Sri Lanka v Pakistan, 2nd Test, SSC, Colombo, 1st day June 30, 2012

'The score tells it clearly that we got it wrong' - Ford


Sri Lanka coach Graham Ford has said that his team got it wrong by inviting Pakistan to bat after winning the toss on the first day of the second Test at the SSC.

"The score tells it very clearly that we got it wrong," said Ford at the end of the day after Pakistan had amassed 334 for 1. "The thought behind it was that there are a lot of experienced men in our group and they know this surface pretty well. I don't think any of them thought that pitch would play so well on the first day.

"The decision wasn't taken lightly and there were lot of discussions and I think just about all the wise heads and captains and ex-captains, involving the coaching staff and the team and everybody felt that it was worth having a crack with the ball. Unfortunately, it didn't work out the way we were hoping.

"There was something in the pitch in the first hour and with Pakistan not having started too well in the two innings in Galle, if we could strike early with the new ball, it would have got us in a pretty positive place and hopefully get them into a negative place. Unfortunately, it didn't do anything here as everybody thought.

"We have to give a lot of credit to the way they batted. They dug in and batted superbly."

Ford said that there were various strategies that they tried throughout the day - initially looking to attack and get wickets, before becoming more defensive when they found that the pitch was not offering much assistance.

Ford said that batting well in the first innings was crucial for Sri Lanka. "Test match cricket goes over five days and we need to respond really well. We'll have to come back and get into our work nicely tomorrow. On hindsight, the way the game is played certainly we'd have got in and had a bat. But unfortunately, that's not the way cricket works and you've got to make decisions. I think lot of the thought behind the decisions, was solid and the research was done with the stats etc."

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  • Lalith on July 1, 2012, 7:37 GMT

    @Sinhaya This is called Over-confidence. In Test Cricket I always believe win the toss bat first. Sometime the first session on first day seam bowlers might get assistance but good teams negotiate it. Ford/Mahela thought Oh we smashed PAK in first test. We can get all 10 wickets in 40 to 50 overs.

  • Siri on July 1, 2012, 6:32 GMT

    Nuff said, the only feasible scenario now, with Pakistan on 400/2 before lunch on 2nd day, is for them to battle it out with the weather-gods to come out victorious. Sri Lanka? well. they too can play their part by not only batting to their potential but also unhurriedly this time and eat up what ever valuable time they get their teeth into. However much u tried to split hairs, we all know it's a right blunder to put Pak in when they are 1 behind with 2 to play. As many have rightly said, when you've done the hard thing by winning the toss, it's only common sense to bat first and muster a sizeable total and bat the opposition out of the game - for, their necessity to win far outweigh yours. It's still possible that this won't be the first time when Sri Lanka managed to let an opposition to crawl back from 1 down to win a series.

  • Dummy4 on July 1, 2012, 5:21 GMT

    SL will be in a definite pressure situation after Pak amases 600+ today. They will play to win with their much better spin attack of Ajmal and co. Good Luck SL Team for their blunder. Hope this will not come to haunt them and getting Paks to level the serius. This will go as one of Mahela's worst ever decisions as it was not needed to take any gambels as he was alraedy 1 up in the serious. Also SL can never win at SSC which is one of the flattest of strips in the world with the average attack they pocess

  • Dummy4 on July 1, 2012, 5:09 GMT

    Now, if...IF Pakistan start getting S L wickets relatively easily, would the pitch's character change quickly? Yes. But, such a chameleonic shift will be in the mind-set of the so-called experts, though! Don't be surprised, if it happens. Hindsight is the biggest expert!

  • saminda on July 1, 2012, 4:30 GMT

    i don't know what mahela was thinking he knows all about SSC he and samaraweera played all there school cricket at ssc.. every one knows its just a dead pitch that only bats men would enjoy.. thanz to the class of Vass n murali we got wicket in the past even at SSC but now herath kula r not in the same class with that grat legends therefor i dont know why to opt to bwl.. but now we also need to bat for a long time and it will happen coz its such a batting wicket like in india.. so this game surely be a draw but the guy whos in-charge pitch shoud need to sack he always give these sort of dead wickets it makes this great game so boring :(

  • R. on July 1, 2012, 3:29 GMT

    A mistake by SL but all is not lost. This mistake only means that they have the added pressure of doing well. Should Pakistan bat most of the day without losing many wickets on the second day, they'll be in a strong position where the worse result would be a draw for them. Good luck to SL.

  • Atif on July 1, 2012, 2:35 GMT

    I dont know why people are complaining about mahela's decision. He made it known before the match that he is going to attack and not be defensive and that's exactly what we want in a captain. Day one was the most likely day to get wickets and based on what the experts say the wicket becomes even better for batsmen. Given Pak's last test match batting, this was a good decision. It just didn't pay off and it seems the luck is with Pak in this test match (including umpiring decisions), so far. Being a Pak supporter I would like them to declare at 450 or 500 max. If they take long and score 600 or more then SL might just go into their shell and play slowly for a draw. Pak needs to keep them interested until the 4th day. Everyone will have their opinions but I think mahela and misbah are superb captains with mahela being one of the best ever.

  • Dushan on July 1, 2012, 1:16 GMT

    Just a side point : Why are people calling players who bat in Cricket, as "Batters" ??!!

    This is an ugly term and Im sure most people in cricket want none of that. Batters exists in Base ball and "Elley" games, not in this lovely gentlemen's charming timeless game called "Cricket" !

    Please stop calling "Batsmen" , "Batters". This is like calling our parents "Oya, Meya" in Singhalese !

    BTW, yes totally agreed. Rain or shine, you win tosses at the SSC, you bloody well HAVE to bat !!!

    I really do admire Jayawardena for the captain and player who he is, I also see certain Che-guvera like logic here but lets not try to border on Idiocy and Insanity! This aint Russian Roulet !

  • Ayesh on July 1, 2012, 1:08 GMT

    its mind-boggling to bowl first after winning the toss, its HILARIOUS to open the bowling with Mathews to exploit that what ever support SSC pitch gives to the fast bowlers in the morning session. Its sad, as a TEST cricket fan, to see our wicket keeper standing close to the our military medium pacers in less than 5 overs to TEST game. PATHETIC overall.

  • Dummy4 on July 1, 2012, 0:25 GMT

    It was a good decision if Mahela had the services of Steyn, Cummings or Malinga or not forgetting Murali or Warne. We must play to our strength which is batting. Kulasekara will not trouble international batsmen on this type of wickets. They are not fast enough to cause these batsmen any problems. Well done Pakistan.

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