Sri Lanka v England, 3rd Test, Galle, 1st day December 18, 2007

Bayliss surprised by Galle pitch



Spectators watch the first day's play at Galle © Getty Images
Sri Lanka's coach, Trevor Bayliss, has expressed surprise at the way the Galle wicket played, after his team scored 147 for 4 on a rain-delayed opening day which was curtailed to 55 overs.

"We would have bowled first as well. What we were surprised about is [that] the wicket probably didn't do as much as both teams thought it might. It certainly swung around as we thought it would due to the humidity this morning, but it has flattened out fairly quickly," Bayliss said.

"It hasn't got a lot of pace in it. The wicket is not too dissimilar to the first that we played on. It's a little bit hard to drive on. It's a wicket [where] you've got to work hard to score your runs."

Sri Lanka lost Kumar Sangakkara on the second over after tea and 36 minutes later, Chamara Silva edged a rising delivery to slip, both off Steve Harmison, before the players came off for bad light. "If we hadn't lost the last one we could have had our nose in front," Bayliss said.

"Batting first on that wicket this morning is probably sort of a fairly even sort of a day. We could have gone in with no more than three down tonight. But we still got a few batsmen who can still score some runs and push on for 300 plus at least tomorrow."

Bayliss clarified on the team management's decision to hand left-arm seamer Chanaka Welegedara his debut instead of sticking with another left-armer, Sujeewa de Silva, who has played three Tests. "We thought he was a little bit taller and he hits the deck a little bit harder. Sujeeva is a little bit lower and skiddier. On this type of wicket, with the moisture, we thought Chanaka might be a little harder to handle."