Plan was to bat time, says McIntosh
New Zealand opener Tim McIntosh is disappointed after missing a second Test hundred on another rain-hit day in Galle. He prevented the New Zealand batting order from falling apart with a solid 69 off 226 balls in 292 minutes but was trapped lbw by Muttiah Muralitharan.
"It was very disappointing to do that much work and face that many balls and then for one ball you get out," McIntosh said after the day's play. "You want to go on and get your three figures but I am pretty happy getting some runs. I like to convert fifties to hundreds, I am a bit disappointed, but I'll take that I guess."
McIntosh was trying to wear down the Sri Lankan bowlers by batting time which was New Zealand's plan to tackle the varied bowling attack. "I was trying to bat time, wear them down and make them come back after a spell if they can. First time batting out here, its different. [There's a] lack of bounce and a turning wicket. I guess I had to spend as much time as possible because I got guys around me who played quite freely.
"In terms of ticking runs over at a certain rate, it became quite a challenge when you got both spinners bowling so accurately. With a semi-defensive field set it's not easy to keep attacking like you would like. I guess I spent as much time as possible trying to get partnerships going."
Despite McIntosh's knock, New Zealand still lost wickets and were 281 for 8, trailing by 171 runs at the end of the day. "No one wants to lose wickets in clumps, that's what any team tries to avoid, but we didn't do that well today," said McIntosh.
He had spoken to two former New Zealand batsmen, John Wright and Matt Horne, before the tour of Sri Lanka and said that their advice had "helped". "Both of them gave me some good feedback on what to expect and what the conditions are going to be like.
"The time we spent with Saqlain [Mushtaq] was really good for us. We hadn't faced these sorts of deliveries before and he taught us how to look for it and how to go about playing it."