Dubai: The star performers of the day, Pakistan’s Khurram Manzoor, who cracked 73 runs, and Sri Lanka’s Nuwan Pradeep with a three wicket spell, have both produced a strong comeback.

Manzoor, who had cracked 146 against South Africa in the Abu Dhabi Test last October and then ran out of form, is delighted with his knock.

Answering to a query on whether he is disappointed at missing a century on his comeback performance, Manzoor said: “Missing a century was a disappointment but I am happy that I could get among the runs. I had worked very hard and my efforts have paid off.”

When asked about his innings, he said: “The toss was very vital and Sri Lankans bowled at the right areas. I focused on picking the right ball to hit as they bowled very well.”

He now wants to build on the confidence gained from this knock.

“I am trying my best to cement my place as an opener. I am sure with hard work more success will follow. I am hoping to perform at my best and grab all opportunities that come my way,” he said.

Pradeep, who returned with figures of 3 for 62, is playing a Test match after a gap of a year.

His last Test was against Australia in Sydney in January last year.

Injuries and poor form had marred his career.

“I am happy to be among wickets especially as I was coming back after a year to Test cricket. I have been working hard with my club and also A team and gained a lot of experience.”

Chaminda Vaas, the bowling coach of the Sri Lankan team, had shaped Pradeep into an effective bowler along with Suranga Lakmal and Shaminda Eranga.

Speaking on the performance of the three pacers, Vaas said: “Test cricket is about doing the basics correctly and my seamers bowled in the right areas.”

Vaas believes that by batting well they can take full control of the match.

Mahela Jayawardene, who has injured his left hand in an attempt to take a catch, is expected to bat.

Vaas also justified his team’s decision to bowl first.

“After yesterday’s rain the wicket was covered and hence we knew that there would be moisture on the wicket. We also saw a bit of green on the wicket and decided to make first use of it.”