Kumar Sangakkara, the Sri Lanka captain, has said he was not surprised by the way in which West Indies dominated the drawn first Test in Galle but added the difference in bowling between the teams was an "eye-opener". West Indies, led by Chris Gayle's 333, piled up 580 before their bowlers struck to help enforce a follow-on on the hosts. Sri Lanka managed to save the Test but West Indies were also held back by the weather on the last three days.
"We were pretty wary about what they could do. The only thing was our attitude probably in the first two sessions which was a bit wanting," Sangakkara said of his team's bowling on the opening day. "The first six overs were probably okay although we didn't make the batsmen play too much. But after that I thought the lines and the lengths we bowled on this track were not good enough for us to put any pressure on them either to get wickets or to cut down on the runs. Chris (Gayle) took a lot of advantage from that and he batted magnificently."
"We've got understand that it is a good eye opener for us. It's an example to us the way West Indies were disciplined in their bowling. I thought the attitude of the West Indian bowlers the way they went about their job was very impressive."
Sangakkara admitted Sri Lanka could have put in a better performance with the bat in the first innings where no batsman reached a century even though four managed to get past fifty. "If one batsman can get a hundred, usually a side ends up making 400. Those are the par scores for Test cricket on these tracks and unfortunately we fell about 100 runs short on our first innings at least," he said.
"With the bowling attack we had unfortunately we didn't have the conditions in our favour apart from the first six overs where there was a little bit of swing. The first two days were the best days for batting and West Indies took maximum advantage of that."
The star for Sri Lanka on the final day was opener Tharanga Paranavitana, who made 95 in nearly three hours, and steered Sri Lanka to safety. "It was a fantastic effort from him," Sangakkara said. "He quickly adjusted from the first innings and he showed us what a real old -style opener he is in Test cricket to grind away at the opposition and score runs."
The second Test gets underway on November 23 in Colombo.