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Sa'adi Thawfeeq in Colombo
June 30, 2012
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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