Mixed emotions for Jayawardene after day two

Published: Saturday, April 5, 2008, 14:47 [IST]
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Sri Lanka captain Mahela Jayawardene had mixed feelings about the way his side performed on the second day of the second and final Test against West Indies on Friday at Queen's Park Oval.

Sri Lanka captured six wickets in the final session to get back into the match, as West Indies, replying to the visitors' first innings total of 278, reached 268 for seven when bad light stopped play 14.1 overs early.

But Jayawardene was disappointed with the way the batsmen in his side gifted their wickets in the Sri Lanka first innings.

"It was not easy batting on that pitch (on the first day), but we fought well, and I think that sixth-wicket partnership (of 107 between Tillekeratne Dilshan and Chamara Silva) was crucial for us," he said.

"It showed a lot of character, but I am disappointed with the way a few of our guys were dismissed.

"We should probably have scored between 300 and 325."

Jayawardene felt the pitch was not as lively as when his side batted, and felt West Indies had the better of it, so he was delighted that his bowlers stuck to the task and brought the side back into the contest.

"We thought we may have had a bigger lead or struggling with them having only three of four wickets down, but we came back strongly, and we did not give them the advantage," he said.

"I think the advantage is with us that we bat well in the second innings, and score anything in excess of 250-275, and it will be a tough ask for them to bat last against Muttiah Muralitharan and the rest of the guys."

Jayawardene believes the match is quite an open affair, after his side wobbled West Indies from the comfort of 133 for one.

"West Indies batted really well, and played a few shots, and it paid off for them," he said. "But it's an even game I reckon, we just need to make sure that we work harder next innings.

"It's going to be like a one innings match now, and with them batting last on that pitch, we have to make sure that we put some runs on the board and put some pressure on them."

Sri Lanka lead the series 1-0, after they won the opening Test at the Guyana National Stadium by 121 runs.

If they win the Test, Sri Lanka will kill the proverbial two birds with one stone. They would confirm their first Test series win on Caribbean soil, and become the first side visiting the Caribbean to sweep a Test series of any length.

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