Tharanga unperturbed by rain forecast
Sri Lanka did not take the likelihood of rain into account when they chose the timing of their declaration, Upul Tharanga has said.
Rain had washed out almost all of the third session on day three, and would wipe out 12 overs on day four as well, with more afternoon showers forecast on day five. Though Sri Lanka had batted aggressively to take their lead past 400, they let their innings continue after tea. This left Bangladesh with 27 scheduled overs to face in the day - though fading light permitted only 15.
"Our planning is not based on weather predictions," Tharanga said. "We can't look too much into weather. It could rain tomorrow as well. Our plan was to give them 125 overs. If you take this wicket, this doesn't have as much turn as other Galle wickets. We did lose about 12 overs to rain."
Tharanga was still confident, however, that the three spinners Sri Lanka had picked could take advantage of a day five Galle pitch. It hasn't offered the same kind of help as it has been known to over the years, but things could already be changing.
"We have 98 overs and the first hour is going to be crucial," Tharanga said. "In that first hour if we can take two wickets, we can turn the game in our favour. There wasn't that much for spinners, but we saw towards our latter part of the innings, that it did start to turn a little. Hopefully that will carry on tomorrow."
Sri Lanka set Bangladesh 457 to win - the highest successful chase in Galle is 99 for 3 - with Tharanga making a vital contribution. His 115 off 171 balls was his first century at home, the others coming in Bogra and Harare. The innings helped shore up his place in the team, and may also lead to his getting a longer run in the opening position, where Sri Lanka have recently had problems. Tharanga has also had success as Sri Lanka's ODI opener in the last few months, after a brief stint in the lower middle order.
"In the last two series I batted in the middle order, but here before the series, I was asked whether I liked to open and I didn't have any issues in saying yes. Wherever I play I want to do a job for the team. It's up to the management and selectors to decide where they want me. They have used me as an opener since the South Africa tour. If the management is happy, I'm happy as well."
Andrew Fidel Fernando is ESPNcricinfo's Sri Lanka correspondent. @andrewffernando