Tom Moody confident of victory over Proteas

Published: Monday, July 31, 2006, 23:53 [IST]
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Colombo:Sri Lanka coach Tom Moody believes his team will win the first cricket Test despite dogged resistance from South Africa which took the match into a fifth day.

South Africa conceded a 587-run first-innings deficit and were left needing to bat for six-and-a-half sessions to save the match.

The tourists closed yesterday's fourth day on 311 for four wickets after fifties from Jacques Rudolph, Andrew Hall and Ashwell Prince.

''We always knew it was going to be difficult,'' Moody told reporters.

''It would have been nice to have snapped up one more wicket at the end of the day but we are reasonably happy with four wickets.

''The guys now have the night to freshen up and then we'll have a crack at them again tomorrow -- hopefully the pitch will deteriorate a little more than it has done so far.

''With the weather on our side and a full day's play we are very confident of getting the last six wickets.'' The left-handed Rudolph, who top scored for South Africa with 90 during a record 165-run opening stand against Sri Lanka, pinpointed the morning session as pivotal if South Africa were to escape.

''There is one big day left and we have got to come out and play well in the first hour,'' said Rudolph.

''If we can survive the first hour then we will have a good chance of saving the game.''

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