“We’re very confident, and at the same time we are very excited as well,” he said. “We’ll play the brand of cricket we have been playing since day one.”
“We’re going to go hard and try and put as much pressure on the Pakistan batsmen, to see what we can get out of it,” Nawaz said. ” I think if we can get through to another one or two wickets in their top order, it’s not going to be easy. The wicket seems to be taking a little bit of grip, and a bit of spin as well.”
Dhananjaya de Silva followed up his first-innings 122 with 82 in the second•AFP/Getty Images
Sri Lanka were also left to rue their own batting. They had been 54 for 4 in the first innings before recovering through Dhananjaya de Silva to post 312. And in the second innings, they were 99 for 4 before another de Silva innings led a partial recovery.
“Most of our batters got starts, and we needed them to carry on and make big runs,” Nawaz said. “If you look at the Pakistani batting, it was just two batters that contributed, and one of them made a big score and the others batted around them to put 400-plus on the board. That’s what we lacked. Dhananjaya was there till the end with a 120-odd. Angelo Mathews also contributed. We needed a few more contributions in the middle.”
Unlike many Galle surfaces that take substantial turn from day three onwards, this one has remained reasonable for batting into day four. Sri Lanka, said Nawaz, should have taken advantage.
“When we batted the pitch was good, even this morning. There wasn’t a lot of turn, though there was a bit of unevenness. There wasn’t a huge threat.
“I thought we should have scored more runs in the second innings. If our batters had done well we could have got at least 100 more runs. In my head I was thinking that we should have batted for 120 overs to get to a good place in this match. Then we could have had them chasing 240 or more. If we had a score that we could have defended for 60 or 70 overs, we would have had the advantage. But that’s not how it happened.”