Samaraweera aiming for World Cup spot
Thilan Samaraweera wouldn't have done his chances of securing a place in Sri Lanka's 2011 World Cup squad any harm when he scored a well-paced 80 off 170 balls against West Indies on the second day of the second test at the R Premadasa Stadium. With Sri Lanka struggling at 34-3, Samaraweera joined his captain, Kumar Sangakkara, to pull the side out of trouble, and at the end of another rain-hit day, Sri Lanka were sitting pretty on 294-5.
He was eventually out caught pulling a short ball from Dwayne Bravo down long leg's throat to end a record 170-run fourth wicket stand with Sangakkara, who was unbeaten on 135 when rain stopped play. With a leg gully, short leg, square leg and long leg in place, Bravo peppered Samaraweera with the short stuff, hoping the batsman would fall for it, and Samaraweera was all too happy to oblige.
"On this type of wicket you will be playing and missing a lot outside the off stump," Samaraweera said. When you try to be too defensive also that happens. At the end of the day I missed another hundred. It was lack of concentration. I am really disappointed because I fell into their trap.
"Yesterday (first day) when I came at the close everyone appreciated my knock of 25 not out. That gave a lot of confidence for me. We knew if we could survive the first hour today we could dominate the bowling, and that is what happened."
Samaraweera was the more enterprising of the pair, beating his captain to his half-century. When questioned whether he was trying to prove a point that he could score fast and be in contention for a place in the World Cup squad, he replied, "This year my one-day average is 49, I don't why I didn't go to Australia. My duty is scoring runs. I am hoping for the best."
Samaraweera was confident that weather permitting, Sri Lanka had the bowling armoury to win the Test. "We have to bat well tomorrow and if we can get 400 plus it is a big score on this wicket. After that the new ball bowlers and two spinners should be able to do the job."