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'It was totally disappointing' - Jayasuriya

Pakistan marched steadily to a win inside three days at Kandy, which was Sanath Jayasuriya's last day of Test cricket. He gave a brief reflection before Mahela Jayawardene and Bob Woolmer spoke about a most unusual match

Cricinfo staff
05-Apr-2006
Pakistan marched steadily to a win inside three days at Kandy, which was Sanath Jayasuriya's last day of Test cricket. He gave a brief reflection before Mahela Jayawardene and Bob Woolmer spoke about a most unusual match


'Mohammad Asif bowled particularly well - his delivery to get rid of Thilan Samaraweera was a peach' © AFP
Sanath Jayasuriya
On his final game
It was totally disappointing for me. I got injured and we lost the match - it was not the best way to end my Test career. Naturally, I was looking for a good finish but unfortunately we were unable to do that. I tried my best to bat and I took an injection in the morning. But the doctor was not very keen for me go out
Mahela Jayawardene
His summing up of the match
It was not a bad wicket but they bowled really well yesterday. There was something for the quick bowlers here in the morning but we could not get those early breakthroughs. Defending just 180 we needed to get three or four early wickets to get the momentum going. We were confident and the bowlers beat the bat a few times early, but they started batting well and got away from us
On what would have been a good target
It is all about momentum - if we'd had batted better last evening the momentum would not have shifted over to Pakistan. Anything over 250 might have been OK if we had the momentum. The last hour of the day yesterday cost us the match and the series
On Mohammad Asif
He bowled really well here and at the SSC. He bowled straight and was putting the vast majority of his deliveries in the right areas. You can't take anything away from him - he just bowled really well. This was the first time I have seen him - he has the pace and the movement. His wrist seems to be right behind the ball and he gives nothing away, putting a lot of the pressure on the batters.
On his reluctance to use Malinga Bandara
After seeing the wicket yesterday and how it was behaving my gut feeling was that I had to give an opportunity to the quicks to get something out of it. It was not that Malinga [Bandara] did not have anything, but Murali was bowling well and he is is obviously our main match-winner. Thus I went for Murali at one end and tried to do something with the quicks at the other. Malinga, though, has done really well in the last few months. He didn't have a great game at SSC but you can't say he had a bad game here because he hardly bowled because of the conditions.
On whether complacency was responsible for Sri Lanka's collapse
After we got them out and secured a 109-run lead we had a chat in the dressing room and said `Let's push the advantage and make sure we don't give them anything'. There was no complacency, as we knew after the first Test that we had to put the runs on the board against these guys and bat for three sessions.
But we lost early wickets and they bowled really well. I can't pinpoint it and say, `This was lacking and that was lacking'. The effort was there but it was an unfortunate two hours. The first four or so wickets were got by good balls and after that the guys were trying to get some runs and turn around the momentum. For example, Dilshan is a natural strokeplayer and that is what he did in the first Test to rescue us. He was trying to do the same here. You can't pinpoint and say it was bad technique.
On whether Sangakkara should have opened
Sanga is very fit - he showed that in the first Test as well. He was not complaining. We asked the question and he wanted to open so we moved everyone moved one spot.
On Sanath's sad farewell
Unfortunately, Sanath was not there for us yesterday. It was very sad. He had a brilliant career and has been a great ambassador for Sri Lanka's cricket. Everyone wanted to give him a good farewell and it was a very disappointing way to say goodbye to Sanath in Test cricket.
On the England tour
England will be different. When we went last time we handled the conditions well at the start but then struggled in the last two Tests. Obviously, though, the weather and the pitches are going to be different and we are just going to have to get there and adjust as quickly as possible. It is all going to be about hardwork
On Darryl Harper's reluctance to give Murali lbws
I don't want to make any comments on that. If I have anything to say I will put it in the report, which is the right way to do it. Umpires are under a lot of pressure as well. It is not easy in Test cricket. Wee just have to take it with our heads high.
Bob Woolmer
On the ease with which Pakistan won
I think the 20 wickets yesterday was a slightly false reflection of the conditions. Sometimes, if you psychologically do as well as Sri Lanka did yesterday to bowl us out you can subconsciously relax. Asif started to take wickets and it all started to happen for us. When you come here knowing you have a specific target, on a pitch that really wasn't a 73 all out surface, you realise that you just need to get through the new ball and Murali's first spell. Then Younis Khan and Imran Farhat batted really well. When we were 109 behind after the first innings we were looking down the barrel. But a wonderful performance from Asif got us back in the game.
On Mohammad Asif
He bowled beautifully in this series. In fact, I think it's really exciting for Pakistan cricket just how well he bowled. He is a type of bowler that Pakistan have not had for a long time - someone who hits the deck and is tight. He is one of those McGrath-like bowlers who bowl really tight line and lengths and just move the ball in and out. It is very difficult for a batsman to pick up as there is very little change in his action. He moves the ball and he is not slow - he is quick enough to bowl people out. At the age of 23, he will get better.
On the turning point of the match
It swung Pakistan's way when Sri Lanka batted again last afternoon. I think, though, possibly, the hidden turning point may have been when Sanath Jayasuriya took that blow while catching Imran Farhat. Suddenly, they had to open with someone else and the only way Pakistan could win was by bowling out Sri Lanka cheaply. I was looking at around 140/150 and then chasing around 250 so bowl them out for 73 was a shock for us as well
On the pitch
On the first day I though it was a good pitch. There was some movement after the moisture of the preceding few days, but the bounce was even - having said that I though we could have bowled better on it. On the second day it seemed to get quicker and more uneven. Historically, after looking back previous Tests, batting on the third day is the best day here in Kandy so I think we were fortunate. When you are chasing 180 and you get a good start, hitting fours and taking singles, the opposition find it difficult to hold you.
On Jayasuriya
Sanath has been an absolute credit to the game of cricket. He has been a wonderful ambassador for Sri Lanka's cricket. He has been a fantastic cricketer on the field, with his batting, left-arm spin and fielding. It is always sad when someone who has done so much for cricket on the field has to pack up his bags and stop.