Sri Lanka v New Zealand, 2nd Test, SSC, 3rd day August 28, 2009

Herath cashes in on opportunity

Rangana Herath, the left-arm spinner, believes that he is good enough to hold down a regular spot in the Sri Lankan side in Test cricket as well as the limited-overs forms of the game. He hasn't been a regular in the Sri Lankan set-up, often being behind Muttiah Muralitharan and Ajantha Mendis in the pecking order.

Herath was unlucky to be left out of the first Test against New Zealand in Galle - Mendis was preferred - despite capturing 15 wickets in the series against Pakistan. However, with Mendis nursing an injury, Herath returned to the side for the second Test and ran through the New Zealand batting order, sharing six wickets with Muttiah Muralitharan. Herath took the key wickets of top scorer Ross Taylor, Jesse Ryder and Jacob Oram to finish with 3 for 70 off 34 overs.

"I was not disappointed that I did not play in the first Test in Galle. I knew why I did not play. Ajantha bowled really well in that Test," Herath said. "I always wait for my chance to play for Sri Lanka. I am not disappointed when I am dropped ahead of another bowler. I know will always get another chance.

"Whenever I am dropped I keep telling myself that only eleven can play and make up my mind to be ready to play in the next game. I have played six ODIs and I think I can play the role of spinner in ODIs as well as Twenty20s. It all depends on the selectors how they see me. If I am given a chance to play the short games I will give it my 100%."

Speaking about the day's play, Herath said that the wickets of Taylor and Brendon McCullum were key and Sri Lanka knew if they fell early, the rest would follow quickly. "There is bounce and turn on the wicket and we were able to post some close fielders near the bat because the batsmen were not using their feet so much to us," Herath said. "We are in a good position at the moment. We are batting really well, if we score 400 plus we have a chance of winning."