Sangakkara relies on bowlers to finish work

Published: Thursday, March 30, 2006, 23:53 [IST]
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Colombo:Sri Lanka's Kumar Sangakkara has backed his side's bowlers to secure a 1-0 lead in the two-Test series against Pakistan.

A wonderful seven-and-a-half-hour 185 from Sangakkara left Pakistan chasing an improbable 458 for victory.

''The odds are steeply tipped in our favour now,'' Sangakkara told journalists after the close of the day's play. ''We have done really well to put ourselves in a winning position.'' Pakistan will start the final day on 89 for two after off spinner Muttiah Muralitharan struck two late blows on day four.

''They are still 370-odd runs behind and we just have to get a couple of key wickets tomorrow to add on to the pressure we already have them under,'' said Sangakkara.

''As always, we'll be looking to Murali to do things for us, but we also have not seen much of Malinga (Bandara) yet and he could be dangerous on this pitch.

''As long as we go about the basics right and everyone contributes we have a pretty good chance,'' he said.

Sangakkara praised the batting of skipper Mahela Jayawardene who made an entertaining 82 and shared a 158-run stand.

''I thought batting in the second innings was much easier than in the first,'' he said.

''The wicket had settled down and it was just a case of spending time out there and concentrating very hard.

''Mahela was the best of the batsmen on that pitch -- he played as if he was playing in his back yard, putting the bowlers to the sword.

''He scored runs so quickly that it took all the pressure off me -- I just had to dig in and do the job of anchoring the innings.''

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