Offspinner Suraj Randiv's four wickets in Pakistan's first innings in Galle have set the match up nicely for Sri Lanka; the plan, Randiv said, was to keep the Pakistan batsmen in check.
"We have been trying to bowl a good length and line because, normally, Pakistanis don't like to be tied down," Randiv said at the end of the third day's play. "Especially in the longer games they want to hit boundaries, so we tried to block the boundaries and bowl good line and length.
"With my height I don't think I need to bother about the flight, what is important is my line and lengths, which I am trying to improve all the time. I am trying to bowl all six balls in one spot, and then try to add a little variation as well."
Playing with Sri Lanka's senior spinner, Rangana Herath, Randiv said, has taught him a lot. "Herath is our No. 1 spinner. With him, we [the other spinners] discuss a lot of things like strategy and the weak points of batsmen, and try to use [his advice] in matches."
Randiv had spent much of the IPL 2012 on the sidelines, not getting a game for his franchise, Chennai Super Kings. He had used the spare time to fine-tune his bowling in the nets, he said. "Before I left for the IPL, I had trained with my spin-bowling coach, Piyal Wijetunga, for two days. After the England Tests [in March-April, during which Randiv took seven wickets in four innings], there were some shortcomings in my bowling, so I worked with my coach and started with the basics.
"My coach told me what I should do to regain my normal rhythm. I kept that in mind, and although I didn't get an opportunity to play any IPL matches I had the time to practice what my coach had told me. So I don't think my time at the IPL was wasted."