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Sa'adi Thawfeeq in Galle
July 20, 2010
Left-arm spinner Rangana Herath, who hit a career-best 80 not out in Sri Lanka's first-innings score of 520-8 declared, was confident of proving effective on a fourth day pitch and said Virender Sehwag's wicket was the key for the hosts to consolidate their strong position. The Sri Lankan bowlers had nipped out three Indian wickets, including Sachin Tendulkar, before stumps on the third day. "We are on top now and if we can get two or three early wickets and bowl them out for under 300 we are in the game. That's our target," Herath said.
"There is turn and bounce on the pitch and I am confident I can do something on it. Sehwag is the danger man and we need to get him out early."
Sehwag raced to 85 off 98 balls and looked, by far, the most comfortable among the Indian batsmen. In his previous Test appearance in Galle, in 2008, he struck a match-winning double-century to help India level the series.
Muttiah Muralitharan, who is playing his final Test, needs seven more wickets to reach 800. Herath, however, said the most important objective for the team was to win the Test. "I am trying my best to get wickets to help my team win the Test," he said. "I am fortunate that in my career I had the honour of bowling in tandem with Murali. It is easy to bowl with him at the other end. It will be difficult to fill the void left by Murali but Ajantha Mendis, Suraj Randiv and I are trying our best to win matches for our team and country," he said.
Herath said he had been working on his batting with his coaches and the experience he gained playing county cricket for Hampshire had also helped him make his highest first-class and Test score.
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