The second day/night Test between Pakistan and Sri Lanka is gently tranquil with the hosts needing 119 on the final day’s play. This was after Sri Lanka batting was collapsed by Pakistan bowlers for 96.
Astonishing spell by Pakistan bowlers and reflecting on the collapse, Lankan coach Nic Pothas complemented the opposition and said, “Pakistan, I must say bowled really well. Within that change room, we said that we let ourselves down. We are seven overs away from the new ball and if we can get a wicket or two early, it changes things”
This is Test cricket and things don’t happen at pace. Credit to Pakistani bowlers as they were out there for a long time and they bowled well and fielded well,” Pothas said.
“Facts are facts. But I thought it was a more of a missed opportunity. Last night it was under lights, and it was difficult, but today I don’t know. I am hard pressed to think of a ball that pitched leg and hit top of off.”, he said.
On the fourth day’s play, Pakistan came back strongly despite losing wickets at regular intervals but Pothas knows that it is not over yet “I said at the beginning that we are playing against a quality team. There are going to be partnerships and you’ve got to accept that. You don’t expect a team of that quality to rollover. They played phenomenally well. When you take your chances, you get the rub of the green as well.”
“The new ball is going to play a major role. It has throughout the game. We still have seven overs left with the older ball. We have got to concentrate on that first and then let’s see what happens with the new ball. Wicket is going up and down a bit and new ball is going to be the key.”, he concluded.
Earlier, after facing the defeat against India in home ground, the Sri Lankan coach before Pak vs Sri Lanka kick-off said, he and his team are “sick and tired” of talking about them being in transition.
He also said “It is time to go out and perform, and that is the challenge. You are going to meet a world-class team. We have to move forward.”
However, Sri Lanka-Pakistan match perhaps counts as a surprise in itself.