positive and do not let myself get disappointed or frustrated. The only thing I know is to show my ability whenever I get a chance."

Umar Farooq is ESPNcricinfo's Pakistan correspondent. He tweets here