Sri Lanka v England, 1st Test, Kandy, 2nd day December 2, 2007

It's anyone's game - Bayliss

Sri Lanka must bowl out England quickly and put on an improved performance with the bat to win the Test © Getty Images

Trevor Bayliss, Sri Lanka's coach, has termed the first Test between Sri Lanka and England an evenly-poised affair at the end of the second day and said that either of the teams can win the contest if they play well from now till the end of the match.

"We obviously didn't have a great day yesterday. But I thought we fought hard and got ourselves back into the game today," Bayliss said.

"On a wicket that suits spin bowling, we knew if we could keep England down to a reasonable total even if they passed us, we can hopefully match them in our second innings as chasing 180 to 200 in the final innings will turn out to be a tough job."

Bayliss expressed disappointment that Muttiah Muralitharan could not break Shane Warne's world record of 708 Test wickets before play was called off for the day due to rain.

"It was a bit disappointing for everyone watching and I am sure for him as well. He would have liked to have got it out of the way today. But all along our focus has been on the team's performance. Everyone knows it that Murali will take those wickets somewhere in one Test or another."

Bayliss, however, did express his disappointment at Sri Lanka's failure to post big first-innings totals.

"They [the Sri Lankan batsmen] do a lot of hard work and it's not from lack of trying, that's for sure. We were here early this morning working on the batting and we are hopeful that in the next two Test matches we can turn that around in the first innings.

"We are going through a little bit of a transitional period with the team. There are a number of inexperienced and younger players in the team trying to learn the first class game of cricket in the international arena. In that case they are not going to be as consistent as we might like it to be. Hopefully, with the experience of playing teams like Australia and England, some of these guys will step up to the mark pretty quickly."

Questioned on the impending retirement of Sanath Jayasuriya, Bayliss said: "He hasn't said anything to us at this stage. Obviously he is getting close, exactly how close we are not very sure."