Thilan Samaraweera's unbeaten 137 here on Wednesday was a refined innings. The elegant batsman held the second half of the Sri Lankan innings together as the host crossed the 400-run mark on the second day of the third Micromax Test.

The 33-year-old right-hander said, “I have got some hundreds at crucial moments. When the top-order had not scored many runs. Against Pakistan we were five for three, against Bangladesh we were 20 for four.”

He is a man for crisis situations. “I don’t think I have got runs when the top-order has scored. I have scored runs when they were important for the team. But this is a special one because this is a real Test wicket. Your skills are tested here unlike at the SSC. I am happy to get a hundred here.”

Samaraweera was optimistic about Sri Lanka's chances in the Test. “We are still ahead by 250 runs. If we can take couple of wickets, we are in the game. Suraj (Randiv) is bowling really well and at the moment it’s very difficult to play him. A score of 400-plus is a good one. India will be batting last.”

On the Indian attack, he said, “(Pragyan) Ojha bowled really well throughout the innings. Ishant (Sharma) was good too.” Virender Sehwag, he said, was the biggest threat for Sri Lanka. “Even though Sachin (Tendulkar) scored a double century against us in the last Test, Sehwag seems to be the major hurdle.”

Samaraweera elaborated, “If Sehwag gets out, a lot of things turn around. He is the key man for us to dismiss.”

Asked about paceman Angelo Mathews dropping Sehwag, Samaraweera said, “That’s a part of the game. Sometimes you take brilliant return catches and sometimes you drop the easy ones.”

Left-arm spinner Pragyan Ojha's four-wicket haul in the Sri Lankan first innings here is his best effort of his Test career so far. “The wicket was helping me a bit. I just tried to bowl in the right areas. There is something in the wicket for the spinners. Mendis got the odd ball to kick up. Even Randiv was doing the same. But if we apply ourselves like Samaraeera did we can put up a good score and put pressure on Sri Lanka. ”

He added, “It was one of the best days for us in the series as a bowling group. We planned and executed things. It was a very disciplined performance by us.”


Sehwag leads Indian fightbackAugust 4, 2010

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