Mahela Jayawardene was happy with the commitment shown by his team © AFP

On whether Sri Lanka had missed an opportunity

The wicket played really well and we were not very lucky today. The guys gave everything but it was not our day. When you have 140 overs in a Test match to get the opposition out it is a missed opportunity but I am not disappointed with the way we played the game overall. To fight-back from 32 for 5 and to be pushing hard for a win on the final day was not a missed opportunity.

On the positives in the match

There were a lot of positives, particularly the way we bowled in the first innings and the courage that was shown by Dilshan and Maharoof to bat on that track in the first innings to get us to a decent score. Maha (Maharoof) then bowled tremendously well to ensure that we were on par with Pakistan after the first two days. Then we kicked ahead thanks to a great innings from Sanga (Sangakkara), who showed why in the last two years he has become regarded as one of the best batsmen in the world. He showed a lot of character to anchor the innings and all the other guys batted around him, which was the plan.

On Shoaib Malik's match-saving innings

We shouldn't take anything away from him, he batted really well. To bat for eight hours and nearly 400 balls is a magnificent effort. He had a fair bit of luck but that is how the game goes. Our guys bowled really well. I thought they were very disciplined. Pakistan got 350 but that was because I was setting attacking fields. I was very happy with their effort on that pitch.

On why the pitch was so placid

It was really a fourth day pitch because we did not play the first day of the Test match. Normally, the SSC pitch settles in on the second, third and fourth days before it opens up on the fifth day, becoming a little more up and down. It was probably a bit flatter than what we usually play but it was still a fair wicket giving a little bit to the bowlers and the batsmen.

On whether the morning's rain interruption helped Pakistan

It could have gone either way but the momentum was with us in the morning. When the rain came in it gave them some more time and an advantage. After another 30 minutes it was lunch and one session finished. If we'd grabbed a wicket or two in the first half hour though, it would have been different.

On whether SL could have declared earlier

We gave them 140 overs and that should be enough. We also had to have that many runs on the board so we could attack. We knew the wicket was pretty good so there had to be a safety zone. Nevertheless, we were still able to give them 140 overs.

On Dilhara Fernando's performance

On that first afternoon he did not have rhythm so that's why I kept him away from the attack. Maharoof was also bowling really well and did the job for us. It was a little disappointing how he bowled in that innings but I thought he came back well in the second innings and put together a couple of really decent spells that put a lot of pressure on the batsmen, especially late on day four when his tight spell paved the way for Murali grabbing a couple of late wickets. He is a bowler that really needs rhythm and on his day he can be really good. He has got something special in him and he just needs a bit more confidence. We somehow have to help build that confidence.

On whether another spinner would have been helpful

I don't think another spinner would have made any difference when you consider what Murali was able to get out of the pitch. Even Kaneria bowled pretty well but he did not get too much purchase from the pitch. Sanath bowled well but that was only from the rough areas, not from the better part of the wicket which was flat and not turning.

On whether Chaminda Vaas would have made a difference

Obviously - having Vaasy would have mad a big difference. He knows these conditions better than anyone else and he was missed. Especially with the old ball, he could have done wonders. We'd love to have him back but we don't want to push him - we want him fully fit for England. He is improving and he has started bowling but I think he'll be ready for the second Test. It would be too big a risk as we need him for England.

Charlie Austin is Cricinfo's Sri Lankan correspondent