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April 4, 2008
After a day in which both sides battled hard to seize the initiative, Sri Lanka's captain Mahela Jayawardene was unhappy with his side's total but praised the bowlers for ensuring that honours were even after the second day.
Resuming on 217 with five wickets in hand, Sri Lanka could only muster 278 in their first innings. "It was not easy batting on that pitch (on the first day), but we fought well, and I think that sixth-wicket partnership (of 105 between Tillakaratne Dilshan and Chamara Silva) was crucial for us," he said. "It showed a lot of character, but I am disappointed with the way a few of our guys were dismissed. We should probably have scored between 300 and 325."
West Indies started their innings confidently, with captain Chris Gayle showing the way with a typically aggressive 45, but slipped to 268 for 7 by stumps. "West Indies batted really well, and played a few shots, and it paid off for them," he said. "But it's an even game I reckon, we just need to make sure that we work harder next innings.
"It's going to be like a one-innings match now, and with them batting last on that pitch, we have to make sure that we put some runs on the board and put some pressure on them."
Jayawardene, though, felt that Sri Lanka had the edge. "I think the advantage is with us. If we bat well in the second innings and score anything in excess of 250-275, it will be a tough ask for them to bat last against Muralitharan and the rest of the guys."
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
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