Sri Lanka in Pakistan 2008-09 February 16, 2009

Sri Lanka focussed on Jayawardene farewell

Cricinfo staff


Thilan Samaraweera: ready to give Mahela Jayawardene a good farewell as Sri Lankan captain © AFP
 

Ahead of a two-day match before the Test series begins, Thilan Samaraweera reckons Sri Lanka have had no problems adjusting to conditions in Pakistan. This tour marks the end of Mahela Jayawardene's tenure as captain and Samaraweera said Sri Lanka would give "100%" for him.

"The weather was brilliant in Sri Lanka, though a bit humid, but in Karachi at the moment the weather is lovely," he said. "This heat is OK, last time we were in Karachi it was 38 or 40, but this heat is perfect for us. A lot of our players are playing in our domestic season and I think we are well prepared for the Test matches."

Samaraweera said Sri Lanka would use this tour as an opportunity to seal a win for Jayawardene in his final series in charge. "Everyone knows his record as a captain is brilliant and I think we will give a good farewell to him as a captain," said Samaraweera. "This is a very important series we are playing after two years. In 2006 we last played against them [Pakistan] in Sri Lanka and we are looking forward to the series."

Inconsistent performances cost Samaraweera his place after the tour to England in 2006. He played one of two Tests in Australia in November 2007 but cemented his place again with a half-century and a hundred during the West Indies trip in early 2008. Samaraweera followed up his 125 in Port of Spain with another ton, his seventh hundred, against India later last year before three half-centuries against Bangladesh.

"I played very good Test cricket for my country over the last 12 months," he said. Samaraweera said Pakistan were a tough side to beat, especially at home, and singled out Danish Kaneria as a threat.

The first Test in Pakistan starts on February 22 and the second on March 2. Sri Lanka won the three-ODI series in Pakistan 2-1 last month.

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